Frizzle chicken is a unique bird with different feathering from other chickens. They look weird and can make one think that they have some sort of disability.
These chickens are not very common and would left many mouths open to who come across them for their first time.
They are very delicate and call for more care than other chicken breeds. However, these chickens will not live longer but make good pets worth keeping.
So, would you like us to indulge into the conversation about the Frizzle chicken? In this article I am going to take you through everything you need to know about them before buying one.
What is a frizzle?
A frizzle is a breed of chicken with unique curled body feathers. These feathers start to curl outwards and upwards instead of lying flat on the body surface.
They can be very brittle and easily break upon touching them. Crossing a frizzle chicken with a frizzle will result in a frazzle which is a very delicate chicken and die very easily.
Japanese bantams are the main breed but others can be affected too.
Frizzle Chicken History
The history of these chickens is not very clear. Charles Darwin wrote about these chickens and called then the Caffie Fowl from India.
He is said to have obtained this information from someone because he did not travel to India in his life. Some sources link these chickens to Asia particularly China.
In Asia, they were widely used for exhibition purposes rather than for meat and eggs. This is because of their unique feathering than that of other chickens.
Counties like France, Germany, Slovakia, Czech Republic, UK, Ireland, Italy and Australia these chickens are recognized and classified as breed.
These friendly chickens are recognized by the American Poultry Association and are classified as a type of plumage.
This does not qualify these chickens from exhibition but you can only do it as their respective breeds. They are available in different color varieties like: Buff, Black, Black-red, Columbian, Blue, Brown-red, Cuckoo, Pyle, Duckwing, Red, White and Spangled.
Characteristics of Frizzle Chicken
These chickens vary in size depending on the breed. However, in the United States, standard weigh recognized is 8lbs for the roosters and 6lbs for the hens.
There are bantam frizzle chickens which weighs 24-27oz for the cocks and 20-24oz for the hens. Again, the weight will be determined by the respective breeds because some are heavier than others.
Frizzle chickens should have single upright combs which are small and of red color. Earlobes and wattles are medium and of a red color too.
The beaks are small, stout and are yellow or horn but this can again depend on the variety and respective breed that fried.
Their bodies are short with broad and full breasts. Wings are long while the tails should be large and almost fanning.
Eyes have a reddish hue color while the legs, feet and body skin are yellow. The feet should be clean and free from feathers on them.
On each foot, there are four well-spaced toes with a short claw on each of them.
Temperament and Hardiness
Frizzle chicken breed is one with a calm, sweet, gentle and a friendly disposition. They make good chicken pets where even the rooster’s exhibit friendliness.
These chickens are very cuddly and will not mind sitting on your lap. Expect them to follow you around giving love and affection as you go on with your chores.
Frizzle roosters are calm and quiet making a good breed to raise on an urban setting. These chickens will get along with other breeds like Australorp hens because they too rank low on the pecking order.
Frizzles are heat tolerant chickens but will require a heated coop during winter months. Their upright body feathers do not insulate well and this exposes them to cold.
During the cold season, let them remain in the coop if you do not want to expose them to frostbites and biting cold.
Frizzle chickens are happy when raised in confinement. However they are happy to free range and forage if only you will provide some protection for them.
These chickens are not flightily and predator savvy like most chicken breeds. Make the fences high or secure the run with hawk netting to keep predators out.
Egg laying and Uses
Most frizzle pullets are sexually mature at the age of 22 weeks and will begin to lay. They will often be seen hanging near nesting boxes looking for a suitable place to lay their eggs.
However, if you want a breed that will give you lots of eggs, this is not the right one. These chickens cannot outlay prolific layers like Leghorns and Speckled Sussex chickens.
Female frizzle chickens are excellent layers of 2-4 eggs per week. These eggs are medium in size and will mostly have a cream or brown egg shell.
The inside egg is white with a single yellow egg yolk.
However, not all frizzles will lay cream or brown colored eggs. The breed of your frizzles will greatly determine their egg shell color.
Frizzles of Japanese bantams, Silkies and Cochins will have a wide color variety of eggs whereas those of Barred Rocks will have black and white eggs.
These chickens will easily get and sett on their eggs. Upon hatching, Frizzle hens make good mothers and take good care of their brood.
Your Frizzle hen is kind enough and will accept chicks from other breeds especially if she is from Cochin or Silkie chicken breeds.
Frizzle chicks and chickens for sale can be bought from reputable chicken hatcheries like Hoovers Hatchery or from any tractor supply store near you.
Frizzle Chicken Lifespan
These chickens will not live for long especially when raised in cold areas. However, under good care, your Frizzle roosters may live for 5-6 years.
The hens will not make it to old age because they lay lots of eggs which will make their bodies exhausted and worn out over a short period of time.
Those chickens raised as pets are likely going to live longer. In addition to this, chickens raised in confinement have a longer lifespan than those left to forage on their own.
Chicken pets will get good care, food, shelter and adequate protection lengthening the number of years they will live.
Free ranging chickens are faced by constant danger of predation, infestation by diseases, lack of food and bad weather making them live for a short period of time.
Frizzles require extra amount of care because of their brittle body plumage. They do not tolerate wetness or cold weather so be more careful.
When it is very cold, their single combs and medium wattles will suffer from frostbites. Confine them in a heated chicken coop to keep them warm.
If they have to go out, smear Vaseline jelly on those combs to help insulate against the biting cold temperatures.
Their upright feathers will easily become a breeding ground for scaly mites and chicken lice. These parasites will suck blood, bruise the skin and transmit diseases.
To keep them safe, put a small amount of diatomaceous earth powder in their dust bath sand. DE kills parasites by removing body oils and moisture from them to death.
Thread and gapeworms in chickens are another serious health threat. They will rely on what chickens eat for food making your girls weak and emaciated.
To control chicken worms, seek advice from a qualified chicken vet on the right dewormer to administer to your hens.
Frizzle Chickens Raising Tips
Food is very important for your chickens. Without food, your flock will starve to death. Make sure they get a well-balanced diet at the right amounts.
Remember that their feathers will constantly break hence give them a protein rich diet like that of molting chickens.
Avoid moldy or bad food because this may lead to ill health or even death. For the baby chicks, feed them with chick starter feeds because they have protein at the right amount they require.
Water is very basic for the well-being of your Frizzle hens and roosters. They require fresh and clean drinking water daily to keep their bodies well hydrated.
Make sure your chicken waterers are full of water and hang them or mount on the wall to prevent contamination with poop and beddings.
What of winter when every drop turns into ice? Heat the chicken coop and this is an easy way to keep chicken water from freezing.
In addition to this, buy a heated chicken waterer if you are connected to electricity. This will keep chicken water from freezing as well as make it some few degrees warmer for your girls.
Shelter plays a key role in the life of happy chickens. It helps keep predators like possums and bad weather out making your boys are safe.
Ensure that your chicken coop has some dry bedding material like chopped straw or pine shavings. This will not expose them to cold which is not good for their health.
Your coop should have enough ventilation to allow circulation of air in and out. The doors should be wide and big enough so that your birds will move in and out freely without congestion.
An automatic chicken coop door will do an amazing job of opening and closing to allow them in and out even when you are not around.
Why choose Frizzle chickens?
Frizzle chickens are good birds especially if you want to raise them as house pets or for showing. They have a friendly demeanor and even the roosters pose no threat to your kids.
These chickens will provide you with enough eggs for food. They hatch well and make sweet mothers to their chicks.
Frizzles are good when raised in confinement as well as on free range. Free ranging is economical and easy because they will collect most of their food and the cost of buying feeds comes down.
Although they are not primarily meant for meat, these chickens are heavy enough to offer enough meat for a family.
Their quiet and calm nature allows them to be raised on an urban setting because they will not turn noisy with unnecessary rooster crows.
Frizzles are good dual purpose chickens. They will offer you with meat and eggs but will not outlay egg machines like Black star hens.
These chickens are hardy and will do very well on hot climate areas. However on cold regions, supplemental heat is good to keep them warm in cold months.
Frizzle chickens will tolerate confinement and do well when kept in chicken cages and deep litter chicken coops.
Do you keep Frizzle chickens? Share your thoughts on them.