Black Silkie chickens
Black Silkies are a regular at poultry shows. The black plumage is required to be consistent throughout with a beetle sheen to the feathers. The eyes must be black and the beak a slate blue.
Below: A black Silkie hen showing the broody character of the breed.
The comb, face and wattles of the black Silkie must be the standard mulberry colour with turquoise blue ear lobes.
Black Silkies have all the good and bad characteristics of other types, being good natured, broody and docile but needing all the extra care that other Silkies do.
If any of you have ever watched the TV show I'm a Celebrity - Get me out of here, you will know they often feed the contestants odd types of meat for dinner and one of those is black Silkie chicken meat.
Breeding black Silkies:
Black is a useful colour when breeding Silkies, it can be used to add depth and deepen the blue and red leakage doesn't show through very well if there some odd matings in the birds history.
Below: Black Silkie chicken.
Black Silkies as a pair will always breed true and make a good starting point for the beginner.
Why is Silkie chicken meat black?
The Silkie chicken owes its unusual deep blue black colour to a rare genetic mutation of hyperpigmentation called fibromelanosis. This deep colour is produced by the skin pigment melanin and is also present in other breeds like the Ayam Cemani from Java.
It was first seen in China and the Mandarin name for the Silkie is (烏骨雞) wu gu ji, which means “dark-boned chicken” or "black-boned chicken".
The name Silkie is of western origin and refers to their fluffy plumage which lacks barbicels in the feathers and looks and feels like fur.
Do black Silkie chickens lay black eggs?
The colour of the feathers has no bearing on the egg colour.
Black Silkies produce the same small white egg that all other colours do and black chickens all produce breed standard eggs.
There is no healthy chicken or breed that I know off that lays a black egg. the closest is the deep green egg of the Emu.
Also the Ayam Cemani which is a completely black chickens lays a cream eggs as well.
Do all Silkies have black skin?
All Silkies should have deep blue or black skin and flesh. The colour is dominant and is easily passes down the generations.
Below: The brood patch of a Silkie hen showing the deep blue black colour of the skin.