Frizzle chickens are becoming very popular, but please note this is not a breed of chicken. Frizzle refers to the type of feathers. Frizzled feathers can appear on any breed of chicken. In a frizzled chicken the feathers are loose and curve upwards or forwards. As such birds with this type of feathering require special protection in the winter where it is cold as they are not at all cold hardy. Additionally they don’t cope well with rain.
Sizzle is a term given when the birds in question have frizzled feathers, but are of silkie chicken breeding. Other breeds such as Cochins, and Polish, are often bred for frizzling, but sizzle is a term reserved for the frizzled silkie birds.
Sizzle chicken hen and silkie rooster, photo by author
The frizzle gene is dominant, however the presence of two frizzle genes can create birds with feathers that are so “frizzled” they break easily, leaving the bird with many bald patches. This is known as being “double-frizzled” and most breeders try to avoid it by breeding a frizzled bird to a smooth (regular feathered) bird. Since the frizzle gene is dominant, any bird with one gene will be frizzled, so breeding a double-frizzled (has two dominant frizzle genes) bird to a smooth one (no frizzle genes) will always produce frizzled chicks.
When breeding a frizzle feathered bird to a smooth feathered bird the results are that half of the chicks inherit the dominant frizzle gene and will be frizzled and half the chicks will only inherit the non-frizzle gene and will be smooth feathered.
Silkie chickens, frizzled chickens, and sizzles, are typically kept as ornamental pet chickens. They are often taken to shows and can command high prices at sales. They can be any color as per the breed of chicken. Egg color is also related to the breed of chicken used.