How to Sex a Silkie Chicken

farm image by Richard McGuirk from

Silkie chickens are among the most androgynous animals on the farm. With long, soft fur that is said to feel like silk, they're beautiful and delicate animals. It is impossible to tell at birth whether your silkie is a male or a female, as both sexes have internal sexual organs and their distinguishing features don't develop for several months. Knowing the sex of your silkie chicken will help you develop a breeding plan and take inventory of your farm's assets.

Judge the size of your silkie chickens. The bigger chickens are likely males; the smaller silkies are likely females.

Note when the comb develops. The chicken's comb is a fleshy growth on the chicken's head; in silkie chickens, it resembles a red or pink walnut. It is common for female silkies to develop a comb before the males. If you have a smaller chicken with an early comb, it likely a female.

Look at the hackles. Hackles are the long, soft feathers on a chicken's neck. If they develop streamers on their hackles, your silkies are female.

See if your silkie chicken crows. Only male silkies crow, so this is a definite sign that your chicken is a male.

Check under your mature silkie chicken for eggs. Only females lay eggs, so if your chicken gives you eggs, you'll know for sure she's a female.

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