Yesterday we talked about the Falkland Steamer Duck that likes to battle it out UFC style with anything even looking at their territory. Today we are going to the other extreme. This Flightless Bird is called a Silkie which just happens to be a breed of chicken with silk-like plumage. Unlike the Steamer Duck this chicken species are very calm and have a rather friendly behaviour. In fact they are known to be one of the more docile of the chicken species. Good thing too since I think you would just want to cuddle these little balls of fur….ummm… feathers.
It is obvious to see the chicken qualities in the Silkie but they also have quite a few differences. Actually, the differences they have are rather bizarre but interesting. Unlike other chickens the Silkie has a thing for blue. Yup, they have dark blue flesh and bones, and of course blue earlobes to match their flesh colour. It is all about accessorizing with the Silkie. They also have five toes on each foot. Now I know you are thinking this isn’t weird but it is since most chickens only have four toes. I wonder what they use the fifth toe for?
There are two distinct varieties of Silkies. We have the bearded and of course non-bearded types. The bearded Silkies must be sensitive about their blue ear lobes as they have an additional tuff of feathers under their beak which covers those blue earlobes. I think the bearded Silkies need to gain a little self-confidence and be happy with the way they look. Both varieties of Silkies come in a range of colours including red, white, black, blue (of course) and gray.
Okay, so are you wondering why this chicken has dark blue bones and flesh? Well, it is attributed to a fairly rare character trait for chickens in which melanism extends through the flesh and into the connective tissues. This blue-black-gray coloured flesh doesn’t stop people from eating these little guys though. Even though we may find it unusual in North America it is considered to be gourmet food in some Asian cuisines. I think I will stick with the normal chicken for now. Besides the Silkies are just to darn cuddly to eat.
Another non-flying day is in the books or at least in the archives of the internet. I hope you are enjoying the Flightless Birds and will join me tomorrow for another unusual bird species.