You’ll surely be amazed to see Silkie chickens. Their fluffiness sets them apart from other chicken breeds. They’ve made history in ancient China and found their way to Eastern Europe and America.
Due to their unique appearance, you may wonder if both male and female chickens look the same.
What is a Silkie rooster? A Silkie rooster or a cockerel is good-natured and more docile than the other chickens. It’s even a gentleman to the ladies. However, it depends on the breeder as the gentle nature is hereditary. It means that they follow in their father’s footsteps. Thus, it’s crucial to choose a nice rooster for breeding.
With its unique feathers and gentle nature, a Silkie rooster is a total package. How can you tell it apart from a Silkie hen? Since they’re amiable, is it easier to raise this fluffy breed than other chickens?
You may have a lot of questions about this rooster in your mind. All of them will be answered by this article.
What Do Silkie Roosters Look Like?
A Silkie rooster has a plump body with a huge chest and short legs that are separated by a wide gap for stability. It has a pair of black eyes. You’ll also see black skin under its silky, fluffy, and a bit of hair-like feathers.
But don’t be fooled by the seemingly large appearance of Silkie roosters. Underneath the fluffiness, you shouldn’t expect much. When the rooster is fully matured, it only weighs 3 pounds.
All Silkies are black all over, including their muscles, bones, and combs. But their blood remains red. The feather color can either be black, splash, blue, gray, buff, self-blue or lavender, partridge, or white.
The majority of the chickens have four toes, but a Silkie rooster has five. It has a smooth face that can be bearded or unbearded.
Related: What Is a Silkie Chicken? | Information and Facts
How Long Do Silkie Roosters Live?
Silkie roosters live for 6–10 years. This will depend on the care that they receive. Let them roam freely and without stress to extend their lifespan.
Prominent Features of Silkie Rooster
A Silkie rooster is stout, square, and broad. Its plumage or feather can’t only be easily differentiated from other chickens but with a Silkie hen too. You should know this feature well so you can identify the male Silkie from the female.
Aside from fuzzy and hackle feathers, a Silkie rooster has a long, spear-like saddle. It’s the usual pattern among roosters, but you can’t easily spot it because of its fluffiness.
The comb of a male Silkie is also unique because it looks like a walnut. Therefore, it’s called a walnut comb that is round or U-shaped.
A pure-bred one has a deep red comb while the others have black. The comb can’t be seen right away as it’s hidden under the feathers. A Silkie rooster develops a comb earlier than the young hen which has a V-shaped comb instead.
Also, the wattle of a Silkie rooster is not only longer than the hens, but it grows faster. With this rate of growth and development, you can identify the gender of your Silkie chickens in just a matter of 2 to 3 months.
How Do You Take Care of a Silkie Rooster?
A Silkie rooster can survive in confinement provided that there’s enough space and available perches. However, you have to know that its feathers are not capable of protecting this animal from harsh weather. It likely gets soaked to the skin in wet weather. When this period comes, you have to secure a dry place for them.
With the following guide, you’ll be able to take care of them properly.
Coop Set-up and Free-Range
One Silkie rooster needs at least four square feet of space in the coop. It doesn’t typically roost at night, but it gladly sleeps on the floor.
Due to this behavior, you have to put a platform to elevate the sleeping area. So, insects and rodents won’t bother the chicken that’s resting.
A silkie rooster enjoys being free-range outside. When you allow them to roam free, you have to ensure that it’s protected. Predators can easily snatch it because it can’t fly.
A Silkie cockerel would eat a quarter pound of feed in a day. It can be sustained with 16% layer feed. You can keep it happy and healthy by giving supplements like fresh greens.
Some Silkie chicken strains are prone to getting Marek’s disease. Otherwise, the exempted ones are healthy. If you’re not sure about it, you can have your Silkie roosters vaccinated.
It’s also helpful if you talk about the disease with a private breeder for further awareness. Regular checking of parasites is also essential. You can do it yourself or make an appointment for the treatment.
Are Silkie Roosters Aggressive as Other Breeds?
Silkie roosters are not aggressive as other breeds. They’re friendly and sweet to humans, but still, they can fight with other roosters. Unfortunately, there are circumstances where they’re being bullied by other male chickens.
Will a Silkie Cockerel Be Able to Breed With Other Hens?
A Silkie cockerel can breed with other hens that are not too big or small for the rooster. It’s a crucial point to make mounting possible when mating. For example, a Showgirl Silkie or Naked Neck Silkie is born from the combination of Silkie and Turken or Transylvanian Naked Neck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Eat a Silkie Rooster?
A Silkie rooster can be eaten though some people don’t find its black meat appealing to their taste buds. It has a stronger taste than the normal breed. This chicken is cooked in a soup for medicinal purposes. In Oriental countries, it’s considered a delicacy.
Do Silkies Roosters Crow?
Silkie roosters start to crow at the age of 3 months. But some can do it even at 2 months old. Surprisingly, some Silkie roosters begin to do it late, like when they’re almost a year old. They’re less likely to crow when there are other roosters around because some are solitary.
When Silkie roosters crow, it’s not as loud as other breeds that are in standard and larger sizes. Since they’re bantams, they don’t give off as much sound as the bigger chickens. You would hear them crow in the early mornings and late evenings.
Do Silkie Roosters Have Spurs?
Silkie roosters grow spurs that are sharp and pointy. It’s situated on the back of their heels.
How Can You Tell a Silkie Rooster?
You can tell a Silkie rooster by its hackle feathers, longer wattles, a longer crown of feathers, and walnut comb.
Are Silkie Roosters Friendly?
Silkie roosters are friendly because they’re social and good-tempered. They’re ideal for busy households and families who have kids.
Are Silkie Roosters Expensive?
Silkie roosters are expensive because many people like to have them as pets. But there’s a price range because of breeding quality. A backyard rooster can be sold at $25, and the premium type is $100 per chicken.
Do Silkies Need Perches?
Although Silkies are found sleeping on the ground or floor, they still need perches to keep them warm and protected from parasites. Winter is the time that they need to be up on the perch with their flock mates.
Perches for Silkies can be as high as three feet, but it depends on the size of your flock. Some build a five-foot-tall perch with a ladder that has an angle of around 30 degrees.
Make sure that it’s not too steep for the birds. You also need to be considerate of older Silkies and make a lower perch. Jumping can be difficult for old and arthritic ones.
How Do You Tell if a Silkie Is a Boy or a Girl?
Here are the points that you have to look at to tell if a Silkie is a boy or a girl when the chickens are at the right age:
- Crowing – Silkie roosters do crow, but this habit is shown at 3 months or earlier and even later.
- Wattles and combs – It’s distinct to roosters to have bigger and rounder wattles. They also have larger combs that are differently shaped from the hens. Moreover, the fleshy part on the roosters is like streamers that are swept back.
- Hard feathers – Apart from sharp hackles, saddle feathers, and spurs, there are hard feathers on the rooster’s tail. However, it doesn’t apply to all Silkie cockerels.
- Broodiness – This is an inclination of a hen to remain in a nesting box to tend to her eggs until they hatch. It will be strange for roosters to do it.
Can Two Silkie Roosters Live Together?
Due to the calmness and friendly nature of Silkie roosters, they can live together harmoniously.
Just by knowing the answers to the question, “What is a silkie rooster?” you’ll be able to tell the male and female Silkies apart. You can distinguish a Silkie cockerel through its spear-like saddle, walnut comb, streamer feathers, and hard feathers on its tail. It crows like other roosters but not too loud since it’s more docile and social.
List of Sources
A Cis-Regulatory Mutation of pdss2 Causes Silky-Feather in Chickens