There are many chicken breeds that you can add on your backyard. Among the best chickens to keep are fluffy chicken. They are good when kept as pets because they will shower you with company, love and affection.
Your fluffy chickens will provide you with meat and eggs as well as add color to your backyard. Having a fluffy chicken will ensure that those left overs and table scraps do not go to waste as your bird will enjoy them as teats.
So, what do you know about fluffy chicken? In this article, I am going to take you through some of the best fluffiest chicken breeds that are worth in your pallet coop.
Silkie chickens are popular for their dense and fluffy body feathers. They are not like normal common feathers but resemble fur somehow and have a satin or silky feel. These birds are often displayed in exhibitions for showing because they come in different color varieties and make good pets.
This chicken breed has a dark skin, blue earlobes and dark bones. They are different from other breeds of chicken as they have five toes on each foot unlike others that have four.
Silkie chickens are also known as Chinese silk chicken or silky. They have fluffy feathers that lack barbicels making them look like they are covered in dawn. They are very calm, docile with a friendly temperament.
Due to their docile nature, they are used to foster and raise young of other game birds like quails and domestic birds like ducks.
Silkie hens are known to go broody very easily and make excellent mothers as they care for their young very well. They do not lay many eggs because they go broody anytime disrupting their laying pattern. However, if you intend to keep them, expect a clutch of 100 small cream eggs per year.
Silkie chicken background
It is not yet clear where this breed of fluffy chicken originated, but they are associated with ancient China. Various sources say that Java and India and some other regions in Southeast Asia are possible sources of origin.
Some ancient scholars referred the silkie chicken breed as a furry chicken. They wrote of wool bearing chickens and ones clothed with hair like that of a black cat. Silkies are greatly admired for their thick fluffy coats and they are available in different color varieties.
Through the maritime trade and the silk route, this breed made its way to the West. It was officially accepted in America in 1874. Buyers were lured that silkie was a cross breed between chickens and rabbits.
Today many silkie keepers keep them as ornamental birds. They are also used to raise offspring’s of other birds like pheasants, quails and ducks.
Some keepers use them to hatch eggs of breeds such as Hamburg chickens because they do not get broody easily and make awful mothers.
Qualities of Silkie chickens
- Unlike some other chicken breeds that are heavy in weight, silkie chickens are not heavy. This makes them not preferred for meat because they cannot offer much of it. Silkie roosters weigh between 1 to 1.8 kilograms while females weigh between 900 g to 1.4 kilograms.
- Silkie feathers are very different from other birds. They lack barbicels and resembles down like the one in baby chicks. This quality makes some breeders keep them for their downy feathers that are used as ornaments.
- The bearded variety of silkies have extra muffs of feathers under the beak area that covers the earlobes
- They have five toes on each foot while other chicken breeds have four toes on each foot.
- Silkie chickens have turquoise blue earlobes, small walnut shaped beaks and dark wattles.
- All silkies have black or bluish bones, skin and grayish black meat. These color features are associated with melanism that extends beyond the skin into an animal’s connective tissue. In chickens it is caused by fibro melanosis.
Although Silkies are not excellent egg layers, hens can lay about 100 small eggs in a year. However, their laying pattern is often interrupted by their tendency to go broody.
Silkie eggs are edible and are a good source of protein. The rare dark meat from this breed is used to prepare several Asian cuisines. It is also regarded as gourmet food.
Silkie meat and soup was regarded as a curative medicine by the early Chinese in the 7th century. Silkie chicken eggs have a white or pinkish cream and are half the size of a standard egg.
This is another another breed of fluffy chicken worth having in your flock. Cochin chickens are an old breed that has been domesticated for many years.
These fluffy feet chicken are very hardy and can withstand cold very well. They are super calm, docile and friendly making good chicken pets for your kids.
Cochin bantams are very fluffy in nature with a dense plumage that makes them appear huge. They are short with feathers covering their legs.
They have red combs, earlobes and wattles. Their skin and feet are yellow with reddish bay eyes and a blackish beak.
These birds are very lazy and will spend most of their time in the chicken coop. Cochins are feed lovers and eat a lot. Keeping them for eggs will disappoint you because they are not good layers.
However, they get broody easily and make sweet mothers. Cochin roosters are unique in such a way that they will help the hens brood the eggs and even raise the young.
Bantam Cochin hens weigh 26oz while boys weigh about 30oz. An average mature roosters will weigh 6.5lbs while a hen can weigh as much as 5lbs. Cochin chickens take long before they reach maturity and do not do well in hot climatic zones.
These fluffy head chicken are very unique in appearance because they have a crest of feathers on their heads. They are sweet, friendly and are good to keep as pets.
The crest of feathers on their head is supported by a bony structure that resembles a bump. These feathers sometimes grow very big and block their vision making them easy preys for chicken predators like roccoons and coyotes.
Most polish chickens. are white in color with grey legs. However, there exists other different color varieties of this fluffy chicken breed like blue. Although they are dense feathered, they have no feathers on the feet.
In a year, female polish chickens will lay a bunch of 150 white eggs that are of a medium size. Polish hens will rarely get broody and make awful moms.
Male polish chickens weigh 6 ponds while ladies weigh 4.5 pounds.
This is an old breed that is very good for meat and eggs though it has recently become very rare. Introduction of industrial chickens that performed much better than the Dorking led to its decline.
These birds are available in white and grey color varieties. Dorking chickens have short legs. They are stout birds that are very good for meat and eggs.
The grey color variety has a large single comb while the white ones have a rose comb. These combs are deep red in color and are susceptible to frost bites during winter.
Female Dorking chickens are good layers of white or cream colored eggs. In a year, Dorking hens lay a clutch of 180 eggs.
These birds weigh about 8lbs. Their short legs makes them more meaty and have a long back and a broad chest making them ideal for meat.
These chickens are also referred as Russians or the Russian Orloff chickens. Someone might think they originate from Russia but that is not the case. The origin of this breed is actually the Persian Gulf and are currently very rare.
They are a cold hardy breed that is well feathered. The Orloff chicken breed is tall with yellow legs, skin and beak. They have thick neck feathers that are dense like a mane.
On their ears, these chickens have muff that covers the earlobes completely. They weigh 7 to 9 pounds and lay 100 eggs in a year.
Frizzles are a fluffy breed of chicken with curled or frizzled plumage. They are believed to originate from India where Charles Darwin wrote about them as Caffie fowl.
Several chicken breeds such as Polish, Cochin, Plymouth Rocks and Japanese Bantams are prone to frizzling. However, there are other chicken breeds that can be fried.
Silkie chickens are crossed with frizzles to get a sizzle.
They have single upright combs which are red so are the wattles and earlobes. The beak is yellow or of a horn color, eyes are red and the wings are long.
Frizzle chicken recognized color varieties includes: White, spangled, red, black, black-red, duckwing, Columbian, blue, brown, Pyle and cuckoo.
The body feathers are crisp, black and white barring with a high contrast. Female frizzle chickens are faithful layers of 120-150 small to medium eggs in a year. These eggs have a cream or tinted shell color.
Frizzle hens get broody easily and make sweet mothers. However, this fluffy chicken breed do not live long and most of them die while they are still baby chicks.
These ornamental chickens are sweet, calm and docile. Frizzle chicken roosters are known to be friendly and cuddly making good lap chickens.
Dominique chicken is an American breed characterized by black and white barred plumage and a rose comb. It is believed to be the oldest chicken breed kept for its brown eggs and white meat.
This breed is very rare and the Livestock Conservancy has listed it as endangered. Although there are no records kept to authenticate, it is believed that Dorking chickens and Speckled Sussex chickens from England were crossed to develop it.
They are medium sized birds that weigh between 5-6lbs. Cuckoo is the only recognized color variety and is sometimes referred to as the hawk coloration.
There are Dominique bantams although very rare and are only found with a few dedicated chicken breeders.
Dominique chickens have a rose comb which is red so are the wattles and earlobes. The beak is yellow, too are the legs and the skin. Their legs are clean and there are four well-spaced toes on each foot.
Female Dominique chickens are faithful layers of of 200 medium sized eggs in a year. The eggs have a brown eggshell color and weighs approximately 58g on an egg scale.
These chickens seldom get broody but once they hatch, make good and sweet mothers. The chicks are auto-sexing and are easy to tell the difference between a male chick from a female right after hatching.
Dominique chickens are calm, sweet and placid birds. However Dominique roosters can be very aggressive especially during the mating season.
These chickens will allow you to hold them and sit them on your lap. They will not mind following you around for tasty treats like pumpkins and dried mealworms.
They are excellent foragers and will roam on the backyard looking for tasty grubs, insects, weeds and seeds. However, they will do well too when confined in chicken cages and deep litter chicken coops.
It is good to have a fluffy chicken or several of them on your backyard. Some are avid foragers and they will make sure they help control weeds, insects and other small farm pests.
Some breeds of fluffy chickens like Silkies are very calm, friendly and make good pets. Chicken pets are good for your kids and other bird hobbyists. They offer love , affection and company to you as you go on with your daily chores.
Do you want a cheap source of meat and eggs? Having these chickens will make sure you have enough protein for you and your family. Do you keep fluffy chickens? Talk to us on the comment section.