Do Silkie Chickens Lay Eggs?

If you want a beautiful chicken breed with a friendly personality, your best bet is a silkie. Though the exact origin of silkies is unknown, the breed is thought to be from ancient China and was discovered in the 1200s.

The chickens are renowned for their furry looks and soft silk-like feathers. As such, most people keep silkies as ornamental birds. Others keep silkies for companionship because the chickens are cuddly, friendly, fun, and lovable.

However, chickens are also good options for egg production. Read on to learn more about egg laying in silkies and get a few pointers on how to care for the birds.

Egg-Laying Habits in Silkie Chickens

The egg-laying capabilities of silkie chickens are not as touted as their personalities and appearances, but these birds are good layers. They will lay 100-120 eggs annually because they are often broody which will interrupt their laying cycle.

Though this might not be as high as other chicken breeds, silkies are also good companions, so they offer good returns on your investment.

The hens start laying eggs later than other breeds, with some waiting until they are a year old to lay their first egg. Generally, most silkies lay their first egg at about 28 weeks compared to other breeds that lay at 16 weeks.

They will consistently lay eggs for the first two years, after which the production gradually declines. In most cases, a silkie’s egg production is 50% when the hen is five years old.

Silkie eggs are small to extra small, weighing about 55g. The eggs are white, but a few are cream or off-white. Silkie eggs are very tasty because the hens love free ranging and will find all sorts of insects and greenery that improve the quality of their eggs.

The yolks are bright yellow and tend to be larger when considered against the egg’s size. Silkie eggs are quite nutritious and low in calories. They are high in minerals, choline, good cholesterol, and vitamins. The eggs also help in weight loss, improve eye health and promote heart health.

Nutritional Requirements for Silkies to Lay Eggs

If your silkie is old enough to lay eggs and has not started or has suddenly stopped laying, this can be because of poor nutrition. Laying hens need enough nutrients to produce quality eggs, so egg production ceases when this requirement is not met. Below are the nutritional requirements for egg-laying silkies.

– Protein Needed For Egg Production

Egg-laying silkies need about 16-18% protein in their feeds for healthy egg production. This is because eggs white comprise 10% protein while the yolk has 16% protein. Besides supporting egg formation, your silkie hen will need protein to maintain its body processes and for bodybuilding.

Commercial layer feeds do not deliver enough protein for your egg-laying silkie. You can supplement the protein intake for your bird with seeds, sprouts, worms, parsley, peas, and dried larvae.

– Vitamins and Minerals Required

Silkies need approximately 4g of calcium daily to get the 2g needed to make one eggshell. Oyster grit is an ideal source of calcium for your hens. Vitamin D and phosphorous are also crucial for the integrity of eggshells.

Without these minerals and vitamins, your eggshells will get weaker and thinner, while the hens might have broken bones and weak legs. Other than these, you need trace minerals, including zinc, iron, selenium, copper, and manganese, in the diet of your egg-laying silkie for eggshell integrity.

– Greens to Supplement the Diet

Leafy greens and lettuce are excellent additions to the diets of egg-laying silkies because they enrich yolks. The greens are also full of water and nutrients that boost your birds’ health. Green beans are also good options for your silkie’s diet because they are high in the protein needed for healthy egg formation.

Breeding Habits of Silkie Chickens

Silkies are perfect for anyone who wants to breed because they are often broody and make wonderful mothers. Silkies start laying eggs at 7-10 months. One rooster is enough for mating with 5-10 hens.

Silkies lay 15-20 eggs before going broody, so you might struggle to get enough fertile eggs before your birds settle on nests. A silkie can sit on 8-10 eggs.

When choosing the eggs to hatch, pick those with the right color and size and those with clean, even, and smooth shells to guarantee the best results. Silkie eggs take 21 days to hatch, but some can hatch earlier.

Common Egg Laying Problems in Silkies and Prevention Tips

Though you will take steps to guarantee the production of quality eggs in your silkies, this will not completely negate egg-laying problems. Here are the three common issues and their prevention tips.

– Laying Eggs without Membranes or Shells

This issue is caused by a problem in the uterus. The hen’s uterus might be immature, or it could be a genetic issue in an aging hen. If you notice your silkie laying eggs with no membrane or shells, give your hen more time to mature and pay attention to its feeds to ensure it gets enough nutrients for egg production.

– Egg Yolk Peritonitis

This happens when fluid from your hen’s oviduct leaks into its abdominal cavity and gets infected because the yolk is a good place for E.coli bacteria to proliferate. Maintaining healthy weights in your flock and reducing their stress levels can prevent egg yolk peritonitis because the condition often occurs in stressed and overweight chickens.

– Egg Binding

In egg binding, an egg will be stuck in a hen’s cloaca, the end of the reproductive tract. It is often caused by infections, obesity, malformed eggs, premature laying, worms, lack of calcium, and stress. Avoiding these triggers will protect your hens from egg binding.


The above information has pointed you to a beautiful and friendly chicken breed that can get you eggs for your table or sale; the silkie. You now know all about your silkie’s eggs and how to prevent the common issues you might face.

Be careful when buying your chicken, and only get one from an authorized breeder. This protects you from getting stuck with a diseased chicken and ensures your silkie’s genetics are the best ones for the next generation.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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