Silkies generally have a fluffy appearance due to their feathers lacking functioning barbicels; essentially, all their feathers are very much like down.
Silkies are near-unique among chickens: both skin and bones are black.They also have 5 toes on each foot.
There are two varieties of silkie: bearded and non-bearded.
Marco Polo is reported to have encountered Silkies in China at the end of the 13th century.
The hens easily become broody, laying only a dozen or so eggs before attempting to hatch out their clutch.
They are considered excellent mothers.
Their broodiness makes them a poor breed for egg production
But their unique appearance and their quiet temperament mean they are often kept as pets.
They come in a wide variety of colours including white,black,grey,blue,buff,cuckoo,splash and gold.