Skip to Content

Are Satin Silkie Chickens Real?

Have you ever wanted to keep a satin silkie chicken and decided to learn a bit more about them? Chicken breeds can be somewhat confusing at times, and many people use different names for them, which can increase the confusion surrounding this kind of bird. Knowing what sort of chicken you are getting can help you know what to expect in terms of behavior and lifespan, so it’s well worth taking the time to do some research on this, preferably before you get one of these chickens.

If you love unusual chickens and you’re always on the lookout for beautiful birds, a satin silkie might sound appealing, and the great news is that these birds are very attractive, although rather different from standard silkies. Having a diverse and interesting flock adds to the overall appeal of keeping chickens, and if you’ve already got a good mix of birds, you might be especially keen to take on a satin silkie if you can find one.

Satin silkies come in a variety of different colors and patterns, which can make them harder to identify, especially because they look so different from standard silkies. If you wish to get a satin silkie, do some careful research before buying one of these birds so that you know what to look for, and make sure you choose a reputable breeder to maximize the chances of getting the bird that you want.

What Is A Satin Silkie?

To understand what a satin silkie is, it’s first important to identify what a silkie is, because satin silkies are a variation of this breed. Silkies are fluffy chickens that look like they have been blow dried; their feathers are fluffed up in every direction, rather than pressed against the chicken’s body in sleek, smooth lines. This is because silkie chicken feathers do not have barbicels: the stiff hooks that join the fluff of the feather together, keeping the feathers neatly arranged.

Satin silkies are a variation of this breed, but instead of being fluffy, their body feathers are smooth, more like a standard chicken’s, with the barbicels holding them in place. A satin silkie has a much sleeker look overall, although its head feathers are like the silkie chicken’s, fluffed up in every direction. This makes satin silkies very cute birds, because they look out of proportion and peculiar, in a way that standard silkies don’t (since they are fluffy all over).

In other ways, satin silkies are very much like standard silkies: they are approximately the same size and shape, and can vary as much in their coloration as a standard silkie can. They may be mottled or solid, so there is a wide range to choose from. Be cautious when purchasing satin silkies, and make sure you know what you are buying so you don’t end up paying over the odds for a missold breed.

Is A Satin Chicken And A Satin Silkie The Same?

Yes, a satin chicken and a satin silkie are the same kind of chicken, and the two names are used interchangeably, although satin silkie is the commoner option and may be the one to use if you are searching for these birds. The term “satin silkie” tends to be better recognized among breeders and enthusiasts, but some people prefer “satin chicken” and feel that it better represents what this chicken is, distinguishing it from the standard silkie breed.

Satin chickens first developed around thirty years ago, when people started trying to breed the “frizzled” gene into silkie chickens. The frizzled gene means that the feather curls outward, and “frizzled” feathers still have barbicels; this creates an overall smooth look, with the feathers being firmly held in place against the chicken’s body.

A satin chicken is otherwise bred to be the same as a silkie chicken, and the only difference is the appearance of the feathers – which is why the name satin silkie was coined, to indicate that the birds are almost identical. However, both names do get used, especially among breeders that are attempting to get the satin chicken identified as a distinct breed, and not just as a variation on the better-known silkie. If the chicken does at some point become a distinctly recognized breed, it’s possible that the name “satin chicken” will be used.

Are Satin Silkie Chickens Real?

Satin silkie chickens are certainly real, but they are not currently recognized as a distinct breed from silkies, despite efforts among enthusiasts to change this categorization. Satins are usually created by breeding Cochin chickens and silkie chickens, followed by selective breeding throughout several generations to create the desired effect. They certainly are a real chicken, and many people find them highly attractive and appealing.

According to some sources, for a chicken breed to be recognized as distinct from others, it must have at least three distinct characteristics, and this currently rules satin silkies out, as their only distinction is the feather texture. It may prove difficult for enthusiasts to get the bird categorized separately for this reason, but efforts continue.

One of the biggest reasons that satin silkies got rejected as a new breed was because the name “silkie” implies fluffy feathering, and the term “satin” is a direct contradiction to this. Some judges therefore feel that it is impossible for satins to be registered as a kind of silkie, but because they are otherwise similar, they also cannot be registered as a separate breed. In the future, this may change, but at present, satin silkies remain a “project breed” rather than a standard one.

Conclusion

A satin silkie is certainly a beautiful chicken, and there are many proud owners of this unusual variety, but it is not a distinctive breed according to official records. Satin silkies have smooth feathering, unlike most silkies, but puffed feathers around their heads, and they come in a wide variety of colors. They are fairly uncommon and it takes a lot of work to breed them correctly (because several generations are needed in order to produce the distinctive feathers), but many people are attracted to their unusual appearance.