Frizzles are rarely passed by the general public without comment; “Is that a real chook” or “OMG they’ve permed the poor thing!” are likely reactions but there is more to Frizzles than meets the eye. Breed
: Frizzle Origin
: Asia Colours
: Black, Blue, Buff, or White, a pure even shade throughout in the self-coloured. Brown-Red, Partridge, Cuckoo and many other OEG colours are recognised, along with Red (as per Rhode Island Red) and Columbian (as per Wyandottes). Beak and leg colour is to correspond with plumage; yellow in Buff, Columbian, Pile, Red and White varieties. White in Spangle, Black-Red and Cuckoo. Dark willow, black or blue in other varieties. Variation is leg colour occurs, and Blacks are often seen with yellow legs. Eggs
: tinted to white in colour, although really depends on the strain. Frizzles have caught a bad name as layers go, and even though they’re an exhibition breed, they are good layers and excellent broodies despite the rumours.Comment
: Frizzles may become ragged looking as the end of the season wears on, their plumage is often quite brittle and will snap or fray if the perches are too high, males are mating vigorously or because of their environment. Generally they make great pets for children and even the males will allow you to pat them and will eat out of your hand. One thing that exhibitors of Frizzles see as constant battle is the knocker’s; some people regard Frizzles as crossbreds or feather dusters, and dismiss them without further comment. This is often due to frizzled crossbred birds being sold or shown as Frizzles, for example a Silkie, Pekin or Belgian frizzled bird is not a Frizzle, just a frizzled crossbred. And although these may appeal to backyarders and are very attractive, the only frizzled breeds recognised in Australia are Polish and Japanese (along with the breed, the Frizzle).This Frizzle Bantam Hen is from Bob Cooper's bloodline, one of the best curled Frizzle lines I've ever seen. This bird lived to about 11, here she is 10.Cost
: Frizzles can range in price depending on quality and age. They can range from $5-$30ea for pet quality, and $25-$100ea (or more) for show specimens.History
: Frizzles are believed to have originated in Asia, although little is known about the exact place. Charles Darwin first discovered them and classed them as Frizzled or Caffie fowl, he discovered the bantams and they are still more popular today than their large counterparts. Exhibition:
Frizzles rarely win at poultry shows, due to their rare stature and difficulty to breed a perfect bird. Having said that, many judges are very fair and put up Frizzles for sectional awards or higher, it’s just with a lot of rare breeds, some judges feel pressured by breeds like Australorps or OEG that are known winners and often award a more common breed.
Weights for Frizzles are:FOWLS Male
3.20 – 3.60 kg (7 – 8 lb) Female
2.25 – 2.70 kg (5 – 6 lb)BANTAMS Male
960 – 1075 g (34 – 38 oz) Female
790 – 910 g (28 – 32 oz) These Large Frizzles were bred in 2007 by myself, note the black in their tails, a fault in Buff's.Frizzle Large Pullet showing the required plumage
A good Frizzle is an eye-catching bird, and a flock of well curled, evenly coloured Frizzles in a pen or on a green lawn is spectacular. Suitability:
Despite their fragile appearance Frizzles are pretty tough when it comes to wet and cold whether, but stay cleaner and happier in a dry pen. Frizzles are great for pets as they are soft, and lovely natured, and their ‘back-to-front feathers’ often fascinate kids. To avoid plumage breaking and birds roosting on the ground, perches shouldn’t be too high, and although they can fly, it’s not as well as they think, and may injure themselves flying up to roost. Selecting birds:
When purchasing birds, take the time to handle each bird and thoroughly run over each bird.
What you should be looking for is nice broad, soft plumage. Well curled for exhibition birds* with the tips of the feathers ideally pointing at their base. Plumage takes up 25 points (one ¼) of the standard so obviously a very important feature. Size is also important as some Frizzles sold are often too big for bantams, or too small for large, a result of a cross usually. Earlobes should be red, legs free from feathers or stubs, no tufts or top knots and not of a Light Breed type.
Type is ideally a well-balanced fowl, nothing type wise is exaggerated on a Frizzle. Legs should be medium length, but still showing when a bird is standing, and shouldn’t be so short the feathers touch the ground. Tails need to be medium or short, and not carried too high, wings should be tucked up neatly but sometimes they appear loose because of the feathers curl. Colour is also worth 25 points so a uniform recognised colour is a must. *Read below about breeding frizzling. Breeding:
Frizzles are not always frizzled, which is very important to remember. When 2 exhibition Frizzles are mated 25% will be smooth feathered fowl, 50% frizzled (of varying quality), and 25% will be extremely frizzled.
Smooth feathered birds are very important in the breeding pen as they will often soften and broaden the feathers within a line after years of Frizzle-to-Frizzle matings. This is often a problem when the flights, and wing feathers become brittle, a smooth feathered, Frizzle-bred male or female will usually fix the problem.
It should be remembered that a Frizzle (the breed) MUST have clean legs (no feathers), single comb, red lobe and be of a heavy breed type. Smooth Frizzle Bantam hen used for breeding
Frizzled birds are pretty much self-explanatory, having frizzled plumage. But this can vary from just slightly lifted off the body, to strongly curl show winners. This Frizzle Pullet is an example of what poor frizzling is, flat feathers only just lifted, the above birds are far better quality
Extremely frizzled birds have many names; Wispies, Double-curled’s, Extreme’s, Wirey’s, etc. They are usually, to say the least schizophrenic! Especially males. They are birds that are born extreme, both in the curl of their feathers and their nature. Most males seem to be nervous and usually small. This year (2009) is the first year i am keeping 3 F/F pullets, as they have proved themselves as more calm and collected birds, although i know breeders who always keep a pen of F/F females and an f/f male (smooth male) to produce 100% F/f exhibition Frizzles. Above is a "double curled" Frizzle pullet, hatched August 2008, this pullet displays a clear effect of F/F, two doses of frizzling, below is a close up another F/F
An interesting note is that frizzling has been introduced to broiler chickens to help overcome heat stress, http://www.icar.org.in/cari/broiler.html Feeding:
Frizzles eat as per normal fowl, and are great foragers. They should be fed a variety of grains plus layer pellets and grit to keep them from becoming bored with pelleted food. Greens provide stress relief, entertainment and great health.Large Frizzles enjoying their free-ranging, note the marked backs of the hens due to mating Frizzle links:
http://www.thefrizzlesocietyofgreatbritain.co.uk/index.php? The Frizzle Society of Great Britains homepage, with the complete standard for British and Australian birds, photos, and news etc.
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGD/Friz/BRKFrizzles.html an American site so many Frizzled Cochins, but also some good photos and further links.
http://web.archive.org/web/20030602183800/www.webcom.com/777/nfcoa.html National Frizzle Club of America website.
http://gallery.backyardpoultry.com//showgallery.php?cat=519 Backyard Poultry Frizzle photo section
http://www.pekincorner.co.uk/ A UK breeder of Pekins and Frizzle Bantams *link missing*