Silkies are one of the most popular – and unique breeds of backyard chickens. It’s also hard to deny they are the cutest looking chickens with their fuzzy coats. If you want to raise Silkies, here’s where to buy them online and how much to expect to pay.
Why Silkies Are Such a Good Backyard Chicken Breed
If you’ve decided to raise Silkies – or add more to your flock – I’m envious. Silkies are, in my opinion, one of the most fun and rewarding breeds to keep and raise as pets.
Here are some of the top reasons to raise Silkies:
They’re Inexpensive To Keep
Backyard chickens aren’t that expensive. The largest outright cost is a coop, then it’s just bedding, feed, and other small miscellaneous costs.
Coop aside, the estimated annual cost for keeping 10 chickens is around just $1,000. When you take into account how much you’re saving/making on eggs alone, you can easily be running a profit.
Take into account that bantam Silkies take up even less room and eat less food than a regular size chicken, and that’s more money in your pocket. They do lay fewer, smaller eggs too though.
They’re Soft and Fuzzy
It’s amazing how few people outside of the backyard chicken world have even seen a Silkie before. It always comes as a complete surprise to my friends that chickens can have fuzzy coats.
I get it. You don’t think about stroking or petting a chicken as you do a cat or a dog. But you can with Silkies, and their fur is soft enough to compete with a cat.
They Have a Docile and Loving Temperament
Having a soft plumage wouldn’t mean much if you couldn’t spend some time fussing and hanging out with them.
Silkies are known as one of the most friendly and tame breeds. Typically, they enjoy interacting with humans and will happily sit a lap or be stroked.
Delicious (Small) Eggs
Silkies lay smaller eggs than regular chickens. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise, as they’re smaller in stature.
Generally speaking, you can expect around 100 eggs a year. Which is still more than enough for a household with a handful of Silkies.
How Much Do Silkie Bantams Cost?
If you contact local hatcheries near you, the price is going to vary a lot across the country.
I buy all of my poultry online from CackleHatchery.com. They’re a family-owned business, and I’ve always been very impressed with their range of chicks, knowledge, and customer service.
In my experience, their prices are lower than I’ve been able to find locally. It’s also super convenient being able to place an order and have hatching eggs or chickens delivered.
At the time of publishing, they had the following colors of Silkies available:
Their Silkies were priced at:
- $4.15/ea if you buy between 1-9
- $3.90/ea if you buy between 10-14
- $3.80/ea if you buy between 15-24
- $3.70/ea if you buy between 25+
At those prices, it’s hard to resist, isn’t it?
If you’re looking for show quality or rare color Silkie, then you’ll need to find a specialist breeder. Obviously, you can expect to pay more, too.
Hatching Your Silkie Eggs With an Incubator
There is nothing more exciting and rewarding than hatching eggs and seeing those cute little chicks break out.
If you’re buying hatching eggs, you’re going to need either an incubator or a broody hen to hatch them. If you’re going to use a brooder, here are a few tips:
- Don’t incubate your eggs for 12-24 hours after receiving them. This gives them time to settle.
- Eggs need to be laid on their sides. This is because the air sac is located at the wider end.
- Follow the instructions that come with your incubator to the letter!
Talking of incubators, here is one of the most popular models on Amazon if you don’t yet have one:
MagicFly Digital Mini Fully Automatic Egg Incubator
It’s a small incubator, but you only need a small one for Silkie eggs. You’ll be able to comfortably hatch 9 eggs at a time.
Within 21 days you should have your tiny, fluffy, chirping chicks poking holes with their egg tooth to get out of the shell.
Hatching Your Silkie Eggs With a Broody Hen
If you have a broody hen, usually evident by her squatting on eggs, not leaving her nesting box, and defensive behavior – you can use her to hatch your eggs.
Prepare a nice nesting area separate from the rest of the flock, then move her during the night for minimal disruption.
For me, there is something even more special about a hen bringing eggs to hatch. She’ll protect them when they hatch too.
The same rules apply as hatching eggs in an incubator. If they’ve arrived in the post, sit them pointed end down for 12-24 hours before placing them in a clutch for your hen.
As you can see, Silkies aren’t expensive, neither to buy nor to raise. There are no excuses, if you’re enchanted by their fuzzy appearance and have been debating whether or not to get some – do it.
The best advice is to be careful and do some due diligence when buying chicks, either online or in person. If you’re buying from a hatchery, always buy from an NPIP registered hatchery.
Likewise, if you’re buying chicks locally, take a look at them and check out the seller before committing.
Related – You can find out more about Showgirl Silkies here.
Image credits – Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash