Frizzles and Sizzles: Exploring the Unique Characteristics of the Frizzle Silkie Chicken
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- Frizzles and Sizzles: Exploring the Unique Characteristics of the Frizzle Silkie Chicken
A chicken with a serious case of bedhead? The Frizzle, Sizzle, and Frazzle breeds may all look similar, but the Frizzled Silkie is one of the cutest little confused-feather breeds around.
If you’re one of the many thousands of people who absolutely adore Silkie chickens, rest assured you’re not alone and you’re in the right place. I adore Silkie chickens! They are among the best family friendly chicken breeds and they are just so adorable to look at. Although Silkies come in a great variety of colours and mostly sport their unique and adorable soft, fluffy feathers, today, we’ll focus specifically on the Frizzle Silkie chicken – and they look completely different!
I have more than 30 years of experience with these fluffy little bantams of the chicken world, and have owned several varieties, including the Frizzle! So, stick with me, as I’ll soon be telling you all you need to know about this unique little critter.
Sizzles, Frizzles, and Frazzles
If Frizzles, Sizzles and Frazzles all look pretty similar to you, then you're not alone, but what makes each one different from the other? To be honest, I still struggle to tell them apart and unless you know for definite what each one’s parentage is, it can be difficult to identify them. Over the years I have run into quite a few people who think the Frizzle is feather type and not a breed on its own with its own standards of perfection. There is much speculation about where they originate from and the truth is no one knows exactly where they all came from. However, what we do know is that they are an old breed and that the Frizzle is BOTH a feather variety and a breed all on its own.
The main thing to remember is that Frizzles, Sizzles and Frazzles have only one common thing between them and that is the curly feathered gene or frizzle gene. Otherwise, they are completely different birds. All three types of these chickens have either one or two copies of the gene which causes curled feathers.
A Frizzle is a chicken of any breed with the curled feather gene and is often found in bantams and true bantams. Historically the Frizzle was a bantam Cochin or Pekin with the curled feather gene bred in. Frizzles, like most other ordinary breeds of chickens, have four toes.
The Frazzle is a chicken of any breed with a double dose of curly feather genes which causes the feathers to be hard, sparse and overly curled. Now we get to the Sizzle. Actually, this is a breed that is in the process of being established. It has full Silkie characteristics except that its feathers are hard and curly, not soft, silky, and fluffy. Sizzles have a crest like Silkies and five toes and they are what we can call the Frizzle Silkie chicken.
So, if you’re interested in getting a true Frizzle Silkie chicken, look for a chicken that looks exactly like a Silkie but with normal feathers like you would find on any chickens that are curled outward.
General Appearance of the Frizzle Silkie
Silkies are definitely odd little creatures, but they are undeniably cute and their quirky looks is what makes them such a popular choice for backyard flock beginners.
Silkies look vastly different to any other breed of chicken and this is due to a fair number of oddities.
Yes, the Frizzle Silkie has curly feathers, but other than that, they are exactly like ordinary Silkies. The curly feathers will be all over their bodies and they will also extend down the legs and feet.
Their fascinating feathers may be one reason why we all adore the Frizzle Silkie chook, but it does present them with a few problems! This type of feathering means that the Silkie chicken cannot fly and won’t be waterproof should they get wet. Although chickens in general aren’t notoriously good fliers, Silkies cannot fly at all and therefore will prefer to roost lower to the ground. If you’re interested in keeping Silkies, make sure that their roosts are low enough that they can easily hop up and down without hurting themselves. But don’t be surprised if they choose to sleep in a giant curly-haired heap on the floor, as this is something that is fairly common for the breed. The good news for aspiring Silkie parents is that they are an excellent choice for backyard flocks because their inability to fly means that they won’t easily flap over into the neighbor’s yard. You don’t need high fences to keep a Frizzle Silkie at bay!
The comb and wattles of a Silkie can range from black to mulberry in color and their earlobes are either bright turquoise or mulberry – the former being the preferred coloring. Their eyes should be brilliant black, small and round.
Silkies differ from most other chickens because they have black skin (and bones!). The black skin extends to their feet and beaks, which means that they have dark legs and slate-colored or dark blue beaks. They also have five toes, which is quite uncommon in chickens, with the fifth toe extending to the back, not unlike the dewclaw in dogs. This fifth toe although an uncommon characteristic for chickens can also be found in the Faverolle, Sultan and Dorking breeds. For more information on all of the different chicken breeds and their fierce and fabulous qualities, check out the Ultimate Guide to Chicken Breeds from A – Z over at Chickenpedia!
Silkies are fairly small chickens and are therefore considered a true bantam. A bantam chicken is a miniature version of a standard-sized breed, but currently standard-sized Silkies are uncommon and not recognized in the US or Canada at all.
The Silkie hen should weigh approximately three pounds (1,3kg) and be 8 – 10 inches (20 – 25cm) tall, with the Silkie rooster weighing approximately four pounds (1,8kg) at a height of 8 – 11 inches (20 – 27cm) tall.
If you are interested in seeing the difference between ordinary Silkies and their Sizzle counterparts, look at this adorable video.
Care Requirements of Frizzle Silkies
Ordinary Silkies have soft and fluffy feathers, which are prone to mites and lice. In fact, any chicken will have its fair share of health and wellness issues, although some do have more than others. For a full guide on chicken health and wellness, please see our Ultimate Guide to Chicken Health over on Chickenpedia.
Now, the Frizzle Silkie, or Sizzle, doesn’t have fluffy plumage, but their curly feathers do mean that they require a little extra care and attention. It can be a difficult time during rearing when the feathers come through and again when the birds molt. The structure of the feather is different and this can cause bleeding and pain as they emerge. So, keep a close eye on your chooks during the growing and molting stages to ensure that their feathers aren’t causing them any trouble.
Because of the structure of their feathers, Sizzles cannot trap heat against their body, so they do not thrive in cold climates and would be better suited to a warmer, more temperate climate. And, like normal Silkies, they also cannot fly at all, and may have trouble reaching high roosts.
So, now that you know how to care for them, let’s take a closer look at their adorable personalities to see whether they’re well-suited to you and your family.
Temperament of Frizzled Silkies
You will be hard-pressed to find a more docile and friendly chicken companion than the Silkie. They are known for being easy to tame, friendly and inquisitive. They love a good cuddle and will happily sit in your lap for treats. Their friendly disposition makes them an excellent choice for families with small children, as they are not intimidating, cute and quite happy to follow your young ones around the yard. Do you agree? What are your Silkies like? Let us know in the comments – we simply adore reading about your delightful little pets!
Their docile natures, even in roosters, mean that they may get picked on by more aggressive chickens – and your special Silkies won’t fight back! It is best to keep Silkies separate to more aggressive chickens and although they will happily scratch along with others in a mixed-breed flock, keep a close eye on your fluffy friends to make sure that they don’t get picked on!
So, there you have it. The Frizzle Silkies is one of the most interesting breeds available today and their sweet disposition, docile nature, characteristic bedhead, and adaptability make them backyard flock favorites.
We adore this cute and cuddly breed for the fact that they look like they’ve been riding around in a convertible with the top down on a windy day and their cheeky personalities. They make good pets and are a joy to have around the yard. Their quiet natures make them ideal for suburban living and their friendliness and cuteness make them highly suitable for families with small children that would like to have a chicken as a pet.
They may not be very good layers, but they will still provide you with small, white eggs every now and again, and they make fiercely good mothers for those that wish to add to their flock the natural way.
A Frizzle Silkie is for you if you are looking for a unique chicken with eye-catching looks, a friendly nature and the ability brighten up a backyard.
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