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Silkie Chickens Overview
Here’s an overview of this breed’s characteristics so you can get an idea of what these birds are like before learning about the details.
The Origin of Silkie Chickens
These bizarre-looking breed is believed to have come from Asia. It is unknown from where (or when), exactly, these breeds originated, but the most well-documented potential origin is ancient China.
A popular trade item on the Silk Road, the geography of the Silkie chicken lends itself naturally to the name of this breed.
That being said, the Silkie chicken can be traced back to other locations in Southeast Asia as well, such as Java and India.
Marco Polo first wrote about a “furry chicken” breed in the recount of his 13th-century Asian travels, with the first naturalist account of the chicken published in 1598 by Ulisse Aldrovandi.
Silkies eventually traveled west on the Silk Road and reached North American soil shortly after via the maritime trade.
It was recognized officially in North America in 1874, rising to popularity quite rapidly in the States.
Due to its unique appearance, the Silkie chicken is surrounded by some interesting folklore.
For example, early Dutch breeders told consumers that the breed was the result of mating rabbis and chickens.
Popular in circus and carnival freak shows, these chickens were once believed to have actual mammalian fur, too.
Today, the Silkie chicken is one of the most ubiquitous and iconic breeds of chicken commonly kept on homesteads and family farms.
Usually kept as ornamental or pet chickens, they are also fantastic mothers and can be used to hatch the eggs of other chickens and poultry breeds.
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