Can You Breed Two Frizzle Chickens?

Frizzle chickens are a type of chicken with unique curly feathers. 

While they make a great addition to any backyard flock, it is important to understand how to ethically breed frizzle chickens.

Can you breed two frizzle chickens together? Sure.

But should you?

Billing two frizzle chickens together is unethical because of the health issues resulting from this parentage. Instead, breed one frizzled chicken with a non-frizzled chicken to get frizzled chicks. 

Keep reading to learn more about frizzle chickens’ origins. 

We’ll also cover what happens when you breed two frizzle chickens together and the special care they need. 

breeding two frizzle chickens

What Is a Frizzle Chicken?

Different chickens have different feather types. A frizzle chicken is recognizable by the shape of its curled feathers. 

Instead of lying flat like most breeds of chickens, the ends of the feathers curl upward. This makes them look curly. 

Frizzle chickens look a lot like big feather dusters. 

In some countries, frizzles are considered a distinct breed. This is the case in: 

  • Australia
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Germany 
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Slovakia
  • United Kingdom

In the United States, though, frizzles are a type of plumage instead of a breed type. 

However, certain breeds are more likely to frizzle than other popular breeds. This includes  Cochins, Polish, Plymouth Rocks, and Japanese bantams.

If you want to show a frizzle, enter them in the class for their chicken breed. 

They will be judged as their breed instead of as a friz. 

History of the Frizzle Chicken

You may think such a frivolous-looking chicken must be a new breed, but this is not the case. Frizzle chickens have been around since at least the 1600s. 

They originated somewhere in Asia.

There is no consensus on the region they were first developed in, but some people believe it was China. 

Charles Darwin commented on them being in India but referred to them as Caffie Fowl.  

With the proliferation of shipping and trading, these fun chickens started making their way around the world. 

Now, they are available almost everywhere online hatcheries ship. 

The cause of their curled feathers was not discovered until the 1930s, though, because this is when they were genetically tested. 

Next, we’ll cover the reason they discovered during their research. 

health issues when breeding frizzle chickens

How Are Frizzle Chickens Made?

The gene responsible for frizzling is called an incomplete dominant gene. The easiest way to understand incomplete dominance is to look at flower colors. 

For example, the red color is also an incomplete dominant. If a flower inherits two red alleles, it will be red. 

If the flower inherits a red and white allele, it will be pink. 

This works the same way for frizzling. 

A frizzle chicken results from one parent passing down the frizzle gene while the other parent passes down a non-frizzled gene. 

In addition to this, there is also a modifier gene, which determines the amount of frizzling a chicken has. 

In the simplest terms, a frizzle chicken is the offspring of a frizzle chicken and a non-frizzle chicken. 

However, a chick from this parentage will not always receive the frizzling gene. 

If you remember Punnett squares from biology class, this helps visualize how many chicks will end up with the gene. 

Each parent contributes two alleles. As we covered, the chicks only need one copy of the frizzle gene to have curly feathers. 

Half of the chicks will end up with frizzle feathers, while the other half will not. 

Sometimes chicks will inherit two different feather types. This is the case for Sizzles, which are frizzle and Silkie hybrids. 

They have both the curly feather gene and the Silkie feather gene. 

What Is a Frazzle Chicken? 

A frazzle chicken is the result of two frizzles breeding. 

When two frizzles are bred together, some chicks will inherit zero frizzling alleles, some will inherit one, and some will inherit two frizzling alleles. 

The chicks with two frizzle alleles are known as frazzles. 

Unfortunately, it is not safe or ethical to breed for frazzles. Frazzles have enlarged hearts, poor feather quality, and short life expectancies. 

Frazzle feathers are delicate and brittle, leading to patchy feathering or loss. They can’t withstand bullying from other assertive breeds of hens and roosters. 

Physical health issues prevent them from living long and normal lives. Instead, many do not survive into adulthood. 

For this reason, it is irresponsible to breed two frizzle chickens together. 

Instead, responsible breeders will breed frizzles with a non-frizzled bird. Not all of the resulting chicks will have the frizzle gene. 

Still, it’s still better to have healthy “normal” chicks than unhealthy “special” ones.

why breeding frizzle chickens is a bad idea

Special Care for Frizzle Chickens  

This breed of chicken requires special care because of its fun, frizzled feathers. This affects their ability to withstand certain weather conditions.

Their curled feathers do not insulate and retain heat the same way normal smooth feathers do, so they can’t handle really cold weather. 

If there will be rain, snow, or other inclement weather, make sure your frizzled friends are inside. Frizzle Bantams need extra care because their small size compounds these issues.

On the flip side, frizzles also have difficulty regulating their body temperature, so they don’t fare well in extreme heat. 

Their frizzled feathers also make it hard for them to fly. Their perches, therefore, need to be at a lower height. 

If they’re too high, they won’t be able to reach them. This leads to them piling up together on the ground instead of using perches. 

The inability to fly puts them in danger of being attacked by predators since they can’t fly away to safety. 

If you free range them or have them in a chicken run, make the area as predator-proof as possible. 

The frizzled feathers sometimes obstruct their vision, so trim the tips of the to make it easier for them to see. This is not allowed if you want to show your birds. 

It will make them less startled on the farm or in the backyard. If they can’t see, they often become nervous because of being spooked by things suddenly being close to them. 

Related Reading: When do Frizzle chickens start laying eggs?