Frizzle chickens are undoubtedly some of the prettiest chickens out there; it’s no wonder they’re so popular for exhibitions.
But, Frizzle chickens aren’t only for competing in shows, they thrive as backyard companions too.
If you’re lucky enough to be raising your own Frizzle chickens, you may be wondering whether you’ve got a hen or a rooster. After all, it can be hard to tell when they are young depending on what type of Frizzle you have!
Here’s everything you need to know about Frizzle hens and roosters, their unique physical traits, and how you can tell the difference between the males and females as young chicks and at maturity.
What Makes A Frizzle Chicken?
Many new chicken owners think Frizzle chickens are their own breed. But, in fact, Frizzle chickens are just variants of other breeds.
The most common types of Frizzles you will find are Cochins, Polish, Orpingtons, and Barred Rocks, but you can find them in a handful of other breeds. Silkie Frizzles are even referred to as Sizzles!
However, no matter which breed of Frizzle you’re referring to, they all share the same unique trait: their curly, puffy feathers!
This feather curling is caused by a rare genetic mutation, which is sometimes referred to as the “F” Frizzle gene.
This gene is actually dominant, so when you breed a Frizzle chicken with a non-Frizzle chicken 50% of their offspring come out Frizzled.
But, if you breed two Frizzle chickens together there’s a chance that the offspring will come out with two Frizzle genes, leading to a condition causing fragile feathers. These chickens are referred to as “Frazzle chickens” and are more at risk of health complications.
The Frizzle Hen
A Frizzle hen is simply a female chicken that has been born with the dominant “F” Frizzle gene.
Contrary to popular belief, Frizzle hens share the exact same egg production qualities as their non-Frizzled counterparts. For example, Frizzle Cochin hens lay just as many eggs as a normal Cochin hen.
Frizzle hens are highly sought after as they are not only stunning creatures but they also pay their rent in eggs!
These beautiful fluffy chooks do well in any flock and any home, and many would argue they are certainly worth the premium price.
The Frizzle Rooster
Just like in the case of the Frizzle hens, a Frizzle rooster shares every other characteristic of its non-Frizzle counterpart — except for the fact it’s got curled feathers!
As if roosters needed any more ways to show off, Frizzle roosters have some absolutely stunning plumage. As we know, roosters normally grow pretty large bushy tail feathers already, so in the case of Frizzle roosters, these tail feathers are even more extravagant!
Frizzle roosters are generally friendly, but still make brilliant flock leaders – just standing out with extra style!
How To Tell The Difference Between A Frizzle Hen And Frizzle Rooster
Because the Frizzle gene can be found in countless different chicken breeds, the way you can tell the difference between the Frizzle roosters and Frizzle hens can vary considerably.
Luckily there are SOME common traits that you can look out for that develop between all Frizzle roosters and Frizzle hens that can help you tell them apart.
So, if you’re trying to determine whether you’ve got Frizzle hens or Frizzle roosters you can look out for:
- Overall Size Of The Chicken
- Development Of Wattles & Combs
- Crowing/Egg-laying Behavior
As like in all chicken breeds, roosters tend to grow bigger than hens. So much so that’s is normally visually noticeable.
This size difference is much more prominent at maturity, but you will see that roosters begin to appear larger from about 14-16 weeks old.
This time frame can differ depending on what kind of Frizzle chicken you have, but Frizzle roosters will always grow larger than Frizzle hens of the same breed!
Wattles & Combs
The wattle and comb of a chicken are probably one of the most iconic and recognizable traits a chicken has.
A common trend between all roosters and all hens is that roosters grow much larger combs and wattles than hens.
But, in most breeds including the Frizzle, roosters do indeed grow significantly larger combs and wattles than the hens. This includes Frizzle Cochins, Frizzle Orpingtons, Sizzles (Silkie Frizzles), and Frizzle Polish chickens.
This is normally one of the first physical traits you can look for, as roosters tend to display their combs and wattles much sooner than hens!
Aside from the physical characteristics of Frizzle chickens, you can also look at some behaviors which suggest they are either hens or roosters.
For one, Frizzle roosters are almost always more confident, feisty, or controlling than Frizzle hens, which you can even observe from as young as 8-12 weeks old!
On the other hand, Frizzle hens are usually more submissive and docile.
At maturity, these behavioral differences are very obvious, and roosters will almost always end up at the top of the pecking order hierarchy.
It’s not an exact science though, as personalities vary considerably between chickens of different or even the same breed!
Crowing & Egg Laying
If you’re still really unsure about whether you’ve got Frizzle hens or roosters, one true tell-tale sign to watch out for is gender-specific behavior.
I’m of course talking about egg laying and obvious crowing.
Frizzle hens will begin laying 3-4 eggs a week from as young as 20-24 weeks of age, depending on the exact type of Frizzle.
For example, Sizzles (Silkie Frizzles) may not lay until 24 – 28 weeks old but a Cochin Frizzle may start laying from as young as 20 weeks of age.
What’s more, it’s normally around 16-20 weeks old when Frizzle roosters will begin to crow.
So, by paying close attention to your flock at this age range you’ll be able to see those that lay, and those that crow, and make your determinations of their gender from there.
How To Tell If Baby Frizzle Chicks Are Male Or Female
One almost fool-proof way of accurately telling the gender of baby chicks is by venting. However, this practice should be left to the professionals and should only be done on day-old chicks.
Instead, there are a few reliable ways you can tell the males from the female baby Frizzle chicks.
So if you’re curious about your own baby chicks, you can look out for the following characteristics which show up at different ages during your chick’s development:
- Early Wattle And Comb Development: From as young as 8 – 12 weeks early wattle and comb development is a good indication they may be a rooster!
- Overall Size: From as young as 14 – 16 weeks old male chicks will appear visually larger than female chicks. Although you shouldn’t use this as the sole determining factor, size is still worth looking out for.
- Behaviors: From as young as 8 – 12 weeks old, you may be able to notice slight differences in your chicken’s behavior, suggesting they are either male or female.
Frizzle chickens can come in many different breeds, from Cochins, to Silkies, to Orpingtons, and pretty much anything in between.
The commonality is a dominant Frizzle gene which causes them all to share the same unique curly feathers.
When it comes to telling the difference between the Frizzle hens and roosters, the common traits to look out for are the overall size of the chicken, the development and prominence of their wattles and combs, and their behaviors.
If you’re really struggling to identify one or more frizzles in your flock, feel free to drop a comment below or reach out via our socials – we would love to take a look!