With their amusing, curled feathers, the frizzle chicken is truly a unique addition to any backyard or farm. After all, this bird has been around for centuries and continues to be a popular choice for those who love poultry.
Raising and breeding frizzle chickens, however, can be challenging. In order to maintain a healthy flock and produce hardy birds, you need to know the basics about this unique kind of chicken.
Whether you’re an experienced poultry keeper or a first-timer, this article will help you get started with your own herd of frizzles. Read on to learn more about these curly-feathered wonders!
Frizzle Chicken Overview
|White, white Columbian, buff, blue, red, brown, black, black-red, brown-red, cuckoo, spangled, Pyle, duckwing, silver-gray
|Common Frizzle Breeds:
|Cochin, Plymouth Rock, Polish Bantam, Silkies, Japanese Bantam, Orpington
|$3–$10 per chick
|Known for Broodiness:
|2–4 eggs per week; 120–150 eggs in a single year
|White or cream
|Suitable for Beginners:
What Causes Frizzle?
If you’re wondering why some chickens have feathers curling outwards, it is a common condition. This unique look is called “frizzle.” It is not a breed but a genetic trait resulting from a single incomplete allele called the F gene.
To be specific, when a normal chicken and a frizzle breed, half their chicks will typically show the frizzled trait, allowing them to fall under the category of fluffy chicken breeds. This is because frizzle in the chicken world is a dominant chromosome.
On the other hand, when breeding two frizzled chickens, some changes occur. Usually, a quarter of their chicks will appear normal. Meanwhile, half will display the frizzle trait, and a surprising 25% will be “frazzle.”
The following breeding chart summarizes pairs of chickens that produce chicks with frizzled feathers:
|Parent Breed Pairings
|Normal x Frizzle
|50% Frizzle + 50% Normal
|Frizzle x Frizzle
|25% Normal + 50% Frizzle + 25% Frazzle
However, given the fact that frazzle chickens possess double frizzle genes, expect that their plumage is excessively fragile. Many bird experts also state that such chicks are prone to many health problems.
As such, it is generally recommended to avoid mated pairs of these birds for production purposes.
Frizzle Chicken History and Origin
While you may think the frizzle chicken is a new breed, it’s not. The intriguing history and origin of frizzle chickens, famed for their feathers that curl upward and outward instead of lying flat, trace back centuries.
The exact origins of this chicken type remain mysterious, although many believe it originated in China.
Noted naturalist Charles Darwin also mentioned frizzle chickens in his work, suggesting they came from India. He intriguingly referred to them as “Caffie Fowls.”
Despite these theories, this frizzle chick’s precise beginnings remain a subject of speculation. That said, a noteworthy reference to frizzle chickens was made by Aldrovandus in the 1600s, marking this species’ long history.
However, it is worth highlighting that it wasn’t until the 1930s that scientists discovered the source of this bird’s distinctive plumage.
They found the incomplete dominant gene, denoted as “F,” responsible for the chickens’ signature frizzles.
Surprisingly, beyond the United States, the frizzle chicken is recognized as a distinct breed in nine countries — including Australia, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, and the Czech Republic — and has dedicated breed clubs.
Frizzle Chicken Appearance and Standards
Generally speaking, frizzle chickens stand out due to their distinctive curly feathers, an obvious deviation from the flat plumage commonly seen.
This heavy breed also boasts several unique physical attributes, including a single comb, clean legs, and yellow feet with dark shading.
To add to that, frizzle chickens exhibit blunt beaks, full breasts, pronounced tails, and long wings that enhance their overall profile, making them eye-catching in any flock. In fact, these chickens are known as one of the chickens with crazy hair.
Simply put, this is the main reason these chickens are among the most sought-after breeds of all time, especially for showing purposes — they appear lively, beautiful, and exotic.
Additionally, their variety is impressive, as frizzle chicks sport a stunning palette of pigments. They can be white, buff, blue, red, brown, black, silver-gray, or even a combination of two colors.
For a better look at these differently-colored frizzle chickens, watch this video:
However, you should note that this frizzled bird may look slightly distinguishable from one to the next, as many different chicken breeds share this unusual trait, such as Cochins, Bantams, and Polish chickens.
In short, a particular kind of frizzle chicken will take the shape of its breed.
Frizzle Chicken Size and Weight
According to most standards of the breed, frizzle chickens, known for their dramatic plumage that grows out and curls away from the body, are also remarkable for their size and weight.
Standing tall at a height of around 8 to 10 inches, these striking chickens are a substantial presence in any coop, barnyard, or poultry.
As for their weight, frizzle chickens can range between 5 and 9 pounds, depending on the breed, breeder, gender, and age of the bird in question. This range signifies the genetic diversity within the frizzle category.
Frizzle Chicken Temperament and Personality
Apart from their distinctive looks, frizzle chickens also possess a lively and cheerful disposition. Simply put, they contribute not only visual interest to a barn but vibrant and happy energy, as well.
It should also be noted that the frizzle chicken breed is characteristically docile and quiet, tolerating handling very well.
This temperament allows them to become lap chickens, offering a unique opportunity for owners to form close bonds with them.
Moreover, frizzle chickens are known to be friendly with children and individuals who are raising chickens for the first time.
As an example, several years ago, my friend, Roy, welcomed a small flock of frizzle chickens into his backyard coop. Their unique appearance immediately added a new level of charm to his poultry collection.
Further, these chickens’ friendly nature made them instant hits with his two young children, leading to many afternoons of joy-filled interaction.
Overall, the frizzle chicken’s unique feather patterns are mirrored by a unique set of personality traits — lively, docile, and sociable, making them an excellent choice for a diverse range of poultry enthusiasts.
Egg-Laying of Frizzle Chickens
In terms of egg-laying production, frizzle chickens may not be record-setters; however, they consistently contribute to the egg basket like most domesticated chickens.
For instance, a Polish frizzle chicken can lay approximately 2 to 4 eggs weekly. This amounts to about 120 to 150 eggs per year, which is a fairly impressive feat compared to any other particular breed of frizzle.
On top of that, a frizzle Bantam, another kind of breed with twirled feathers, often produces between 80 and 100 eggs in a single year. This makes them one of the most productive chickens for both quantity and quality.
Appearance-wise, frizzle chicken eggs are medium in size and predominantly white or cream in color.
To get a better idea, watch this adorable video of a female frizzle chicken trying to sit on top of 17 frizzle chicken eggs:
Noise Level of Frizzle Chickens
If you’re seeking a quieter addition to your flock, chickens with frizzled feathers could be an excellent choice.
Unlike many standard backyard chickens, they are not known for being particularly noisy or unruly, making them neighbor-friendly.
Yet, while no type or breed of chicken is entirely silent, a frizzle chicken generally maintains a lower noise level. You’ll mostly hear vocalizations when they’re laying eggs, a common behavior among chickens.
Outside of this, frizzle chickens are known for their calmness, contributing to a peaceful coop environment.
Another good friend of mine, Jim, has always been an enthusiast of poultry farming. He once shared an interesting experience about the noise level of his frizzle chickens.
Living in a quiet neighborhood, Jim was always mindful about not disturbing his neighbors with his backyard poultry hobby.
He initially had concerns about the noise level but was pleasantly surprised with his frizzle chickens. The birds were unexpectedly quiet and far from rowdy, unlike some other chicken breeds he had.
How to Take Care of Your Frizzle Chicken
If you want to raise a frizzle chicken, you need to plan ahead. This is because its care requirements, while not overly complex, should be addressed mindfully to keep it happy and healthy.
Here, you will learn the essential aspects of frizzle chicken breed care, covering health, diet, and habitat requirements.
Typically, frizzle chickens are hardy birds, so they are not particularly prone to unusual illnesses. With that being said, like any poultry breed, they can sometimes encounter common internal and external parasites.
For this reason, regular checks for lice and mites are essential to maintain their health and well-being.
What’s more, since frizzle chickens sport a somewhat fragile plumage, you will want to make sure that you aren’t over-coddling them by providing too much warmth or humidity in your home.
Other health problems that the frizzle chicken breed may encounter include heart enlargement, reproductive complications, and leg and foot issues, which may be caused by genetic predisposition or poor nutrition.
Feeding frizzle chickens does not require a special diet, but quality matters. A daily dose of high-nutrient ¼ pound of feed that includes grains, proteins, and a mix of fruits and vegetables will aid their immune system.
Supplementing their diet with calcium-rich oyster shells for egg-laying hens can also be beneficial.
Furthermore, giving the chicken access to clean water at all times is crucial because it helps prevent diseases like coccidiosis and salmonellosis, which are two common ailments that can cause death in birds.
Coop Setup and Roaming
As per most avian pros, it is advised that frizzle chickens are kept in roughly four square feet of coop space. This measurement ensures they have enough room to move and engage in natural behaviors comfortably.
In this given scope, each bird should also have 8 to 10 inches of roosting space. This arrangement provides them with a safe area where they can rest up after being active throughout the day.
As for nesting compartments, these chickens need the standard 12×12 inch boxes, as these will offer a cozy, private space for your hens to lay their eggs securely.
When considering outdoor access, remember that frizzle chickens enjoy free-ranging. Normally, around 16 square feet of space should be considered an appropriate size for this type of environment.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Frizzle Chicken
As established, frizzle chickens, known for their curly feathers and lively personalities, can make for fascinating pets. That said, like any animal, this unique chicken breed has its own benefits and drawbacks.
To begin, here are the pros of frizzle chicken ownership:
- Enjoyable as pets due to their dispositions: Their playful personalities make frizzle chickens a joy to own. They’re friendly and amiable, and they can form strong bonds with their caretakers.
- Suitable for shows and exhibitions: With their striking appearance, frizzle chickens stand out at shows and exhibitions, often becoming crowd favorites.
- Suitable for beginners and families: The docile nature and hardiness of the frizzle chicken make it suitable for novice poultry owners and families, even with young children.
Meanwhile, below is a list of cons associated with raising a flock of frizzle chickens:
- Fragile feathers requiring extra care: The same curly feathers that make frizzle chickens unique can also be fragile and require extra care, especially in harsh weather conditions.
- Not prolific egg layers: If you’re after prolific egg production, frizzle chickens may disappoint. They’re average layers, not dairy producers.
- May require special attention in extreme weather: Frizzle chicken feathers, although charming, aren’t the best insulation against extreme weather. They may need additional attention during very cold or hot conditions.
Ultimately, frizzle chickens can be delightful companions, as well as show birds, particularly for those new to poultry keeping.
However, before choosing to purchase or breed a frizzle chick, you should assess whether you’re prepared to handle this type of bird.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between a Frizzle and a Sizzle Chicken?
Frizzle refers to a genetic trait resulting in curled feathers, seen in various chicken breeds. In other words, the “frizzle” isn’t a breed itself but a feature that can be found in any type of chicken.
On the other hand, a sizzle chicken is a specific breed created by typically crossing a rooster frizzle chicken with a Silkie hen. It means this bird exhibits a combination of Silkie and frizzle chicken characteristics.
However, note that sizzle chickens are recognized as full Silkies. Unlike most frizzles, they have five toes and often carry extra feathers on their wings and legs, similar to those found on Silkies.
How Many Eggs Do Frizzle Chickens Lay?
When considering frizzle chickens for your flock, it’s essential to understand their egg-laying capacity. Frizzle chickens typically lay up to four eggs per week, offering a steady supply for small household needs.
Further, you can expect a frizzle chicken to produce about 120 to 150 eggs each year. While this may not be as prolific as some of the best egg layers, it’s a good output, particularly for a breed chosen primarily for its striking looks.
In short, frizzle chickens aren’t just unique-looking but also contribute reliably to your egg basket. Keeping these numbers in mind can help when planning your herd, whether for aesthetic reasons or egg production.
What Colors Do Frizzle Chickens Come In?
Frizzle chickens display an impressive scope of hues, adding visual variety to any poultry. They can be found in tints, such as white, buff, red, brown, black, and several more intricate patterns like cuckoo, spangled, and Pyle.
Yet, note that the particular color of a frizzle chick depends on its underlying breed standard, as the frizzle gene affects the feather structure but not the color.
On top of that, frizzle chickens lay cream and white-colored eggs. This characteristic, combined with their varied feather colors, makes them a fascinating breed for both ornamental and practical purposes.
Hopefully, this guide has provided valuable insights into this distinctive bird’s world. If you have any experiences or questions to share, feel free to leave a comment below. Let’s continue the conversation about the frizzle chicken!