There are bantam and standard breeds of Silkies, even the standard breed is not as big as ‘regular’ chickens, however. On average, Silkies grow to between 8-14 inches tall, the males weigh around 2-3 lbs, and females weigh 1.5-2 lbs.
Are There Full-Size Silkie Chickens?
Generally speaking, Silkies are considered to be bantam chickens. But some breed standards do classify silkies as being either bantams or standard-sized.
All of the North American strains are bantams, so it's normal to only know silkies as bantams if you're in the states.
In Europe, however, there are Silkies classified as bantams and non-bantams which are also referred to as standard size chickens.
Still, even the non-bantams are considerably smaller than your average chicken. If you’re looking for a small (and cute) breed of backyard chicken, Silkies are the breed for you.
You also have to take into account that Silkies are ornamental birds. They are fluffy, more social than most breeds, and typically keep more as ‘pets’ than they are for their eggs or meat.
They’re great for urban settings or if you’re short on space, too. Silkies are one of the most unique breeds of chicken, and certainly one of the more popular.
How Big Do Silkie Chickens Get?
If you're considering raising silkies, first of all, let me say I'm envious!
Secondly, you're right to get an idea of how big they'll get so you can plan adequate space and know how many you can raise.
The largest you can expect both types of Silkies to get are:
Bantam Silkies - The American Standard of Perfection for male bantams is 35 oz (1 kg), and for females is 32 oz (900 g).
The British standard weight for bantam Silkies is much lower at 22 oz (600 g), and for females is 18 oz (500 g)
Standard Silkies - Standard males can get as heavy as 4 lbs, and hens will unlikely get any heavier than 3 lbs.
If you compare this size to what I would call an average-sized breed like a Rhode Island Red, a Rhode Island Rooster is around 8.5 lbs and a fully grown hen is around 6.5 lbs.
As you can see, Silkes are about half the size and weight of most chickens.
Don’t be fooled by their fuzzy plumage and large crests. Sometimes they look like they’re pretty big, but underneath all that fuzz they are small chickens!
Related - Are Silkie Chickens Friendly?
How Heavy Do Silkie Chickens Get?
It's a unique experience picking up a silkie. Not only do they feel soft and fuzzy, but you also realize just how light they are.
- Silke rooster bantams weigh around 22-35 oz on the heavier side.
- Standard-sized Silkie roosters weigh around 4 lbs (1.8 kg) and maybe tip the scales a little heavier.
You can see why they’re not raised for their meat! While we’re talking about Silkie meat I have to point out that they have very unique black skin and grayish-black meat.
How Much Do Silkies Cost?
I buy all of my chickens and hatching eggs from Cackle Hatchery. They have the largest range of poultry I’ve seen online, and are great at shipping orders out quickly.
At the time of writing this, I took a look at what Cackle Hatchery had available, and they had blue, white, black, splash, and buff colors available, as well as some assorted color deals.
Most of their baby Silkie bantam chicks were available for as low as $3.80 each when ordering larger numbers. With the price going up to $4.34 each for lower order numbers.
If you’re interested in buying Silkies - You can click here to find out which colors and varieties of Bantam Silkies are available at Cackle Hatchery here.
Are Silkies Good Backyard Chickens?
Silkies are excellent backyard chickens. Honestly speaking, they're more of an ornamental breed than a 'typical' backyard breed though, you do need to be aware of that.
They require a little bit more in the way of care and attention, but they have a lot more to give back than ever chickens in the way of personality and character.
Silkies are better suited to smaller areas, and for owners who love interacting with their flock. They’re cuddly, fluffy, and one of the more social breeds.
The only real downside is that they're not prolific egg layers. If you're after a breed of backyard chicken that is going to produce a steady flow with large eggs, you need to look at breeds like the Sussex and Rhode Island Red.
Silkies do lay eggs. You can expect around 100-120 eggs per year, and although they're smaller than standard-sized eggs, they're just as delicious.
Related - Can you eat Silkie chicken eggs?
If you're specifically looking for a small breed of chicken (that is a load of fun), then silkies are what you're looking for.
Sure, they don't do what most chickens are raised for in that they don't produce a lot of eggs, but they check all the boxes for being unique, fun, and easy to look after.
Image credits - Image by Andy M. from Pixabay