Known for their fur-like free-moving feathers, this is an ancient small breed. It has black and purple skin and five toes (most chickens only have four toes). Thought to have originated in China, India or Japan, Silkies arrived in Europe around 200 years ago. Records of a ‘cat like’ chicken were found in diaries of Marco Polo’s travels in China in the 13th century. A friendly, calm bird they make lovely pets and good broody mothers. Varieties include, black, blue, gold, white, partridge, triple laced partridge, triple laced silver partridge, grey, cuckoo, red and buff.