Frizzle Hen vs. Rooster: What Are The Differences?

Written by Tavia Fuller Armstrong
Updated: September 23, 2023
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The Frizzle chicken, a breed recognized across Europe, the United Kingdom, and Australia, is known for its frizzled feathers. These uniquely flipped feathers, caused by a genetic mutation, twist and curve back toward the chicken’s head instead of lying flat, toward the tail. Both hens and roosters have these curly feathers, but when bred together, the offspring may be frizzled, frazzled, or have normal, flat feathers. These cute and fluffy chickens are popular, especially in the bantam size, and are mostly produced as show birds and pets. The American Poultry Association does not recognize the Frizzle chicken as a unique breed in the United States. However, breeders do produce frizzled varieties of other breeds, such as the Cochin chicken, the Japanese Bantam chicken, the Polish chicken, and others. Read on to discover more about the Frizzle hen vs. rooster and explore some of their important differences.

Frizzle Chickens

Docile and friendly Frizzle chickens make good pets and are easy to train.

©No-Te Eksarunchai/

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Frizzle Hen vs. Rooster: Size

Frizzle chickens are a medium to large-sized breed. Like most other breeds, Frizzle chickens exhibit some degree of sexual dimorphism. Hens weigh about 25 percent less than roosters, and they do not stand quite as tall.

Breeders have developed Frizzle chickens in both large varieties and in bantam size. The larger variety of this breed averages about 7 to 8 pounds for roosters and about 5 to 6 pounds for hens. Many breeders prefer the smaller bantam size, which never exceeds 2 pounds. Bantam-size roosters average between about 24 to 28 ounces, while bantam-size hens only weigh about 20 to 24 ounces.

Frizzle Hen vs. Rooster: Plumage

The Frizzle chicken has a unique appearance defined by its frizzled feathers. Their feathers curl away from the body, toward their head, instead of lying flat like normal chicken feathers. They look a bit as if they’ve had a retro experience at the beauty salon, emerging with a heavily layered, flipped, totally overdone hairdo. Breeders work specifically toward an abundance of lifted and curled feathers. They avoid mating pairs that will result in chicks with overly frizzled, or frazzled, plumage.

Black and white frizzle.

Hens and roosters of some varieties of Frizzle chickens have nearly identical plumage.

©Appfind/iStock via Getty Images

Frizzle chickens are recognized in a wide variety of colors across the United Kingdom, Australia, and several countries in Europe. Different organizations recognize different colors. Frizzle hens and roosters bear a striking resemblance to one another in the black, white, blue, and cuckoo, buff, mottled and barred varieties. However, in the spangle, red, pile, brown-red, black-red, silver duckwing, and gold duckwing varieties, hens and roosters exhibit sexual dimorphism, with marked differences between males and females.

Other Physical Characteristics

Frizzle chickens of both sexes have short, rounded, full-breasted bodies that look particularly fluffy due to their frizzled feathers. They have long wings and full tails with somewhat loose plumage that they carry upright. They have short, yellow beaks and bright eyes. Most Frizzle chickens have yellow feet and legs without feathering, although some of the darker varieties tend toward black markings on their lower extremities. 

Roosters have small to medium-sized, red, single comb and medium-sized, red wattles. Their comb and wattles measure quite a bit smaller than roosters of many other breeds and about the same as hens from breeds with larger features. Without seeing them next to each other, a Frizzle rooster could be confused for a hen. However, the hens have much smaller combs and wattles, and they differentiate easily when seen side by side.

Frizzle Hen vs. Rooster: Temperament

Breeders describe Frizzle chickens as docile and friendly birds. Owners raise this breed primarily for exhibition purposes or as ornamental birds. Both hens and roosters are generally docile and make good pets or show birds. Frizzle chickens enjoy foraging and prefer to range freely. Unfortunately, despite their long wings, they do not fly well and cannot easily evade predators. They do adjust well to confinement, though, and can spend their days happily in secure runs.

Egg and Meat Production

The Frizzle chicken, bred primarily as an ornamental or show bird, is neither a great meat nor egg producer. The bantam varieties, which far exceed the large varieties in popularity, have hardly any meat at all. Larger-size Frizzle roosters could produce a decent amount of meat, given their size, but owners rarely use them for this purpose. An aggressive rooster may be more likely to face elimination from the flock unless his feather pattern is exceptional.

Frizzle hens are moderate egg layers at best. They lay approximately 120 to 150 medium-sized, white, or cream-colored eggs per year. They do tend to become broody, and the hens are excellent mothers, so breeders can use them to add to the flock. Frizzle hens begin laying eggs by the time they are about 5 to 6 months of age. Chicks hatch after incubating for about 21 days. The hens spend most of their time foraging with their chicks after they hatch.  

frizzle hen and chicks

When breeding two frizzled chickens, the offspring will be in a 1:2:1 ratio with 25 percent smooth, 50 percent frizzled, and 25 percent overly frizzled.


A Summary of Frizzle Chickens

Here is a summary of the differences between Frizzle hens and roosters. These birds exhibit sexual dimorphism, with roosters weighing about 2 pounds more than hens in the larger size. Depending on the variety, hens and roosters may share similar plumage or they may differ significantly. The breed is not great for eggs, and is rarely used at all for meat. However, they make great show birds and ornamental pets.

SizeUp to 6 pounds for full size; up to 24 ounces for bantamsUp to 8 pounds for full size; up to 28 ounces for bantams
PlumageAbundant, fluffy feathers that flip back toward the head; full, upright tailAbundant, fluffy feathers that flip back toward the head; full, upright tail
Other TraitsShort, red comb and short, red wattlesMedium, red, single comb and medium, red wattles
TemperamentFriendly and calm; tendency to go broody; excellent mothersFriendly and calm; generally not aggressive
ProductionMedium, red, single comb, and medium, red wattlesRarely used for meat; raised for exhibition and ornamental purposes only

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About the Author

Tavia Fuller Armstrong is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on birds, mammals, reptiles, and chemistry. Tavia has been researching and writing about animals for approximately 30 years, since she completed an internship with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Tavia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a wildlife emphasis from the University of Central Oklahoma. A resident of Oklahoma, Tavia has worked at the federal, state, and local level to educate hundreds of young people about science, wildlife, and endangered species.

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