What Makes a Good Frizzle?
By Glenda L. Heywood
Secretary of the National Frizzle Club of America
When you are in the market for a good breeder to make Frizzles out of do this: BUY THE BEST STRAIGHT FEATHERED BIRD THAT IS THE BREED YOU ARE MAKING. Then get one of the best Frizzles you can find. I use the Frizzle in the cock bird and the straight feather in the hen. This will work with most any breed.
If you are making Cochins that is easy as you find the color variety and the best stock according to the qualities of the Cochin breed. You will need good type on both of the birds you are using. I never recommend that one uses Frizzle to Frizzle except maybe the first time if this is all that you can find for the original breeding stock. Try and get two to three hens that are related to each other or get three unrelated females and an unrelated male. If this is the case use single matings and have three pens of unrelated eggs. Putting the cock bird in each pen on the 2rd day for pen 1 and on the 3rd day for pen 2 and on the 4th day for pen three. Then as the week starts all over do the same. The hens need the cock bird every 4th day. When that first year is done you will need to toe punch the baby chicks as they come from the hatcher, writing down what toe puch is from which pen -- #1,#2,#3. Then when they are old enough to put color ring bands on them do so and you will always be able to recognize them on sight. Make sure the bands are loose enough and not too tight for their legs so as to shut off the circulation. [Editor's comment: Jiffy wing bands are even better as they don't slip off so you have a lifetime record of the bird.]
Now when the 2nd year comes you will have several families to make from the matings. Cock over pullets from #1 pen, or over pullets from #2 or #3 pens. The hen with cockerels from #1 pen to pullets of #2 pen and on thru the amount of offspring you have from pens #1,#2,#3, each mated to a cockerel or pullet from other pen matings. As long as you do this there will be no need to introduce new blood lines for many years. Keep the listings of the pen matings in a book to see what you mated to what in what year. Each mating has different toe punches.
Now, if you are making Rock Frizzles or Polish Frizzles or Jap Frizzles: Take a good Frizzle cock of the breed and mate it to a good smooth female. If you can't find the clean-legged single comb variety you are making, you may have to start with a hen or cock from another breed, say Cochin Frizzle cock to a Rock hen. You will only use the Cochin Frizzle one year. You will have to keep a good frizzle cock out of the cross and mate it back to the Rock hen. The reason being is that the Cochin is feather-legged. This trait needs to be recessive and will be if used only once. If used more than one year it will become dominent and you will pull stubs for the rest of the time breeding, if you are to show these birds. Stubs are a disqualification and you don't want that. Always look for stubs in your clean-legged birds, when showing them. This trait pops up every so many years. Many feather-legged birds were used in making Frizzles. Also the body type of the Cochin & Rock are not the same. Buy a good ABA Standard or APA Standard if you don't have one.
The National Poultry News Box 1647-net, Easley SC 29641 has the ABA Standard for sale for $35.00 pp or the APA Color Standard (555 color photos) for $60.00 pp. Also we have a free sample of the NPN for you for the asking. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The continuation of Frizzle breeding is exciting as the goal is to have the head feathers as heavy as you can and the little Cochin Frizzle look like a "Mum flower" when finished. The neck should show a good quantity of wide curled feathers towards the head. Also the body of the bird needs good heavy dense feathering with wide width. If too narrow, the bird's feathers will appear to be wispy and thin.
Thus, the reason for not breeding Frizzle to Frizzle: It causes the bird to have less feather follicles and thus will cause the bird to come out with a dozen feathers and be bald over the body and intolerant of the sun or the cold weather. Curlys are a no-no in the Frizzle breeding.
Frizzle breeding is simple: use the smooth half-Frizzle pullets that come out each year. Use a good male Frizzle on these smooth half-Frizzle females and you have the battle won, as far as it goes for keeping good curl on the head feathers and the body feathers.
When breeding the single comb Rock, or Jap Frizzles it is simple: use this same method, using the half-Frizzle smooth females with a good Frizzle male.
Show or sell the Frizzle birds not needed in the matings of the next year. Don't let those half-Frizzle females go. I am not a lover of the cock bird being the smooth. It never worked as well in my over 2 decades of breeding them. I find the male is the best Frizzle and the best type needs to be seen in the hens. The male line is of importance as the male throws good fertility and the female makes the color and type permanent in the breeding of chickens. The male has to come from a good typed bird line also. But your females make the breeding possible. The short-backed females mated to a true typed male will always throw the right length of back on the cockerels for breeding or showing. Long-backed females make long-backed males and will thus stretch the breed type out too far and soon you have many birds not worth keeping. Watch what good typy females in the breeding can do for you.
For more of this information you can click on the
National Frizzle Club and
send dues of $7.50 a year to
NFCOA Box 1647, Easley SC 29641 or phone/fax 864-855-0140.
See you along the way and let us hear about your Frizzles. Thanks to FeatherSite & G&K Exotic Farms web sites for their promotion of Frizzles also.
Direct questions and comments to Barry at FeatherSite -- questions and comments