By judging their weird feathers alone, a frizzle chicken breed is probably the one you might not want to have. At first glance, they either look like they have been riding on a top-down car during a windy day, or have just escaped from a hair salon with an unfinished blow dry. Aren’t they? But on the contrary, frizzle chickens are docile, adorable, and are easy to manage. Yes, their appearance may be out of this world. But believe it or not, they are well-loved by many chicken farmers around the world. So read along. Let this comprehensive guide teach you everything about the frizzle chicken breed.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is the Meaning of Frizzling in Chickens?
- 2 Is Frizzle Bantam Chicken a Breed or Not?
- 3 The Origin of Frizzle Chicken Breed
- 4 How Are Frizzle Chickens Different From Frazzle and Sizzle Chickens?
- 5 Should You Allow Two Frizzle Chickens Have Chicks?
- 6 What do Frizzle Chickens Look Like?
- 7 How Heavy are Frizzle Chickens?
- 8 How do Frizzle Chickens Behave?
- 9 Are Frizzle Chickens Heat Tolerant or Cold Hardy?
- 10 What and How Should You Feed Frizzle Chickens?
- 11 Frizzle Chicken Egg Production
- 12 Frizzle Chicken Meat Production
- 13 Do Frizzle Chickens Have Health Issues?
- 14 How to Take Care of Frizzle Chickens?
- 15 Frizzle Chickens Pros and Cons
- 16 Advantages of Raising Frizzle Chicken
- 17 Disadvantages of Raising Frizzle Chicken
- 18 Conclusion
What is the Meaning of Frizzling in Chickens?
To give you an idea why they are called frizzle chickens, it’s better if you understand first the meaning of drizzling. In the world of chickens, frizzling is when the chicken’s feathers begin to twist upward away from its body instead of lying flat just like they would in an ordinary chicken. While the feathers are growing, their shaft starts to curl outward, thus resulting in an unusual appearance and irresistible to look at. Therefore, frizzle-feathers chickens or chickens that possess genes that cause their feathers to curl are called frizzle chickens. The frizzle gene can be noticed in some chicken breeds such as the European breeds, the Pekin Bantam, and the Polish breed.
Is Frizzle Bantam Chicken a Breed or Not?
Over the years, there have been endless debates about whether frizzle is a type of feathers or a specific chicken breed. As a result, the frizzle chicken is classified as a breed in Australia, Asia, and some countries in Europe. This includes Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland, and the UK. On the other hand, the American Poultry Association (APA) does not recognize it as a breed. So if you will be joining exhibitions in the US with your frizzle chickens, they will fall under the category of types of feathers.
The Origin of Frizzle Chicken Breed
So far, there have been no official records about the history of frizzle chickens. However, it is not a recently discovered breed or feather type, whichever you might want to call it. In fact, sometime during the mid-1800s, Charles Darwin mentioned them in one of his documents. There, he classified them as Frizzled or Caffie Fowls. Nevertheless, earlier reports were saying that frizzle chickens could have originated in Asia. They said that these birds were seen in Java, India, and the Philippines since the 18th century. However, the Frizzle Society of Great Britain contradicted such reports, claiming that frizzling of the feathers is a genetic mutation and there’s no evidence explaining their origin. In short, frizzle chickens have a mysterious history that continues to remain unknown.
How Are Frizzle Chickens Different From Frazzle and Sizzle Chickens?
Aside from frizzle chickens, you may have already heard about frazzle chickens and sizzle chickens. If you place them side by side, you might get confused which is which because all of them may have similar kinds of feathers. Here’s your chance to understand their difference.
What is a Frizzle Chicken?
As mentioned above, a frizzle chicken is a chicken of any breed that has curly feathers. They are usually found in bantam chickens. Frizzle chickens have 4 toes and somehow look like Pekin bantam chickens but with curly feathers. And because of the composition of their feathers, they cannot trap the heat against their body. Likewise, they also cannot fly and will find it hard to reach high roosts.
What is a Frazzle Chicken?
A frazzle chicken is a chicken of any breed that has a double dose of curly feathers. In short, frazzle chickens are a result of two copies of the frizzle gene. Breeding frizzle chickens is complicated. It is very likely to pose several health issues, such as having an enlarged heart and poor quality of feathers. This is also why you will only see a few of them.
What is a Sizzle Chicken?
On the other hand, a sizzle chicken is a chicken of any breed that is a result of a frizzle chicken and any non-frizzle breed. Therefore, they may have frizzle or non-frizzle feathers that may or may not pose any health issue as compared to frazzle chickens. A perfect example would be the Silkie chicken breed. In fact, the “sizzle” is a coined word for “silkie and “frizzle. In short, Sizzle chicks that have silkie feathers are not considered frizzle chicks.
Should You Allow Two Frizzle Chickens Have Chicks?
No, you should NEVER breed using two frizzle chickens because that will make you a very irresponsible chicken farmer. If you do that, the result will be 20% normal, 25% frazzle, and 50% frizzle. Their baby chicks will have fragile feathers and may break if you touch them. They can lead to baldness, too. But more importantly, they are likely to have heart problems and may not live long. Therefore, frizzle chickens are considered products of a frizzle chicken and another chicken breed with normal feathers. With that note, you can have a frizzled Cochin, a frizzled Polish, a frizzled Plymouth Rock, or any frizzled crossbreed.
What do Frizzle Chickens Look Like?
In general, frizzle chickens have short, strong, yellowish beaks. They have bright red eyes, along with red, medium-sized wattles and earlobes. These eye-catching chickens usually have a single comb, upright bodies, long wings, and huge tails. They are usually small or bantam with featherless legs, yellow feet, and 4 toes on each foot. However, some legs may have some shades of black or blue. Frizzle chickens get their body shapes from the breed they belong to. Nevertheless, the color of their feathers is very likely to be their major difference. Here are some of them:
Nevertheless, the colors of their feathers should not be limited to the ones mentioned above. This is because a lot of chicken breeders are still conducting experiments with possible new color patterns. Their feathers, which are known for being curled, have various looks and designs. Almost each of them is unique, unusual, and a head-turner. So don’t be surprised if they look like your feather duster, a puppy that has just taken a ride on top of an open-roof car, or simply a chicken in the most undignified but charming feathers.
How Heavy are Frizzle Chickens?
Their weight of frizzle chicken depends on the standard weight of their breed. Nevertheless, a typical male chicken would weigh about 8 pounds, while an average hen may weigh about 6 pounds. On the other hand, bantam roosters may weigh about 1.5 pounds while females may around 1.3 pounds.
How do Frizzle Chickens Behave?
The temperament of frizzle chickens has a wide spectrum. Some of them may have gotten their behavior from the breed they came from. However, most of them are very sweet, friendly, and submissive. Frizzle-feathered chickens are calm, easy to tame, and have a gentle disposition. They are easy-going, down-to-earth, and loved to be pampered a lot. You don’t have to worry that they will peck on your young children if they want to put them on their lap. These fabulous chickens don’t tend to complain when being handled or being watched by a huge crowd. This is why they do well in exhibitions, where they usually receive awards for their uncommon but adorable appearance. Frizzle chickens are also good foragers and therefore, can be free-range. They have no problems socializing with other chickens in your backyard. However, you should watch over your flock very closely because they might bully them. Likewise, they don’t have issues in confinement as long as they feel comfortable and safe. But because they are sensitive when it comes to temperature, make sure that your coop is well-ventilated and not overcrowded.
Are Frizzle Chickens Heat Tolerant or Cold Hardy?
With their thin, curly feathers, it is safe to say that frizzle chickens are less tolerant in both hot and cold weather as compared to other chicken breeds. Needless to say, inclement weather is their worst enemy. Note that chickens don’t sweat and they use their wings to release body heat especially during summer. During cold seasons, they use their features as protective gears. They fluff up their feathers to create tiny air pockets, thus keeping them warm. And because their feathers don’t lie flat on their bodies, frizzle chickens are more susceptible to heat stroke and respiratory diseases such as avian pneumovirus, Infectious Bronchitis, and Newcastle disease.
What and How Should You Feed Frizzle Chickens?
Frizzle chickens can be fed with the same feed that chickens with normal chickens eat. They eat fruits, vegetables, bugs, worms, as well as chicken scratch. In short, they have no special needs when it comes to food, as long as you give them nutritious feed. The amount of feed and how many times you should feed them will depend on their breed and size. However, some of them might need more food supplements and freshwater during extremely hot or cold weather.
Frizzle Chicken Egg Production
Frizzle chickens usually lay their first egg when they reach 22 weeks of age, depending on the breed. Nevertheless, this is a bit late as compared to average hens that start to lay eggs once they are 18 weeks old. Sad to say, they are not also prolific layers and are considered poor in egg production. However, you can still expect them to lay eggs between 120 and 150 a year. By doing simple, this is equivalent to 2 to 3 eggs a week. Not that bad, though. Frizzle chicken eggs color is creamy-white or tinted and the size can be small or medium-sized. And because they are bantam chickens, don’t expect them to produce large eggs. Nevertheless, they are excellent mothers and go broody on certain occasions.
Frizzle Chicken Meat Production
Despite not being great layers, frizzle chickens are considerably good for meat production. After all, they are classified as dual-purpose chickens. In general, their meat is delicious and tasty but still would depend on their parent breed. But unlike other table birds, expect their meat to be small although some of them may be medium-sized. This is because most of them came from bantam breeds. Nevertheless, it still depends on what they eat and how you feed them.
Do Frizzle Chickens Have Health Issues?
As mentioned above, the glamorous feathers of frizzle chickens are also the ones that make them weaker than the other breeds. However, it does not mean they are not healthy and active. In fact, they love roaming around and scratch the soil just like any breed. But again, these cute chickens are not healthy enough to tolerate extreme weather conditions. Therefore, you have to make sure to provide them at least 2 square feet each of them inside the coop and at least 8 square feet in an outside run. And although their inability to fly does not pose risk to their health, cutting or removing their feathers is definitely a no-no. They are also prone to various respiratory diseases and parasitic elements such as lice, mites, and roundworms.
How to Take Care of Frizzle Chickens?
Breeding frizzle chickens is a bit more challenging as compared to other breeds. Therefore, you need extra effort to give them the extra care they need especially when it comes to their feathers. First of all, their feathers are not enough to act as insulators during colder months so they need extra warmth. Therefore, make sure your deep litter system is well-managed or add more heat inside their coop. On the other hand, they cannot spread their wings high enough to allow air to flow through their bodies during hotter months. Aside from giving them enough water, you might want to give them cold treats. However, don’t give them ice or frozen water. And because they cannot fly, make sure their roosting bars are low enough and easily be reached. They may not need a higher fence but not too low to the point that predators can easily attack them.
Frizzle Chickens Pros and Cons
After reaching this far, you now have an idea about their benefits and health issues. So to sum up everything, here is the list of their advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Raising Frizzle Chicken
- Extremely gorgeous chickens
- Relatively quiet, sweet, and are very charming
- Human-friendly; can be handled by young children
- Very docile and easy to handle
- Wide variety of color patterns
- Excellent nest sitters and mothers
- Can easily adapt to both free-range and confinement
- Almost any breed can be frizzle
- Great for exhibitions
Disadvantages of Raising Frizzle Chicken
- You cannot breed with 2 frizzle chickens
- Cannot fly, prone to predators
- Needs special care, especially during extreme weather conditions
- Not ideal for egg production
- Can easily get bullied by more aggressive chickens
- Have fragile feathers
- May look untidy during the molting period
- More vulnerable to diseases as compared to others
- Hard to find
Without any doubt, raising frizzle chickens is fun especially when you bring them to places. You can expect to be the center of attraction and people will come to you ask what happened to your chickens. Frizzle chickens may not be the best chicken if you are into egg and meat production. But if you are for entertaining your family and other people, this should be your bet. Just make you’re willing to exert extra effort in protecting them and keeping them healthy.