Silkie chicken farming is very popular throughout the world. Because it is one of the most popular and beloved ornamental chicken breed. And it is one of the most entertaining birds to watch. It is very popular among the hobby poultry keepers.
The breed was named as ‘Silkie chicken’, mainly because of it’s a typical fluffy plumage, which is said to feel like silk. It has hair-like plumage, which is considered as actual mammalian fur.
The Silkie chicken is also known simply as ‘Silky’, and it is a very old Asiatic chicken breed. Exact origin of this breed is uncertain, although these birds have been around for several hundred years. It is thought to be originated in China, India or Japan. But the exact location from where they were developed or found is unknown.
The Silkie chickens arrived in Europe around 200 years ago, and reached the United Kingdom around the mid 1880s. These birds were first admitted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Today, the Silkie chickens very popular throughout the world mainly as an ubiquitous ornamental chicken breed. But they are also kept for exhibition purpose. There is a bantam version of this breed available.
However, you can start commercial Silkie chicken farming business. You will be able to make good profit from this business, as the Silkie is an ornamental chicken breed. The ornamental chicken breeds are generally sold at very high prices in the market.
How to Start Silkie Chicken Farming
Starting Silkie chicken farming business is very easy and simple. It’s just like starting an ornamental chicken farming business with any other ornamental chicken breeds. Here we are trying to describe more information about starting and operating a successful Silkie chicken farming business from purchasing birds to caring and marketing.
First of all, you have to purchase very good quality, healthy and disease free birds for starting your Silkie chicken farming business. Purchasing good quality birds is very important, because good quality birds are the key to better production and maximum profits.
You can purchase either day old chicks or mature birds depending on the price and availability in your area. The mature birds are generally sold at very high price in the market, while the day old chicks are much cheaper. We recommend starting with day old chicks.
The Silkie chickens are very common and available throughout the world. So you will probably able to easily source these birds. You can purchase the chicks from any of your nearest poultry chick suppliers, chicken breeding centers or any existing Silkie chicken farms. You can also search your local online classified websites.
Making a good housing system is very important for Silkie chicken farming business. Because a good house not only helps the birds to stay healthy, but also helps them to stay free from different types of wild predators, and adverse weather conditions.
The type of the house can be any depending on your budget and also on the availability of the materials. The house can be of full concrete setup or you can build the house with easily available and low cost materials.
Install good ventilation system inside the house. Because good ventilation system helps to reduce harmful gases from inside the house and keeps your birds healthy.
Ensure flow of sufficient amount of fresh air and light inside the house. And make the house in such a way so that you can easily clean the house. And also ensure that the house is always kept in dry conditions, because feathers of the Silkie chicken are not waterproof.
The Silkie chickens are classed as a large breed. And as they are ornamental chickens, so on average a mature Silkie chicken will require around or up to 10 square feet of housing space.
Feeding the birds with very good quality, healthy and nutritious food is the most important part of Silkie chicken farming business. Because good food not only helps the birds to stay healthy, but also helps them to grow better and produce more. So, always try to feed your chickens with good and nutritious food.
You can feed your chickens either with ready-made/commercial poultry feeds, or you can prepare the feeds of your own. Just ensure that the food is good and healthy for your birds.
Never feed your chickens with contaminated feeds. And always try to provide them with enough clean and fresh drinking water as per their demand.
The Silkie chickens are good for raising in both confinement and free range system. But raising them in free range system will help you to reduce feeding costs, and at the same time it will help the birds to produce better quality products.
Like many other domestic chicken breeds, the Silkie chickens are naturally very good breeders. They will breed easily and produce fertile eggs for hatching if you keep good ratio of hens and roosters in your flock. Generally one healthy rooster is enough for breeding around or up to 10 hens.
The Silkie chickens are very calm, trusting and of friendly behavior. They are unable to fly and can be kept easily with low fencing. They are very good for backyard flock. They generally do little or no damage to the garden if given access to roam freely.
The hens are not among the very good layers. They lay only a few cream or tinted colored eggs. But they are great mothers and go broody frequently. And the hens are supremely happy to hatch the eggs of other birds.
However, they require some special caring for keeping their feathers in good conditions. They should be kept in dry conditions, because their feathers are not waterproof. Monitor their health on a regular basis for any signs of diseases or illness and take necessary steps if you notice anything uncommon. Vaccinate them timely and always try to keep good contact with a vet in your area.
Marketing chicken products is not a problem. Because both eggs and meat of chicken have very good demand and value in the market. But marketing ornamental birds can be a little bit difficult. Because demand and value of ornamental birds are not same in all areas. So determine your marketing strategies before starting this business.
These are the common ways and steps for starting and operating a successful Silkie chicken farming business. Raising Silkie chickens is very easy, even the beginners can also raise them. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!