10 Silkie Chicken Colors (With Pictures) | Animal World (2024)

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Silkie chickens are arguably one of the most beautiful chicken breeds, and although they are most commonly found in white, they can come in a wide range of other beautiful colors too. Silkies come in two distinct variations: bearded and non-bearded. Bearded Silkies have an extra beard, or “muff,” of feathers underneath their beak.

Silkies are definitely one of the most unique and unusual chicken breeds, and in addition to their unique coloring, they have an extra fifth toe and blue earlobes! Silkies also have a unique plumage that is more like fluff than feathers, giving them a silky feel that is far more cuddle-worthy than any other chicken breed. These feathers are just like regular feathers, however, and extend down to their legs and feet, too.

Silkies are a great species of chicken to have in your backyard, and if you’ve decided to bring one of these unique birds home, you’ll need to decide which color is your favorite! In this article, we look at the 10 different colors that Silkies are found in. Let’s get started!

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Breed Standard

According to the American Poultry Association (APA), Silkies are only accepted in six colors: white, black, blue, buff, partridge, and splash. All color variants have black skin, the characteristic extra toe, and fluffy plumage down their legs all the way to their toes. The standard also requires a walnut-shaped comb, dark wattles, and turquoise-blue earlobes.

Besides the recognized breed standard, four additional colors are commonly found in Silkies, and these are no less beautiful than the APA standards.

The 10 Silkie Chicken Colors:

1. Black

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Black Silkies are not typically always jet-black, but this is the most desired shade for breeders. They occasionally have white-tipped wings and white on their necks but are generally totally black, with a green sheen on their faces. Their skin, beaks, toes, and legs are all black, too. Black Silkies can be bred by breeding a Blue and a Splash Silkie, a Blue and a Black Silkie, and of course, two Black Silkies.

2. Blue/Splash

Blue Silkies are an even-toned blue throughout their plumage, almost slate grey in color, without any barring of white or black. Some Blue Silkies are a lighter blue-grey tone, and breeders are often challenged with attempting to breed specifically light or dark varieties because they are almost impossible to predict. They can be bred by mixing blue and blue or blue and black varieties.

3. Buff

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Buff Silkies are buff, golden-brown, or straw-colored chickens that occasionally have brown streaks, and they often have darker feathers in their tail area. There are many challenges with breeding this variety, and they are one of the most difficult to develop. It is difficult to breed the black out of buffs, so only buff varieties should be bred together to achieve the breed standard.

4. Cuckoo

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The Cuckoo Silkie is not a recognized breed variety and is a relatively new Silkie variation. A Cuckoo Silkie varies from lavender to navy blue in color, with subtle barring throughout their plumage. Chicks are born without any barring and are often mistaken for blues, but experienced breeders can tell from the chick’s sheer-black beaks that lighten up after a few weeks that they will turn into a cuckoo variety. A Cuckoo crossed with solid white or solid black is the best way to breed them.

5. Grey

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Grey Silkies are more silver than grey, with a sheen over their plumage when viewed in sunlight. They typically have a dark grey head or a light grey head streaked with dark grey bands and an even grey body. The wings are a slightly darker shade of grey, and their undercoat is a smoky grey that is lighter than the overall top shade.

6. Lavender

The lavender color does not exist naturally in Silkies and must be introduced by another breed. It took years of work and development by breeders to keep the color going. Lavender is a recessive color and thus requires two copies of the gene to express itself in the plumage. This usually means that it requires inbreeding to correctly propagate, resulting in birds with poor feather quality and overall weak genetics. These Silkies are a uniform light grey-lavender across their plumage.

7. Paint

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Paint Silkies are essentially Black Silkies that carry one dominant white gene, resulting in a truly unique-looking bird with dalmatian-like spots. These spots can vary widely in number and size, and the gene responsible for this coloration is unpredictable and doesn’t seem to follow any rules. The Silkie breed is known for their black skin, but Paint Silkies often hatch with lighter or even pink skin.

8. Partridge

Partridge Silkie chicks are typically born with stripes and will develop into partridge variations. They are typically dark in color, with a black head and tail and light penciling on their wings. The main identifier is in the feather pattern: Each feather has three distinct pencil lines that are even and straight. If perfected, they make for one of the most beautiful Silkie variations. The Partridge Silkie is a difficult variation to perfect, however.

9. Red

Red Silkies are a rare variation and not recognized. The color does not exist naturally in Silkies and must be introduced by another breed. Some breeders describe them simply as darker buff variations, although there are breeders specially working on developing Red Silkies in Australia.

10. White

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The White Silkie is one of the most common Silkie variations available, and like all Silkies, they have a black face and skin. The white in this variation is caused by a recessive gene, and this can be easily lost with incorrect breeding selection. White Silkies are notoriously slow-growing due to this unique recessive gene.

Featured Image Credit: Olga Salt, Shutterstock

10 Silkie Chicken Colors (With Pictures) | Animal World (2024)


How many colors of Silkies are there? ›

There are eight Silkie color varieties accepted by the American Poultry Association. They include black, blue, buff, gray, partridge, splash, and white.

What is the most sought after Silkie color? ›

Partridge is by far one of our favorite colouring varieties for Silkies. It really is just stunning. The colors are so bright! Pattern genes express the distinct three-penciled pattern found on many of the Partridge hen's feathers.

What Colours are Silkies? ›

Colors of Silkie recognized for competitive showing include black, blue, splash, lavender, buff, grey, partridge, and white. Alternative hues, such as cuckoo, mottled, chocolate, mauve, mille fleur, and red, are in various stages of development and/or awaiting official recognition.

What is a true black Silkie? ›

Silkie chickens (aka black chickens, silky chickens, Taihe chickens, black skinned chickens) are an ancient small Asian chicken breed known for their incredibly soft, fur-like feathers, striking blue-black skin, and rich, full flavor.

Are blue Silkies rare? ›

Just like with most chicken breeds, the Silkie comes in a variety of colors – blue being one of them. However, unlike the more common black or white coloring, the color blue does not breed true. This makes it a very unique color for a Silkie to be and scarcer than the white or black Silkies.

Are black Silkies rare? ›

Silkies are one of the most ubiquitous breeds available today and their sweet disposition, docile nature and adaptability make them backyard flock favorites. The black Silkie chicken is just one of the very many color varieties that exist in this cute and cuddly breed.

Can you mix Silkie colors? ›

If you are interested in breeding Silkies, it is always best to stick to the standard color varieties. But you may find that crossing your Silkies make for interesting color combinations as they may have dominant genes from previous generations residing in their fluffy little bodies.

How do you get a lavender Silkie? ›

Lavender/Self-blue silkies are quite special because they can only be bred from other lavender and self-blue silkies. Even if your blue silkies look really similar, they won't ever have that lovely lavender or self-blue color.

What color is Silkie blood? ›

The Appearance of Silkie Chickens

Silke chickens have black skin, bones, and darker-toned organs, although their blood is still red like other animals.

Can Silkies get wet? ›

Silkies feathers make them susceptible to getting too cold if wet. If your Silkies get significantly wet, towel or blow drying may be necessary. They seem to love the blow dryer though...a little spa day for your chicken!

What is a satin Silkie? ›

Satins are often “lumped in” and referred to as Silkies, but Satins are actually a cross from Silkies to bantam Cochins, and back to Silkies for several generations. This cross resulted in the beautiful smooth, soft feathering and puffy crests.

What does a frizzle Silkie look like? ›

General Appearance of the Frizzle Silkie

Yes, the Frizzle Silkie has curly feathers, but other than that, they are exactly like ordinary Silkies. The curly feathers will be all over their bodies and they will also extend down the legs and feet.

How much do Silkies cost? ›

Blue Banty Farm
Straight Run
3 more rows

Do all Silkie chickens have 5 toes? ›

The standards of perfection call for all Silkies to have a small walnut-shaped comb, dark wattles, and turquoise-blue earlobes. In addition to these defining characteristics, Silkies have five toes on each foot. Other breeds which exhibit this rare trait include the Dorking, Faverolles, Houdan, and Sultan.

Why are Silkies so expensive? ›

Live Silkie and Satin Chicks

They cost more, because they require more time and money in order to successfully breed them. Silkies lay fewer eggs than other chickens, the eggs they do lay are harder to hatch, and the babies are very sensitive and tend to die easily, even when well cared for.

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