Discover 6 Frizzle Chicken Breeds With Pictures

Written by Kathryn Dueck
Published: November 30, 2023
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The first recorded mention of frizzle chicken breeds dates back to the 1600s. Since then, these unique-looking chickens have caught the eye of naturalists and farmers alike, including the famous Charles Darwin. In the United States, frizzle chickens aren’t classified as a separate breed. This is a departure from countries like the UK, Ireland, Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, all of which consider frizzles a distinct breed.

The windswept appearance of frizzle chickens is caused by the “frizzle gene,” an α-Keratin (KRT75) mutation that results in defective feathers. This incomplete dominant gene causes the feathers to curl up and away from their bodies toward their heads, giving them that signature frizzled look. The effect is possible in any breed of chicken, but it’s more common in some than others. Read on to discover five chicken breeds and varieties commonly with the frizzle gene and the “official” frizzle chicken breed.

1. Barred Rock Chicken

Barred Rock Hen Standing in the Woods

Barred rock chickens are a variety of Plymouth Rock chickens.

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The Barred Rock chicken is among the most common frizzle chicken breeds. This dual-purpose chicken is popular both for its meat and its egg-laying ability. In terms of weight, Barred Rocks average seven to eight pounds when full-grown with red combs and wattles. The breed name derives from the black and white barring on their bodies. These chickens are known to be calm, docile, and good-natured, making them particularly appealing as a backyard breed. Barred Rocks are a variety of Plymouth Rock chickens, which appear further down on this list.

2. Cochin Chicken

Two Cochin chickens in a farm yard.

Cochin chickens gained notoriety after Queen Victoria received several as a gift.

©Algirdas Gelazius/Shutterstock.com

The cochin chicken is among the most common frizzle chicken breeds, an excellent layer and foster mother for other birds’ eggs. The breed went through a period of intense popularity in the mid-1800s when Queen Victoria received a small flock as a gift. Hens average 8.5 pounds, while roosters weigh up to 11 pounds, making this one of the larger chicken breeds. It comes in various colors: black, brown, grey, silver, white, orange, yellow, gold, and blue. Its fluffy feathers look particularly impressive in frizzle form. In terms of temperament, the breed has a reputation for being docile and friendly toward humans.

3. Frizzle Chicken

Frizzle Chickens

Frizzle chickens are known for their remarkable “frizzled” feathering.

©No-Te Eksarunchai/Shutterstock.com

This is the “official” frizzle chicken breed recognized in several non-American countries. The breed is raised for exhibition, though it’s also a good layer. In terms of weight, bantams average 20-28 ounces, while larger varieties average five to eight pounds. Colors vary and include black, grey, white, silver, tan, gold, red, and blue. These chickens are known for being sweet and docile.

4. Japanese Bantam Chicken

Beautiful Black Japanese Bantam Chicken

Japanese bantam chickens are true bantams, averaging only 0.9 to 1.4 pounds.

©icalrizal/Shutterstock.com

The ornamental Japanese bantam chicken is among the most common frizzle chicken breeds. Because of its diminutive size, this tiny breed ranks among the “true bantams.” Males weigh 1.1 to 1.4 pounds (510-620 grams), while females weigh only 0.9 to 1.1 pounds (400-510 grams). Possible colors include black, brown, grey, white, tan, cream, chestnut, olive-grey, gold, and green. In terms of temperament, these chickens are docile and easy to tame.

5. Plymouth Rock Chicken

Plymouth Rock Rooster

Plymouth Rock chickens are nonconfrontational and easygoing.

©Mshake/iStock via Getty Images

The Plymouth Rock chicken is among the most popular frizzle chicken breeds. Hens typically weigh around 7.5 pounds, while roosters weigh up to 9.5 pounds. Plumage colors for this breed are limited and include black, white, dark grey, and light grey. Plymouth Rocks tend to be nonconfrontational and easygoing, getting along well with humans and other chickens. This dual-purpose breed is valuable both for its meat and as a layer.

6. Polish Chicken

A mostly black Polish chicken with a mostly white, very round crest / crown standing on a coarse gray mat with an out-of-focus wooden coop as a background.

Polish chickens have prominent crests that often obscure their vision.

©vivatchai/Shutterstock.com

The final entry on our list of the most common frizzle chicken breeds is the Polish chicken. This breed is mainly ornamental, but the hens also make prolific layers. Mature individuals weigh between 4.5 and six pounds, with roosters heavier than hens. Plumage colors include black, white, silver, gold, red, and blue. In terms of temperament, the breed is very gentle and docile toward humans and other chickens. Because their prominent crests obscure their vision, these chickens startle easily.

Summary Table of 6 Frizzle Chicken Breeds

NumberBreedColorWeight
1Barred Rock ChickenBlack and white barring7 to 8 lbs
2Cochin ChickenBlack, brown, grey, silver, white, orange, yellow, gold, and/or blue8.5 to 11 lbs
3Frizzle ChickenBlack, grey, white, silver, tan, gold, red, and/or blueBantams: 20 to 28 oz
Larger varieties: 5 to 8 lbs
4Japanese Bantam ChickenBlack, brown, grey, white, tan, cream, chestnut, olive-grey, gold, and/or green0.9 to 1.4 lbs (400 to 620 g)
5Plymouth Rock ChickenBlack, white, dark grey, and/or light grey7.5 to 9.5 lbs
6Polish ChickenBlack, white, silver, gold, red, and/or blue4.5-6 lbs
Summary of 6 frizzle chicken breeds.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © HollyHarry/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kathryn Dueck is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on wildlife, dogs, and geography. Kathryn holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical and Theological Studies, which she earned in 2023. In addition to volunteering at an animal shelter, Kathryn has worked for several months as a trainee dog groomer. A resident of Manitoba, Canada, Kathryn loves playing with her dog, writing fiction, and hiking.

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