Can You Identify This Mystery Chicken Breed?

Do you know this mystery chicken breed? With black skin and hair-like feathers, this bantam breed of chickens makes popular poultry for pets and exhibition.

by Chickens Magazine HQ
PHOTO: Елена Фаенкова/Adone Stock

Chickens and other poultry members come in all sizes, shapes, colors and personalities. Nearly 400 recognized breeds and varieties of poultry exist, including large-fowl and bantam chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and guinea fowl. Using our illustration and a few selected hints, can you guess which mystery chicken breed we have depicted here?

Find out the answer below!


  • China and Japan both claim the origin of these unique bantams. The earliest recorded history of them occurs in Marco Polo’s writings about his travels to the Orient. 
  • This breed has black skin, its feathers feel much like hair and it comes in bearded and nonbearded varieties. 
  • Murray McMurray states that they are “striking in appearance with their white plumage and mulberry-colored combs, faces and wattles.” The ear lobes are a light blue turquoise.

Read more: Bantam chickens are perfect for the backyard.


The mystery chicken breed depicted above is the Silkie. The Silkie is a bantam breed used mainly for exhibition and as pets. However, due to Silkie hens’ extreme broodiness, they make wonderful surrogate hatchers, as well. It was recognized in the American Poultry Association’s first Standard of Perfection, published in 1874.

Silkies are sweet, ultradocile chickens. They lay about one small, tinted egg per week. They are broody hens and are supremely happy to hatch the eggs of other birds. Gray-black Silkie chicken meat is in an element in Asian haute cuisine. 

To learn more about this beautiful breed, click here! To purchase the White Silkie Bantam, please visit Murray McMurray Hatchery.

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This mystery chicken breed was brought to you by Murray McMurray Hatcherywhich provides the highest quality poultry and auxiliary products to its customers and has been a trusted, knowledgeable industry resource for more than 100 years. Whether you are an experienced or novice enthusiast, Murray McMurray is sure you will enjoy its wide selection of breeds and supplies to assist you with raising your flock!

This mystery chicken breed feature originally appeared in the January/February 2023 issue of Chickens magazine.

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