Silkies are ‘furry’ hens, with an array of unique colors and stunning appearances. They’re docile, friendly, and sociable, which is why they’re gaining popularity as house pets.
Some pet parents also claim that they get much fewer allergies around Silkies than they do around dogs, cats, or hamsters. If this were true, it would be such great news for these folks who start sneezing whenever a kitten or a puppy walks by.
So Are Silkie Chickens Hypoallergenic?
Although they don’t have regular fur like cats, dogs, or other animals, they can still trigger allergies in people. All warm-bodied mammals can provoke allergies in people. That said, they don’t produce as much dander as other chickens and pets.
The Silkie chicken has become a popular pet because many people believe they don’t trigger allergies. But, before you get one, you need to know how to care for a Silkie.
Many people with animal allergies would love to have a friendly pet that doesn’t trigger uncomfortable reactions. We did some research about the matter, and here’s what we found.
Why Pets Cause Allergies?
Allergies happen when a particular substance irritates the immune system of a person. There’s a wide array of such substances, and they could be chemical, natural, or biological. People are known to get hives if they get in contact with synthetic clothes, the pollen of roses, or some pets’ biological secretions.
In the case of animals, the allergens, or the substances that trigger the pet allergy, are proteins. Dogs, cats, birds, and even rodents have such allergens on their bodies. These proteins can be found in the animals’ excrement, urine, saliva, fur, dander, or skin.
Once allergic people come across these allergens, their bodies perceive these proteins as a threat, and their immune systems act accordingly. The first reaction is producing antibodies in response to the invasion. This is accompanied by the secretion of histamine, which is responsible for the host of allergy symptoms.
People could be allergic to specific animals only. A person can be triggered by a cat’s fur, but not a dog’s, or vice versa. Also, the severity of an allergic reaction differs widely from one person to the next. While they might just have a sneezing fit, others would get skin eczema, respiratory problems, or itchy eyes.
Would Silkies give anyone an allergic reaction? Let’s see.
Would Silkies, Birds, or Chicken Cause Allergies?
Even though it’s not a much-talked-about subject, various kinds of birds do cause allergies as well. People could get the same irritating reaction from being around canaries that they would around cats. A chicken allergy could extend to eating meat or eggs as well.
A chicken’s feathers, bird down, droppings, or dust accumulated to the feathers, can trigger allergies in a person.
That’s why parrots, parakeets, pigeons, or the cute little love birds, could all make a person go into a fit of sneezing.
There’s also an unrelated respiratory reaction that could be contracted by proximity to chicken or birds. That is the Histoplasmosis, a fungal organism capable of wreaking havoc, pretty similar to what allergies do.
It often presents as a persistent cough and sometimes shortness of breath.
The accumulation of bird droppings causes this illness and inhaling the air surrounding that dirt. General hygiene and cleaning around the birds should minimize its occurrence.
Avian flu also starts with symptoms that mimic allergies, but other symptoms develop soon, which sets it apart from an allergy.
Silkies are a bit different from the other birds and chicken in their being rather ‘furry.’
However, this is not precisely fur; it is a down material. Furthermore, they’re still warm-blooded creatures, and as such, capable of producing the allergens that trigger an immune-system disturbance.
What Are the Signs of Having a Pet Allergy?
Allergies can present in a variety of ways. The severity of the allergic reaction varies from one person to the next and from one trigger to another.
The same person could react to the same trigger differently across age, season, and geographic location. Even the psychology and mood matter in how hard the allergic reaction could be.
Some of the common signs of a pet allergy are as follows:
- Watery, red, or itchy eyes
- A runny nose
- A congested nose
- Having slight or nasty hives
- Redness of the skin
- Excessive sneezing
- Intermittent or consistent coughing
- Shortness of breath
- A full-on asthma
What Makes a Pet Hypoallergenic?
Some people think that being around hairless animals or shed a little hair is entirely safe for allergic folks. However, this is more wishful thinking than a hard truth.
All warm-blooded animals are capable of producing allergens or irritation, causing proteins. And not just by shedding their hair. Allergens are known to be present in saliva, dander, dust, and excrement.
You might be wondering now, if that’s the case, then how can a pet be hypoallergenic?
It was observed that some breeds of dogs, cats, rodents, and birds trigger allergies less than others. They might groom themselves a little less, are small in size, or they don’t spread their bodily substances everywhere. When contained in a cage or separate room from others.
Regular cleaning around the pet and keeping the rooms well-ventilated also decrease the allergens’ quantity and potency that animals can produce.
While there aren’t any animals with zero allergens, some are easier to live around than others. In other words, the situation is manageable around them. Having said that, it’s time to see where Silkies stand and whether or not they’re hypoallergenic.
Are Silkies Hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic pets’ list includes certain breeds that don’t put out excessive amounts of the disturbing protein. This includes poodles, Bedlington Terriers, Bichon Frise, and Irish Water Spaniels. Hypoallergenic cats are a bit harder to find. Among the less allergenic types are Sphinx cats, Siberian cats, and Cornish Rexes.
Rodents like Chinchillas, hamsters, and Ferrets are often kept inside their cages. And so, they don’t spread their allergens everywhere the way cats and dogs often do.
A rigorous cleaning scheme for the rodent cage can also eliminate much of the contamination that carries unwanted allergens.
Birds, too, can be hypoallergenic companions, with the parakeet topping the list. Similar to the situation with rodents, birds are placed in cages. That’s why there’s a limited spread of their allergens. You should be careful, though, when they start flapping their wings.
Silkies are a bit different from parakeets in the kind of feathers they have, their grooming habits, and how they’re kept at the house.
Silkies aren’t known to shed too often, so that’s a plus point towards being hypoallergenic. Their care includes frequent bathing as well as maintaining their coup in mint condition. It minimizes the possibility of accumulating allergens.
However, they do roam around the backyard, the garden, or even inside the house. Silkies are such friendly and sociable pets that their friends rarely keep them in a closed space. This, of course, increases the spread of allergens around the house.
In general, Silkies aren’t as irritating as a Maincoon cat for an allergic person. And there are so many happy stories of allergic people finally finding a pet that wouldn’t make them sneeze. The science of this is still inconclusive, though, so allergic people need to practice caution around Silkies or any other pets.
The first time Silkies were mentioned in recent history goes back to the memoires of Marco Polo, which were written in the thirteenth century. In his journals, the legendary explorer tells stories about spotting ‘furry’ chicken in China, India, and java.
Silkies got their name from the rich mane of extra-soft down that covers their skin. They come in many fascinating colors like snow white, deep black, grey, buff, and hazel. There are also red and lavender varieties, but they aren’t as abundant as the other colors.
These extraordinary chickens also have a friendly sunny temperament, and they’re fun to be around. Another thing that makes Silkies attractive as pets are the belief that they’re hypoallergenic. Even though there isn’t sufficient research to this date that supports this claim, many pet owners relate their favorable experiences with Silkies.
That’s why having this unique bird as a pet is an extraordinary thing, and more people are welcoming Silkies to their homes every day.