Our breakfast table may not be devoid of a delicious omelet dish. Eggs are generally included in many cooking recipes and cannot be dispensed with. But what about the quality of eggs and is there a preference for one type over another?
In this article, we’re discussing one of the chicken breeds known for its distinctive and rich eggs. They are the beautiful silkie chickens. Are they considered as good egg layers among other breeds? should you raise them for their eggs? And how can you increase your eggs production from silkies? we will discuss everything related to their egg production and their egg characteristics in detail.
Are Silkie Chickens Good Egg Layers?
No, Silkie chickens are not so good egg layers. They only lay about 2 to 3 small eggs per week! which is a very poor number and is not reliable as a respectable source for obtaining eggs. Despite this, Silkie eggs are of a higher nutritional value than superior eggs of other chicken breeds.
Silkie chickens are also excellent mothers and incubators. They like to lay eggs even if they are not their own. They also breed and care for the chicks even if they stay with her for a long time.
Silkies As Egg-Layers
A. Egg Production
1. Number of eggs per year
Silkie chickens lay about 100 to 120 eggs per year.
2. Egg size
Silkie eggs are relatively small but still larger than those of other small Putnam subspecies. Silkie eggs range from only 35 to 60 grams while the average egg weight of other large subspecies is around 65 to 70 grams.
3. Egg color
Silkie eggs are often white or range from off-white to cream.
B. Egg Quality
1. Nutritional value
Although Silkie chicken eggs are small in size, they are a real treasure full of beneficial nutrients. So the issue is not only in shape and size, as you may eat a large egg that only gives your poor nutritional value.
Experts rate Silkie eggs as highly nutritious eggs as they are high in calcium, potassium, and vitamins E, D, B6, and B2.
A comparison study between Silkie chicken eggs and other chicken eggs yielded impressive results about the nutritional value of Silkie eggs. It was found that the weight of the yolk to the weight of the whole egg is much greater in silkies than those in other chickens.
It was also found that the amount of cholesterol in silkie poultry eggs is about P.<0.01 which is lower than the percentages of cholesterol found in eggs of other chickens. As were the proportions of calcium and potassium and the proportions of vitamins (B2, D, B6, E) in silkie poultry eggs are much higher than those contained in other chicken eggs. Moreover, the percentages of unsaturated fatty acids in silkie poultry eggs are more than those in other chickens.
The percentages of unsaturated fatty acids in silkie are about 62.5% of the total fatty acids. While the percentages of unsaturated fatty acids in other chicken eggs are about 53.9%. Silkie eggs were not satisfied with this, as the study showed that the proportions of arachidonic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, and docosapentaenoic acid are much greater in Silkie than in other chicken eggs.
Silkie chicken eggs taste very good, similar to regular eggs, and better than them. As the yolk of a silkie egg is large in relation to the size of the egg compared to other eggs, as we mentioned above. which makes it taste rich and delicious.
The taste of silkie chicken eggs depends on how they were raised, whether the silkie hen is free or caged. If the silkie hen is free in a wide range, the taste of the eggs will be stronger and richer. That free range provides them with access to fresh air, and they can roam freely, foraging on weeds and eating insects.
The taste of free-range Silkie chicken eggs will far outweigh the taste of store-bought eggs. Hens in egg farms do not get the same opportunities for the outdoors, free-roaming, and varied food, instead, they are stacked in cages and fed on Manufactured feed only.
Factors Affecting Egg Production
1. Egg production timeline
Silkies are slow in growth and it takes a long time for the chickens to mature and lay eggs. Silkie chickens start laying eggs after about 7-9 months of age.
Some Silkie chicken may be delayed even further. Some hens can take up to a year to start laying eggs! But on the other hand, Silkie lays eggs throughout the year without stopping, even on cold days. Unlike other chickens that stop laying eggs in winter, Silkie continues to lay eggs continuously without stopping for two years or so.
2. Age-related decline
After two years of continuous laying, Silkie’s egg production begins to gradually decline. Egg production decreases at the age of five, reaching 50% of what it used to lay before. after which it begins to decline dramatically until it stops producing eggs at the age of eight.
1. Balanced diet
Chickens should get a balanced diet that contains the nutrients necessary for egg production. insufficient levels of energy or calcium and protein can lead to reduced egg production.
It should not be satisfied with one type of feed such as whole grains, scratch feed, or table waste, as this will lead to an imbalance and inadequacy of the birds’ diet. Rather, the diet of laying hens must be balanced while they are at a young age to obtain eggs of high quality and respectable production. This is what we will discuss in more detail in the following lines.
2. Nutrient deficiencies
An unbalanced diet often causes problems, such as egg drops and prolapse. Prolapse occurs either when the bird is too fat or the egg is too large and the hen’s reproductive system may be expelled along with the egg. This results in chronic harm to the chicken and can be fatal in most cases.
How To Improve Egg Production In Silkies?
Feed Type And Quality
The nutrients that laying hens should get:
is very necessary for laying hens, as the eggshell consists mainly of calcium carbonate. Chicks do not need large amounts of calcium during the growth period. but it becomes very important once eggs are produced. Chickens’ need for calcium increases at least four times after the first egg production.
Chickens are exposed to osteoporosis and may become unable to stand in the event of exhaustion of calcium stock in their bones and not getting what to replace.
Calcium can be supplied in the chicken’s diet from ground limestone or oyster shell.
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential component for the absorption and utilization of calcium. If chickens are fed feed that does not contain adequate amounts of vitamin D, induced calcium deficiency will occur and egg production will decrease.
Vitamin D3 is more active than D2 for birds. Therefore, poultry feed must contain vitamin D in the form of D3.
When the chickens start laying eggs, the protein requirement increases daily due to the deposition in the eggs. If the dietary protein is low, it will lead to poor egg production and low hatchability.
Dietary fats are a source of energy and are used to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). Linoleic acid is one of the essential fatty acids needed by chickens. A deficiency of linoleic acid in the feed negatively affects egg production.
Some people may wonder when they know that chicken needs salt, but this is true, as chickens have an innate desire to eat salt. Lack of salt in the diet leads to decreased egg production and increased feather pecking.
The chickens should get light from 12 to 14 hours a day. The light helps to strengthen the eggshell and stimulates the chickens to eat water and feed.
Optimal temperature range
Chicken can lay eggs efficiently at ranges from 19 to 24 degrees Celsius.
Interested to learn more about the advantages of silkie chicken? Feel free to check our guide here on what are silkie chicken used for!
How Many Eggs Can A Silkie Bantam Sit On?
Silkie can lay about 10 eggs from small bantam eggs. while it can lay only 6 large eggs from other chicken breeds.
What Age Do Bantam Silkies Start Laying?
At the age of 7 to 9 months.
Can Silkies Lay 2 Eggs A Day?
No, Silkie can’t lay 2 eggs a day.