|Alice above & Myrtie below|
- . If you are mixing your frizzles with smooth-feathered adult chickens, depending on your flock take the process slow, supervise the initial integration in progressively longer visits to make sure everyone gets along. I say this for several reasons. My first three girls, Mildred, Mabel & Pearl, are all smooth feathered, extremely spoiled and dare I say it, jealous. I couldn’t believe it but I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes. Considering Mabel hatched two of my frizzles, Alice & Myrtie, I couldn’t really fathom that she was not in favor of them being adding to the flock but she has made sure they are not above her in the pecking order. Because their feathers curl forward they leave the chicken more vulnerable to having their skin pecked and having feathers easily are pulled out.
Hattie and her frizzled feathers, napping on my lap
Both Alice & Myrtie have had some of their tail feathers pulled out during pecking order establishment. I worry that because their skin is easier to get to due to their curled feathers, they may get pecked too hard and bleed so I still keep a close eye on everybody.
- . Although the frizzled feathers begin showing up within days of hatching, it seems to take a lot longer for them to fill in.
As I watched my frizzled babies grow, I’ve observed that they are much slower to sprout their frizzled feather pins. At 19 weeks, Myrtie’s head is still developing thicker feathers. Hattie is 12 weeks and still has frizzled pin feathers mixed with down on her back. Minnie is 10 weeks and while her wings, head, tail and the ridge of her back have frizzled feathers, there is down on her butt, her back and belly. With this said, I’ve noticed on the colder days here in the mountains, that Alice & Myrtie head for the roost in the coop. I’ve also noticed Hattie & Minnie used to shiver a bit when I take them out to clean my brooder. Minnie, in particular, sought out my Brinsea Eco Glow I left in the brooder due to cold nights and sat under it. Their frizzled feathers curl forward and do not trap warm air near their bodies as effectively as a smooth-feathered chicken so if you live in a colder climate, keep an eye on your frizzled chickens and make sure they have access to your coop to get inside if they are cold.
Minnie shown here sunbathing in the play pen
- Frizzled chickens don’t do rain very well either. While their frizzled feathers may uncurl a bit and lay a little flatter, these feathers are also less rigid and become very limp with little protection when it’s wet and cold weather. Providing protection from the wet weather in winter is important for these feathered friends.
- . If you have roosters and allow mating and hatching, your frizzled hens may suffer more from being mounted since their feather coverage is not as thick as smooth feathered hens. While I have not experienced this, a friend of mine has and the hen’s back was in awful shape. Depending on the rooster they may suffer from wounds on their back and neck. Some frizzled polish lose a few feathers from their top knots or bouffant, as I call them during mating. Using a saddle on your frizzled ladies is advisable to give them extra protection. Again, be aware that breeding a frizzle with a frizzle results in a very brittle feathered chicken. Additionally, due to the nature of the frizzle gene, it is rare that you will get two birds that look exactly alike and like Silkies, frizzled hens can frequently go broody.
|Hattie who may be a Harry|