Frizzle Chicken All You Need To Know: Types, Eggs And More…

Frizzles are fun looking chickens to keep in your flock.

They have a curly appearance rather than the flat feathered look which makes them stand out in the crowd.

Although most people keep them as a lap chicken they will lay eggs and become a productive flock member.

Are you interested in learning more about this unique chicken?

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know…

Japanese Bantam Frizzle

Frizzle Chicken Overview

Frizzle chickens are a very unique type of chicken.

Technically they are not a unique breed but a feather variant of existing breeds.

The most popular frizzles are Cochins, Polish, Japanese Bantams and Barred Rocks. The frizzle part simply means that the chicken has a frizzle conformation in their feathers caused by an incomplete dominant gene (F).

Silkies can also have frizzled feathering, they are called Sizzles.

Their feathers are curly and windswept which gives them their frizzled appearance.

Because of this they are considered ornamental birds rather than productive flock members.

However depending on which breed you have they can be good egg layers and provide up to 4 eggs each week.

Needless to say, with all that frizz going on and their friendly personality, they can become the perfect pet chicken for you or the kids.

This breed is sure to produce some oohs and aahs from your non-chicken friends and can be a great conversation starter.

Frizzle Chicken
Beginner Friendly: Yes (docile and friendly).
Lifespan: 6-8 years.
Weight: Hen (5-6lb) and Rooster (7-8lb).
Color: Various (Buff and Brown most popular).
Egg Production: 2-4 per week.
Egg Color: Cream or Brown.
Known For Broodiness: Yes.
Good With Children: Yes.
Cost of Chicken: $3-$8.

What Causes Frizzle?

Frizzle Chicken Pullet

Frizzle chickens have a unique genetic component.

They have an incomplete dominant gene (F) which causes the shaft of the feather to curl upward and outward rather than grow straight like normal chickens.

A chicken only needs one copy of this gene to have frizzled feathers.

If she is unfortunate enough to have two copies of the gene it will be a frazzle.

Many breeders consider it irresponsible to create Frazzles as they are so prone to health issues. Frazzle feathers are extremely delicate and often breaking with just a touch. Because of this their feathering can be very patchy and some are almost bald.

This can cause serious problems and they can suffer badly with sunburn and cold related issues.

Frazzles usually do not have a long life unless they are extremely well cared for.

You can find them with frizzle, over frizzle or flat feathered.

  • Frizzle: The chick has frizzle conformation in the feathers.
  • Over frizzle: Also known as curlies or frazzles. These chicks will have extremely fragile feathers which may break at a simple touch. They can also have bald patches, and worst of all, other internal genetic problems.
  • Flat: Although this chick may have the frizzle gene, they will look like a normal flat feathered chicken.

It is not possible to know which feather type the chick has until they start to grow their feathers out.

Breeding Chart

Parents Chicks
Normal x Frizzle 50% frizzle + 50% normal
Frizzle x Frizzle 25% normal + 50% frizzle + 25% frazzle

Appearance

Silkie Frizzle Chicken

Here in the US frizzles will take the appearance of whichever breed they happen to be.

For example a Barred Rock Frizzle with have the exact same plumage as a regular Barred Rock and will conform to all other appearances of the breed (with the exception of their feathers).

They are generally fluffier and have a filled out appearance.

Just remember that for exhibition or show purposes the US does not recognize Frizzle as a breed. So if you wished to show your Frizzle you would enter them under their breed heading (Barred Rock, Cochin, etc).

Interestingly outside of the US several countries do accept the Frizzles as a breed and have created a breed standard. The following is a brief description of the Frizzle breed as accepted in Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Slovakia and the UK.

The Frizzle Chicken will have a single comb which is red. Their beak coloration will depend on their feather coloring. The darker the feathers, the darker the beak color.

She has a short, upright body which is wide and full breasted. The wings have a tendency to be long and the tail is upright.

The legs are clean and the color of the shanks also depends on feather coloration.

Size and Weight

There are a few breeds that have a tendency towards frizzling.

The most popular are Cochins, Polish, Plymouth Rocks and Japanese bantams.

Because Frizzles can be from different breeds their weight can vary tremendously.

As a general guide you can expect standard Frizzles to weigh 7-8lb and bantams to weigh 24-27oz. You should look at their parent breed to get a more accurate indication.

Color Varieties

Frizzles should all follow the conformation of the breed to which they belong. A Plymouth Rock frizzle should look like a Plymouth Rock, a Cochin frizzle should look like a Cochin and so on.

Because of this variety you can find Frizzles in lots of colors including: buff, black, brown, white, and cuckoo.

What Is It Like To Own A Frizzle Chicken?

A Frizzle Chicken

This will depend on the breed which you have.

Plymouth Rock Frizzles love to forage in the yard and look for extra tidbits, whereas Cochin Frizzles prefer to hang around the feeder and not go looking for food.

Overall you can expect a quiet, docile and friendly chicken with a sweet disposition.

They tolerate handling well and most seem to enjoy some lap time. They can be talkative and seem to love to talk about their day to their owners.

Unfortunately because they are a gentle and fairly submissive breed, they are prone to being bullied from the more assertive members of the flock. The feathers that curl outward seem to be very hard to resist plucking for some chickens so keep a close eye on them.

Ideally they should be housed with chickens of a similar disposition: Cochins, Polish, Sultans or Silkies.

Egg Production

How many eggs a Frizzle Chicken lays will depend on their actual breed.

Plymouth Rock Frizzles can lay 3-4 eggs per week, while a Cochin Frizzle may only lay 2-3 eggs per week.

They do make good mothers when allowed to sit on their eggs. A word of caution here though. Frizzles should not be bred together i.e. male Frizzle to female Frizzle. This will give you Frazzle chicks which may sound cute but the poor chicks are hugely challenged and often die after a few months.

Egg Production
Eggs Per Week: 2-4 Eggs.
Color: Cream or Brown.
Size: Medium.

Noise Levels

Frizzle chickens are not known for being overly noisy or rowdy. In fact, they are usually a bit quieter than their standard counterparts.

They can be talkative with their owners and definitely enjoy one on one time.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Frizzles are most often kept for their unique feathering and looks.
  • They are easy to handle and hold and enjoy lap time.
  • This breed is not aggressive and does well with other breeds.
  • Frizzles are friendly and sweet.
  • This breed is known to be broody and make excellent mothers.

Cons:

  • Their feathers are very delicate and can break easily.
  • Frizzles cannot fly so you have to be careful with predators.
  • These chickens require special care in certain weather conditions (cold and rain).
  • You cannot breed a Frizzle with another Frizzle.

Frizzle Chicken Care Guide

Sizzle

Health Issues

The Frizzle is usually a healthy chicken that is not prone to unusual or odd ailments.

Just like other breeds they can sometimes suffer from the usual assortment of both internal and external parasites. Because of this you will need to check them regularly for lice and mites.

One thing you should consider is that because their feathers are quite fragile, care should be taken to check for bullying or feather plucking.

Also because their feathers do not lay flat to their skin, the frizzles can have a hard time in cold or wet conditions. A bird that has been soaked with water or snow should be dried and warmed if necessary otherwise it can suffer from hypothermia and possibly die from cold.

Feeding

Each Frizzle will eat around ¼lb of feed per day.

You should give them a quality 16% layer feed for most of the year. During their molt you will need to increase the protein to 18-20% to help replace the feathers and supply enough protein for their daily needs.

In addition extra calcium (oyster shell) should be offered separately so the hen can take what she needs. You should also supply insoluble grit if your chickens are kept in a run.

Coop Setup and Roaming

You will need to give each Frizzle Chicken around 4 square feet of coop space. Bantams of course will need a little less space for their comfort.

For roosting space they should each have 8-10 inches. If you have mixed breeds in with your Frizzles then make sure there are enough roosting perches so they can move away if they start to be plucked at. Also because Frizzles cannot fly, their perches need to be closer to the ground so they can access them at night. A ladder up to the perch would be helpful too.

For nesting boxes you can use the standard 12×12 inch boxes.

If you keep only bantams then you can make the boxes slightly smaller (8×8 inches).

Just make sure to avoid larger nesting boxes because they can lead to nest sharing, dirty eggs and egg eating.

As for outside roaming space they do enjoy free ranging. If you are able then let them out to roam the yard for a few hours each day so they can forage for themselves.

If you have to keep them in a run then give each chicken 16 square feet of run space.

They will happily amuse themselves through the day. Just make sure you provide plenty of perches at varying heights, ladders, tree stumps etc. Think along the lines of a playground so they can stay busy and not get bored.

Also try to keep some of the run covered to protect them protection from the rain and wind. It is very important to keep this breed warm and dry.

Breed History

Frizzle Chicken

Frizzle Chickens have been around for a very long time.

The first person to record them was Aldrovandus in the 1600s. They were also commented upon by Charles Darwin although he called them Caffie Fowl. They were seen and known in England as early as 1676.

We do not know their exact origin however it is thought they came from the Far East or possibly even China. When Darwin talked of them he did so in relation to the continent of India.

Once the shipping routes started to gain popularity many exotic specimens of poultry were brought to the western world for the first time and Frizzles were no exception.

However it was not until the 1930s that work was done to determine the cause of the curling. Hutt and others determined that there was an incomplete dominant gene (F). They also found modifying factors known as MF which controlled the overall impact of the F gene.

Frizzle Chicken Pictures

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a frizzle and a sizzle chicken?
A frizzle is a chicken with frizzled feathers. This can include breeds like Cochins, Silkies and Japanese Bantams and Barred Rocks.

Sizzles are Silkies with frizzled feathering.

How many eggs do they lay?
Most Frizzle Chickens will lay between 2-4 eggs each week.

What colors do they come in?
The breed of your Frizzle will determine their color. Barred Rocks Frizzles will be black and white, whereas Cochin, Silkie and Japanese Bantam Frizzles have a wide selection of colors to choose from.

Summary

You can find Frizzle Chickens in several different breeds with the most popular being Cochins and Silkies.

The Frizzle Chicken is certainly a very unusual bird.

She may look like a barnyard diva but she is still a working girl.

While they need some special care and attention, the delight they provide to not only children but adults too makes up for it!

As an added bonus they do make good pets because they are friendly and enjoy spending time being cuddled.

Let us know in the comments section below what breed your Frizzle is…

Chris Lesley Bio Picture
Chris Lesley has been Raising Chickens for over 20 years and is a fourth generation chicken keeper. She can remember being a young child when her grandad first taught her how to hold and care for chickens. She also holds a certificate in Animal Behavior and Welfare and is interested in backyard chicken health and care.

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