This is Rachel. If you haven’t already made her acquaintance, she’s something of a hen icon on my Facebook page where she appears daily in all her puffy cuteness. Rachel is a Bantam Cochin Frizzle.
is her breed, bantam describes her miniature size and frizzle describes her unusual feathers. Frizzles are the divas of the chicken world. The term frizzle refers to a gene that produces funky feathering. Cochin
|Rihanna, a Tolblunt Crested Polish Frizzle belonging to Kristin of 2Llamas and a Whole Lotta Drama.|
|This is a White Cochin (large fowl, not bantam) and a relative of Phoebe’s, above.|
Facts about frizzled chickens:
· Any breed can be bred to created frizzled chickens.
· Frizzled feathers curl out and away from the skin instead of laying flat against the skin.
· Frizzles are most commonly found in the following breeds: Polish,
, Plymouth Rock, Japanese and Silkies (Silkie frizzles are affectionately referred to as Sizzles)
· Frizzles cannot fly and may find it difficult to roost if the roosts are positioned too high above the floor.
· Frizzled feathers provide less protection from the cold than normal feathers as it is difficult to trap warm air against their bodies with backwards-facing feathers.
· Frizzled genes are dominant. A smooth-feathered bird bred to a frizzled bird will result in 25% of the chicks possessing frizzled feathers.
· Breeding a frizzled bird to another frizzled bird is undesirable due to the chance that the mating may produce “curlies,” an over-frizzled bird with feathers that are weak, brittle and break easily. (think: chicken with a really bad perm)
For a in-depth discussion of frizzled genetics, visit the Polish Breeders Club.