If you’re after a backyard chicken that’s both a looker and a charmer, you can’t go wrong with the Frizzle chicken.
This lovable bird has striking curly feathers, making them a unique breed to own if you’re thinking of raising a backyard flock or adding to an existing one.
Upon seeing a Frizzle chicken for the first time, I was enchanted by its unique and unusual appearance…
It was, however, their friendly and sweet personality that really won me over.
One of the most loving chickens I’ve ever raised is a Frizzle – she’s a true lap pet!
So, if you’re thinking of owning this frizzled friend, read on!
Here I’ll be digging into at least 5 reasons to love chickens and everything you need to know about Frizzles in this Frizzle chicken breed guide.
History of the Frizzle Chicken Breed
The Frizzle chicken was first mentioned in the 1600s, so they’re definitely not a new breed.
While the exact origins of this breed is unknown, they are thought to have originated from Asia.
They were described by Charles Darwin in his records (though he referred to them as Caffie Fowl!).
Despite stating that they came from India, Darwin actually never visited India himself.
Frizzle chickens have been reportedly seen in the Far East since the 18th Century.
The Frizzle gene can be seen in many other breeds, including the Pekin and Polish Frizzle chicken.
They are recognized as a distinct breed in Australia, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Ireland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia.
However, Frizzle chickens are not recognized as a separate breed in the United States. At shows, they are judged by the attributes of the breed they belong to.
That’s because Frizzles are considered a type of feathering rather than a standalone breed.
Know your chickens:
Did you know that if you cross breed a Frizzle with a Silkie chicken, the offspring is known as a Sizzle chicken?
Any breed of chicken can be frizzled if bred with a Frizzle chicken.
However, the most popular breeds with frizzled feathers are the Polish and Cochin Bantam.
The frizzle gene is present in a standard size chicken and bantam chicken.
Frizzle Breed Standards
Frizzling is caused by an incomplete dominant gene – one copy is sufficient to give a bird frizzled feathers.
If both parents carry the Frizzle gene, then the offspring will have especially frizzled feathers.
However, most responsible chicken breeders do not breed Frizzle chickens with other Frizzle chickens.
This would actually give you Frazzle chickens.
Frazzle chickens are very fragile – their feathers are so brittle that they can break at the slightest touch.
Their plumages can also be patchy or even almost entirely bald.
Furthermore, Frazzle chickens are susceptible to a lot of health issues.
Frazzle chicks have a high mortality rate, and most don’t live for very long.
As Frazzle chickens are prone to so many complications, chicken breeders usually breed Frizzles with normal chickens.
This will give you a variety of regular and frizzle chicks.
As I mentioned earlier, Frizzle chickens are not classified as their own breed in the United States.
Frizzling is classified as a type of plumage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t exhibit this lovable bird.
If you want to exhibit Frizzle chickens, you would exhibit them as the breed they belong to, such as Cochin or Polish.
The bird would then be judged to the standards of that specific breed,
What is Frizzling?
In ‘normal’ chickens, the feathers fly flat against the body. Frizzle birds, on the other hand, have feathers that curl outwards and upwards from the body.
This feather type is known as “frizzling”.
There are many different breeds of chickens that can have frizzled feathers, but Cochin and Polish chickens are normally seen with this type of feathering.
Frizzle Chicken Colors
Frizzle chickens come in a wide range of colors, but below are the most popular you’ll find this breed available in:
Frizzle chickens can be both standard and bantam sizes (known as Frizzle Bantam!).
That said, most Frizzle birds are bantam varieties.
How Big Do Frizzle Chickens Get?
The specific breed and size of your Frizzle chicken will determine their weight.
Standard size male Frizzles will normally weigh around 8 pounds.
Females are a little lighter, weighing around 5 to 6 pounds.
Bantam Frizzle varieties weigh around 24 to 27 ounces for males and 20 to 34 ounces for females.
How Much Space Do Frizzle Chickens Need?
Most Frizzle chickens are bantams (small), so you’ll need around 1 to 2 square feet of chicken coop space per bird.
You can also free-range these birds easily, but ensure you have shelter, sturdy fencing, or put in other safety measures to protect them from predators.
Roosting perches should also be low to the ground as this breed isn’t very large.
These birds benefit from an enclosed run to stop any airborne animals accessing them.
Frizzle birds are excellent brooders and make good mothers so you won’t need a chicken brooder device. They are attentive towards their own eggs and take great care of their chicks.
If your Frizzle hen is broody, she will normally display signs such as:
- Sitting in the nest when no eggs are present.
- Reluctance to leave eggs in the nest.
- Pale comb and wattles.
- Missing chest and belly feathers.
- Pecking or biting when you try to remove or check for eggs.
- Only leaving the nest a couple of times a day.
- Flattened position on the nest – if picked up, she may be reluctant to put her feet down.
- Broody poop – this is a lot larger than normal and very pungent.
- Loss of appetite – she may also not drink much water.
Age of Laying
Frizzle hens start laying eggs at around 22 weeks of age. However, they are not the most prolific egg layers.
If you’re after backyard chickens that can produce a lot of (over 4!) eggs each week, other breeds like the White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, and Sussex breeds might be a better option.
That said, the number of eggs your breed Frizzle will lay will depend on their breed.
How Many Eggs Do They Lay?
As I mentioned above, Frizzle hens aren’t known for their egg-laying ability.
A single hen will only produce around 2 to 3 small to medium eggs each week.
Frizzle chicks usually take a while to feather out than regular chicks, so you may need to let them spend a bit more time in a brooder.
Egg Per Week
Most Frizzle hens only lay 2 to 3 eggs each week. If you want to eat a lot of eggs each day, you’ll need a pretty sizable flock Frizzle chickens.
Some breeds are bred specifically for eggs like the Golden Comet and Rhode Island Red, others are created for meat or are dual purpose (used for both meat and eggs), and some are bred for exhibition or as pets.
Eggs Per Year
Frizzle hens produce between 120 to 150 eggs each year.
As Frizzle hens are relatively small, their eggs are normally small to medium size.
Chicken Egg Color
Frizzle chicken eggs are usually cream or a light brown color.
Silkie hens lay around 120 eggs a year (about 3 eggs per week). They usually start to lay in January (this is a little earlier than most other hens).
Eggs are typically a cream color and small to medium in size.
Cochin hens begin to lay in the winter months, typically producing between 180 to 200 eggs in a year.
The eggs are a brown color and are small to medium in size.
Plymouth Rock hens lay roughly 200 eggs each year (4 per week).
They can produce eggs up until 10 years of age, but their laying ability is at its best before the age of 3. Eggs are brown in color and large in size.
Japanese Bantams are one one of the poorest egg layers, only producing 1 egg each week. The eggs are small and are either a brown or cream color.
Polish Bantam hens are average when it comes to laying eggs – they produce around 200 eggs each year.
It takes them some time to get accustomed to laying eggs before they begin producing consistently.
Orpington hens usually lay 3 to 4 eggs every week. Eggs are a light brown color and large in size.
Is the Frizzle Chicken Good for Meat?
As most Frizzle chicken breeds are on the small side, they’re not the best for meat.
They wouldn’t be able to produce a lot of meat for you if you were to raise them for that purpose.
Some types are classified as heavy breeds, so you may be able to raise these for food.
For the majority of Frizzles though, they’re more suited as pets or for exhibition.
Commercial Chicken Feed
A high-quality commercial chicken feed should be the primary component of your Frizzle’s diet.
Feeds normally consist of grains (like oats, corn, and soybeans), grit (ground up oyster shell or limestone), and vitamins (calcium).
They are available in mash, crumbed, or pellet form.
You can give your chickens Frizzle chicken feed via a food dispenser or container.
Chickens are natural foragers, so to encourage this type of behavior, scatter some seeds or grains (corn and wheat are good options) around their habitat.
Fruits/Vegetables and Food Scraps
Alongside chicken feed, feed your Frizzle birds a range of fresh vegetables and fruits every day.
Some good choices I like to feed my hens are bananas, vegetable peels, spinach, carrot, apple, berries, broccoli, silver beet, and cabbage.
You can also offer your Frizzle chicken some cooked food or table scraps like rice, pasta, and bread as an occasional treat.
Foods To Avoid
However, avoid beans, garlic, raw potatoes, onions, citrus fruits, chocolate, avocado, and uncooked rice.
Food scraps that are spoiled or rich in fat or salt should also not be offered,
If you’re not sure if a type of food is safe for chickens, check with a poultry veterinarian or expert first.
Your backyard chicken’s dietary requirements will differ depending on their size, breed, age, and sex.
Hens with soft or thin eggs could be deficient in calcium, so you may need to give them a calcium supplement.
Grit is vital when chicken keeping as it helps these birds digest their food.
Ensure your flock has unlimited access to grit like stones, gravel, or ground up shells.
This is especially important if they are kept in a chicken coop without access to an outdoor space with grass and dirt.
Plants Poisonous to Chickens
If you let your birds free roam, make sure they can’t get to any plants that are poisonous to them.
Some plants that are toxic to chickens include daffodils, morning glory, foxglove, tulips, lily of the valley, nightshade, azaleas, rhododendron, and jimson weed.
Last but not least, your Frizzle backyard chicken needs access to clean water every day.
Position the water container so your chicken doesn’t need to bend to use it.
During colder months, make sure you clear away any ice to prevent the water from freezing.
Some chicken owners use a heated water container for this reason.
Are Frizzle Chickens Friendly?
With Other Chickens
Frizzle chickens cohabit well with pretty much any other breed of chicken.
However, their shy personality and small size can make them an easy bullying target by more assertive chicken breeds.
When selecting coopmates for a Frizzle chicken, try and choose breeds that are of a similar size and temperament.
Silkies, Cochins, and Polish chickens are some breeds that normally pair well with Frizzles.
Keep an eye on your Frizzle backyard chickens when introducing them to other breeds, and check for any aggressive behavior or feather picking.
If you notice any aggressive tendencies in your bird, it may be due to the flock’s natural pecking order. There are several good chickens books out there that talk about this.
More dominants birds may pick on individuals lower down in the order to show who’s boss.
Some hens can become more temperamental when they are broody or are looking after chicks.
Isolation can work for overly territorial birds (especially if they are harming your other hens).
The bully should be confined but allowed to watch the rest of the flock go about their business.
For example, if you notice that one of your hens picks on your flock when they are eating, isolate them and let them view your other poultry feed.
This can help reestablish boundaries and show the offending bird they’re not the one who calls the shots around here (that’s you!).
This bird’s sweet and calm disposition is one of reasons to love Frizzle chickens.
They get along well with people, and are very laid back and calm.
If you’re looking for a good family backyard chicken, you can’t go wrong with a Frizzle chicken.
This breed is suited to children due to its docile and easy-going temperament.
Are Frizzle Chickens Noisy?
As a rule, Frizzle chickens are not noisy.
The only times a Frizzle chicken may cluck is when they have laid an egg (known as the egg song!) or when they think they’re in danger, such as the presence of a predator.
But even at their loudest noise, chickens only produce the same level of sound as the average human conversation (only around 60 to 70 decibels).
Bear in mind that Frizzle roosters will crow daily, which may disturb your neighbors.
The most common health problems that can affect Frizzle chickens include mites, lice, intestinal parasites (you’ll need a chicken wormer for those), bumblefoot, vent gleet, egg binding, and vent prolapse.
One of the easiest ways to prevent mites and lice is to keep a clean coop.
Keeping a dust bath in your coop can also help as poultry naturally use dust baths to rid themselves of any parasites.
Lastly, treating you hens’ habitat with Diatomaceous Earth (DE or wood ash) can help you avoid minor mite infestations.
A Clean Coop Is Essential
Maintaining your coop can help prevent many ailments in your flock.
Every night, remove any uneaten food and replace your hens’ water.
Once a week, remove the droppings and old bedding, replacing it with clean substrate.
Lastly, a couple of times a year, perform a thorough deep clean of your coop.
Due to their curly feathering, the Frizzle chicken does have a few special considerations in regards to their care.
The head feathering on a Frizzle chicken can sometimes restrict their vision, so their feathers may need to be cut slightly at the tips.
You should only trim the feathers enough so they are able to see.
If you notice your birds show signs of nervousness or panic when you approach or touch them, then they may be unable to see due to their head feathers.
Frizzle chickens are relatively hardy, but they can decline rapidly in cold weather.
Their feathering is not as insulating as chickens with regular feathers.
When keeping these chickens, make sure their coop is well ventilated and draft proof.
You might want to use a chicken coop heater and plenty of bedding to ensure your pets don’t get overly cold.
On the flip side, heat can also be an issue when keeping Frizzles. Ventilation, misting, cold water, shade, and even frozen feed can help keep your Frizzle chicken cool in summer months.
Frizzle chickens cannot fly, so their perches should be positioned low to the ground in their chicken house, otherwise they won’t be able to access them. If your perches are too high up, your birds may pile up on another.
Keeping Your Chickens Safe
- Use a secure and high-quality lock on your coop.
- Know the predators in your area so you can put in the right safety measures. Some animals are located nationwide like racoons and foxes, but some may be local to you.
- Train your chickens to go back to their coop every night – make sure you lock it up tight!
- Raise the coop a foot or so off the floor – this will help stop snakes, rodents, or skunks nesting underneath to steal eggs or young chicks.
- Use an enclosed and secure poultry run around the coop – electric netting, chicken wire, or welded wire mesh are particularly great options.
- Use a night light (one that is motion-sensor-activated) to illuminate your coop or run after dark – this will deter most nocturnal predators.
- Bury galvanized hardware cloth (welded-wire fencing will also work) around your chicken run to help prevent predators digging underneath.
- Block off any holes or gaps in your coop (check this frequently!) – a weasel is able to fit through just a 0.5-inch hole, and you definitely don’t want this creature in your coop.
- Clean up your coop or chicken run in the evening to remove any uneaten food or scraps – pests and predators are attracted to leftover food!
- Collect eggs as soon as possible – if you’re not breeding your Frizzles, check for eggs daily and remove any you see to deter snakes and rodents.
- Use electric poultry fencing – any predator that tries to get near your chickens will leave with a nasty shock.
Should I Get a Frizzle Chicken?
If you fancy a friendly and docile chicken with an unique appearance, I fully recommend getting a Frizzle chicken.
These birds make wonderful exhibition chickens and pets, especially for households with children.
However, when it comes to laying eggs and meat, this bird is not the best.
Most Frizzles are small, so they wouldn’t provide you with a great deal of food. They also only lay between 2 to 3 eggs each week.
The Frizzle chicken is one of my favorite breeds of chicken, not just because they look adorable but because they act adorable too.
My Frizzle is a joy to own because of how gentle and laidback she is. I didn’t know a chicken could be a lap pet until I first met her.
If you want a striking and easy-going chicken to add to your new or existing flock, you can’t go wrong with the Frizzle.
Their curly feathering and sweet disposition is sure to have you clucking for more!
Share Your Thoughts!
I hope this breed profile on the Frizzle chicken helped you learn a little more about this bird.
If there’s anything you’re still uncertain of regarding this chicken’s care, let me know on our social media platforms.
What do you think of the Frizzle chicken? Have they won you over?