The Silkie is a variety of chicken believed to have originated in eastern Asia.

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.

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