Surprisingly one of our newest little chicks is a frizzle (and if I’ve done my feather sexing correctly she is definitely a she.) For the record, I’m not sure exactly what breed this little one is. Originally I had thought she was a Mille Fleur but she doesn’t have those gorgeous early dappled feathers. She’s also not a Buff Brahma *I think* and her coloring is not that of a black silkie.
Perhaps we can just call her our little unexpected surprise?
Frizzles can happen to any breed, the disheveled appearance is due to a blip in the genetic code that causes the feathers to curl out from the body instead of curving down and around the bird. And while this is a desirable trait when it comes to the “wow” factor of any flock, I’m thinking that this is not evolutionarily very clever. In the colder months, a chicken needs its feathers to keep warm. A chicken will pluff up its feathers in order to capture air and then will heat that air to stay warm – much in the same manner that a down coat keeps you warm.
A frizzle by its inherent design has a difficult time capturing that necessary air for warmth. Not an impossible task for her but something we’ll need to keep an eye on this coming winter. No worries though, like all of the other characters in our flock, she’s part of ours and we’ll take good care of her.
And it’s still early. we don’t know the extent of her “frizzle-ness.” It could be her whole body, it could be her wings.
or it just might be how she wakes up in the morning.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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