How Much Does a Silkie Chicken Cost?

Last Updated on June 28, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

With their distinctive fluffy plumage and sweet, docile personalities, Silkie chickens have become hugely popular backyard birds over recent years. But what’s the full cost and commitment involved with adding these unique chickens to your flock?

Silkies originate from Asia and come in many color variations and patterns. Despite their petite size, they are hardy and easy to handle. Their ultra-calm temperament and strong mothering instincts also make them ideal for households with children. Here’s a guide on what to realistically expect when it comes to buying, raising, and caring for these special birds over their 7-10 year lifespan.


  • Chick prices range from just $5 into the $200s for show quality birds.
  • Budget $1,000 to $5,000+ for infrastructure like coops and runs.
  • Care costs per bird average $500+ annually for optimal health.
  • Adult hens offer cost savings over baby chicks.
  • Vet emergencies may run $200 to $2,000 for issues like prolapses.
  • Shopping around helps find fair Silkie pricing within most budgets.

How Much Does a Silkie Chicken Cost?

On average, plan on spending $5 to $200 to purchase Silkie chicks or hens depending on age, quality, color, and lineage. Then budget around $1,000 to $5,000 in upfront and ongoing expenses for proper housing, nutritional feed, and veterinary care.

Silkie prices span based on multiple factors:

Baby Chicks

  • Basic colors – $5 to $15 per chick
  • Rare colors/patterns – $15 to $25 per chick

Juvenile Pullets

  • Started hens – $20 to $60 each
  • Show quality – $60 to $100

Adult Laying Hens

  • Proven layers – $30 to $120
  • Broody hens – $60 to $150

Adult Males

  • Basic roosters – $20 to $60
  • Show roosters – $75 to $200

You’ll pay a premium for rare colors like black, blue, or splash and birds from award-winning show bloodlines. Backyard breeders often price lower than show enthusiasts.

My Pet Chicken states that the average cost of a Silkie chicken ranges from $3 to $10 per chick, depending on the breeder and the specific variety of Silkie. The website explains that Silkies are a popular and unique breed of chicken known for their fluffy, soft feathers and small size, which contributes to their higher price compared to more common chicken breeds.

Cackle Hatchery offers Silkie chickens for sale, with prices ranging from $4.95 to $8.95 per chick, depending on the color variety. The website highlights that Silkies are a docile and friendly breed, making them a popular choice for backyard chicken owners and hobbyists.

Purely Poultry provides a range of Silkie chicken prices, with standard Silkie chicks costing $5.95 each, while rare and specialty Silkie varieties can cost up to $19.95 per chick. The website notes that the higher-priced Silkies are often in high demand due to their unique appearance and desirability among chicken enthusiasts.

The Hoover’s Hatchery lists Silkie chickens for sale, with prices starting at $5.95 per chick for standard Silkie varieties and reaching up to $12.95 per chick for more rare or exotic Silkie color patterns. The website emphasizes the importance of purchasing Silkies from reputable hatcheries to ensure the health and quality of the birds.

Upfront Costs for Housing Silkie Chickens

Keeping chickens requires some key one-time infrastructure purchases before acquiring your flock:

Coop for Housing

  • Basic small coop for 2-4 hens – $200 to $600
  • Large custom coop for 10+ birds – $1,500 to $5,000

Outdoor Enclosed Run

  • Small chicken run – $200 to $500
  • Large secure run with roof – $800 to $2,000

Brooder Supplies for Chicks

  • Brooder heat lamp setup – $75 to $200
  • Pine shavings for litter – $10 to $30
  • Chick feeders and waterers – $20 to $50

Miscellaneous Supplies

  • Feed storage bins – $50 to $150
  • Cleaning tools, buckets, disinfectants – $50 to $100

Total Upfront Costs – $1,000 to $5,000+

Performing DIY construction and sourcing supplies affordably reduces costs substantially.

Annual Silkie Chicken Care Expenses

In addition to upfront purchases, annual care adds ongoing costs:

High Quality Feed and Supplements

  • Chicken feed – $150 to $300+
  • Oyster shell for calcium – $25 to $50
  • Probiotics and vitamins – $25 to $100

Fresh Bedding

  • Pine shavings – $150 to $300
  • Straw or rice hulls – $50 to $150

Routine Veterinary Care

  • Annual check-ups – $75 to $150
  • Medications/treatments as needed – $50 to $200

Cleaning Supplies

  • Disinfectants, soaps, sprays – $50 to $150

Property Enhancements

  • Fencing, landscaping, drainage – $250 to $2,000

Total Yearly Expenses Per Bird – $500 to $1,500+

Have an emergency vet fund for surprise issues like prolapses, infections, or injuries.

You might also like our articles about the cost of cornish game hens, chicken feed, or chicken rental.

Silkie Chicken Prices vs Other Breeds

Standard dual-purpose breeds like Plymouth Rocks, Orpingtons, and Rhode Island Reds typically cost just $2 to $25 per chick for basic colors and quality.

Specialty purebreds such as Polish, Brahmas, Cochin, or Marans range from $25 to $75 per chick for standard colors.

Rarer specialty breeds including Ayam Cemanis, Sultans, or Sumatras sell for $50 to $300+ depending on lineage.

So Silkies occupy a middle ground, with their cute fluffiness and delightful personalities commanding a justified premium over ordinary chickens. But they cost less than the absolute rarest breeds.

Where to Buy Quality Silkie Chickens

Reputable Silkie sourcing options include:

Local Chicken Breeders – The optimal way to select the exact birds you want while inspecting health and temperament. Allows custom orders.

Specialized Mail-Order Hatcheries – Convenient shipping direct to your door but cannot assess birds in-person before purchase.

Farm and Feed Stores – Flexible local pickup but very limited Silkie breed availability compared to other chicken varieties.

Poultry Swaps and Shows – Opportunity to meet area breeders and compare Silkies firsthand.

Local Classified Listings – With caution, sometimes quality birds available from neighbors and area farmers. Vet sellers thoroughly.

Always verify your source’s credentials, experience, and reputation for assurance of bird health and ethical practices.

Finding Affordable Silkie Chickens

Silkie Chicken in GrassHere are some tips for locating Silkies at reasonable prices:

  • Check local rescues, shelters, and rehoming programs for adoption opportunities
  • Network with area Silkie owners and breeders through chicken enthusiast Facebook groups and online forums
  • Contact 4H clubs, agricultural extensions, and poultry associations for breeder referrals
  • Consider adopting adult hens instead of more expensive baby chicks
  • Remain open-minded to males and mixed color pairings to potentially save money
  • Offer to be put on waiting lists for upcoming hatches and broods

With some flexibility and proactive outreach, quality Silkies can fit many budgets.

Considerations Before Getting Silkies

Pros of Keeping Silkies

  • Sweet, friendly personalities ideal for children
  • Compact size means they require less space than large fowl
  • Unique appearance from their fluffy, hair-like plumage

Potential Downsides to Consider

  • Not prolific layers compared to production-focused breeds
  • Require extra winter weather protection and heat due to lack of flight feathers
  • Roosters tend to be noisy with constant crowing that may disturb neighbors

While not perfect for every flock, their charm makes Silkies a wonderful addition for the right owners.

Total 5 Year Cost of Owning Silkie Chickens

Silkies have long 7-10 year lifespans. Here are estimated expenses for a small backyard flock over five years:

One-Time Upfront Purchases

  • 2-4 baby chicks or juveniles @ $25 each = $50 to $100
  • Basic 4 hen coop and enclosed run = $800 to $1,500
  • Brooder and starter supplies = $150 to $300

Yearly Recurring Costs Per Bird

  • Feed, supplements, treats = $150 to $250
  • Bedding = $75 to $125
  • Routine vet care = $100 to $200
  • Miscellaneous supplies = $50 to $100

Total 5 Year Cost Per Bird

  • = $2,500 to $4,000+

Proper preventative care reduces surprise vet expenses over a Silkie’s lifetime.

Geographic Variations in Pricing

Location impacts chicken prices, both upfront and ongoing:

Northeast and West Coast Prices – Higher demand and costs of living push Silkie prices 20-60% above national averages in states like California, New York, Washington and Massachusetts.

Southeast and Midwest Pricing – More affordable overall chicken costs in rural states like Alabama, Ohio, and Indiana where poultry farming has deep roots. Silkies run 10-40% below national averages here.

Availability – While pricier, urban areas have far greater breeder options. Rural areas make finding Silkies much harder.

Consider cost of living, availability, and breeder competition when budgeting different regions.

Recent and Projected Pricing Trends

Both current and prospective owners should be aware of market conditions:

Past 5 Years

  • Purebred chick prices up 15-25% across rare breeds
  • Feed, medication, and vet costs up 8-12%

Next 5 Years Forecasts

  • Continued specialty breed price increases amid limited breeding stock
  • Ongoing above-inflation pet market healthcare cost inflation
  • Potential plateaus as backyard chickens saturate demand

Adjust budgets regularly to account for relentless increases in chicken care costs.

Cost Saving Strategies

While not cheap pets, the following tips help contain costs:

  • Build coops, runs, and accessories yourself rather than purchasing
  • Grow or forage for treats to supplement commercial feed
  • Purchase supplies in bulk quantities whenever feasible
  • Join a local chicken enthusiast group to split costs
  • Use rewards credit cards for regular purchases to earn cashback
  • Take advantage of occasional breeder discounts and sales

With some good spending, Silkies can fit many family budgets.

Final Words

From fluffy peeping chicks to sweet laying hens, Silkie chickens captivate owners with their puppy-like personalities and unique feathered appearance. But acquiring and properly caring for them represents a substantial commitment.

Realistically budgeting for upfront purchases alongside at least $500 annually for quality food, housing, and veterinary care ensures you can provide the enriching environment Silkies need to thrive. Some advance planning and reasonable expectations makes finding affordable Silkies possible, leading to an incredible long term chicken keeping experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Silkies a rare breed?

While Silkies are still uncommon compared to popular breeds like Plymouth Rocks or Orpingtons, improved breeding networks mean they are no longer rare in the United States. Their Asian heritage and extensive breeding does make them a specialized breed.

Are Silkies hard to keep alive?

Silkies are actually quite robust once matured and not prone to many major health issues. Their fluffy feathering does necessitate extra protection from sustained cold and dampness. And their rear fluff requires occasional cleaning to prevent soiling. Otherwise, they are fairly resilient and easy to own.

Can you eat Silkie eggs?

Yes, Silkie eggs are 100% edible and safe to cook or bake with just like eggs from other chicken breeds. The taste, nutritional profile, and culinary uses for recipes are identical to standard chicken eggs. Some owners choose not to eat Silkie eggs simply to maximize those available for hatching new chicks. But there are no downsides to consuming them.

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