What is a showgirl Silkie?
The Showgirl Silkie is a unique looking chicken that is a Silkie and turken or naked neck cross-breed. They are small, calm, sweet & gentle birds. Showgirls combine the features of two of the weirdest looking breeds, Silkies and Transylvanian Naked Necks or Turkens and they have all the Silkie characteristics, along with the naked neck.
Below: A showgirl Silkie chick.
They should have the right skin colouring on the skin of the neck. Showgirls are a recent production and as such are rare, wonderful and just fabulous. They have featherless necks and outrageously pouffe pom-pom making them look every bit like their name suggests.
They come in both bearded and non bearded types and showgirls should have a crest. Like Silkies they are five toed, dark skinned, and have a walnut comb. They come in many of the same colours, white probably being the most common.
Showgirls vs Silkies:
Showgirls are a recent creation, becoming increasingly popular in the last ten years or so whereas the Silkie has been around for at least 400 years. They are the result of crossing Transylvanian Naked Necks / Turkens to Silkies.
Below: A classic showgirl Silkie chicken.
The Turken is used in the first generation to incorporate the incompletely dominant Naked Neck gene into the breeding program, then for multiple generations continue by crossing the Naked Necked chicks back to Silkies to improve type. The goal is usually a bird that is essentially a Silkie but with a naked neck, perhaps with a bow-tie and beards.
Do showgirl chickens lay eggs?
Showgirls have similar egg production to ordinary Silkies, around 80 to 140 eggs per year. Showgirl hens are very broody and exceptional mothers, and they are often used for hatching and rearing of other types of chickens and poultry.
Showgirl Silkie are classified Light Breed - Egg Colour: Tinted to cream.
They are great backyards, have lovely temperaments like Silkies but lay better than Silkies. Showgirl chicks being adorable Showgirl chicken is a Turken chicken x Silkie chicken. Not a recognised show breed.
Showgirl Silkie Genetics:
Showgirl chickens are bantam naked necks x Silkie chickens bred for generations to achieve the fluffy, naked neck, bow-tie look.
Below: The Turken or Naked neck is the starting point for Showgirls.
Only NN Silkies are called showgirls. You need two copies of the naked neck gene but with all the other characteristics of the standard Silkie.
Below: A Showgirl with one copy of the naked neck gene will have tufts on the neck.
Below: 2 copies of the naked neck gene give a neck free of feathers.
Is there a difference between the term 'stripper showgirl' and just 'showgirl'?? And is there a variation of how much hair is on naked necked necks? Like I see some birds with just a head puff and then others with feather around and under their faces
Where to buy Showgirl Silkies and how much to pay:
The best way to find Showgirl chickens or showgirl hatching eggs for sale near your location is to find a local breeder or supplier. Look on:
- Facebook. Join Silkie groups or chickens for sale groups and either post a request or hunt through until you find someone who supplies what your looking for.
- Websites and forums. Backyard chickens forum has a suppliers listing and chickens and eggs for sale pages.
- Breed them yourself, it is not a difficult process but takes three years or so.
- Ebay and Etsy in some countries sell hatching eggs.
Frizzle showgirl chickens:
Silkie feathers are unique because they lack the barbicels that hold a normal feather together, so a Silkie feather resembles hair.
Here is a woolly chicken:
Can you breed Showgirl Silkies with other chickens?
In my experience, Silkies usually get on well with other chicken breeds and have no trouble breeding with other types or breeds of chickens as long as the sizes are similar. Its not wise to let a full grown rare breed rooster like a Rhode Island Red try to mate with a small Showgirl Silkie.
Showgirl Silkie breeding chart:
How old do Silkies have to be to breed?
If you are producing good stock the ideal age to breed Silkies and Showgirl chickens is from their 2nd to their 5th year. Birds in their fist year may nor be properly developed and faults may show later.
If your chickens are old enough to lay then in theory they are old enough to breed. Both Silkies and showgirls start to lay eggs around 7 to 9 months of age and fertile eggs will probably be produced within a few weeks provided they are in with a suitable male. Some will not lay until they are much older, I have had a few takes nearly a full year to get producing.
Both Showgirls and Silkie hens are legendary brooders with strong mothering instincts. They are plenty of tales of Silkie hens hatching and caring for other breeds of poultry as well as their own chicks.
Silkies are generally sweet-tempered, even the roosters are usually respectful and non-aggressive towards humans. Silkie hens are wonderful and make a great choice for a child's first 4-H project. A Silkie hen is never as happy as when she is sitting on a clutch of eggs, even if they're not her own!
Do Showgirl Silkies need extra care?
Silkie hens and showgirls pose no greater demands than any other normal chickens. With the one exception that because of their feather structure, they need low perches and nests or ladders to help them get to their roosts.
The bare skin on the neck means they ca not tolerate low temperatures like fully feathered chickens.
Showgirl females are usually very calm, sweet and gentle birds and make excellent pets, especially for children. Because of their gentle nature Showgirls may not do well in mixed flocks with breeds that have a more aggressive temperament and may suffer bullying.
Their Silkied feathers make them vulnerable to extreme cold, especially in wet weather, the feathered feet also require some care. They generally are not very predator aware, do not do well free ranging, and should be kept in a fenced in area.