Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Pauline G. Carter
This bird, the Polish Chicken, originally comes from the Netherlands. Today, there are several stories about how the birds came to be in Europe. However, many people love the story that claims that around 1736, the Polish king at that time was unseated from his royal throne.
He had to flee to France. He loved his Polish chickens so much that he took them with him and very soon the French society loved them, especially those from French aristocracy circles. That assured their future. For many, this story is far from the truth.
For others, the real truth is that the birds were probably imported into the Netherlands from Spain. Some also claim the chickens got their name ‘Polish’ because of the word ‘Pol’ which means large-headed.
Already dating as far back as the 15th century are paintings depicting the Polish Chicken. In the 16th century, the Polish Chicken was announced to be a thoroughbred breed by the Dutch people. By the 1700s the Polish Chicken was found in England.
Polish Chicken | Breed Profile
|Country of origin:||Netherlands|
|Weight:||Male: Standard: 2.75 kg, Bantam: 850 g; Female: Standard: 2 kg, Bantam: 740 g|
|Recognized Varieties:||Buff Laced, White, White Crested, Silver, Black, Black Crested, Golden|
|Egg production (annual):||200|
Characteristics Of The Polish Chicken
You are not likely to mistake the Polish chicken, with its unique and often comical looking pom-pom hairdo. These head feathers of both hen and cock grow, cascading over and around their heads and faces, sometimes causing them difficulty with their vision.
The Polish Chicken is a beautiful bird, and that is why it is bred, mainly, because of its showy looks. This bird does not go broody often. Polish Chicken eggs are white and small in size.
These birds can be a target for predators because their vision is not all that great. Chicken keepers of this chicken breeds need to give the bird extra care and attention to keep them safe.
There are a few varieties of the Polish Chicken. The bearded variety is the White Crested Black and the Black Crested White. The non-bearded variety is known as the Golden, Silver, Buff Laced and White.
There is also the Polish Frizzle chicken variety. The Polish Chicken has a prominent crest. Its comb is V-shaped with large nostrils that you see in crested chicken breeds.
Legs are grey and are not feathered. Cocks weigh in at 6 pounds with the hen weighing in at around 4-½ pounds. Their skin is white.
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Behavior / Temperament
They are lovely, friendly, and quiet chickens. With more aggressive breeds around them, they can be bullied on because of their docile temperament. It is thought that the Polish Chicken bird can become flighty and nervous but this is more because of the hair over its eyes, preventing it from seeing correctly.
Pros and cons of the Polish Chicken …
- Docile, quiet and friendly.
- Good foragers.
- Doesn’t mind confinement.
- Not suitable for cold and wet conditions.
- They are picked on by other aggressive breeds because of their excellent nature.
- Vision ‘problems’ caused by feathers over their faces.
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Is The Polish Chicken The Right Choice For You?
- The Polish Chicken is generally bought to show off the bird at shows. That means those who buy them for that purpose need to do their homework and make sure that their birds meet the Standard of Perfection requirements. Much work has to go into meeting requirements for showing birds.
- If you intend to buy a bird for your backyard garden, the Polish Chicken is an easy chicken to have in the garden; they are docile, not noisy. People like the thought of a chicken that looks a bit different to the other standard looking type breeds. You smile when you see a Polish chicken.
- Polish Chickens can handle confinement well. It has an inquisitive nature, but because of its eyesight held back by the mop of feathers that cover its head, it needs protection from predators. It does not tolerate the cold and wet very well.
- If you have other more aggressive breeds of chickens in your garden, you need to look out for your Polish Chickens because they will get pecked on by other birds, even pulling them by their head feathers. That is because they are so good-natured and docile. The head feathers too can become prone to lice and mite infestations, so it is essential to check the chickens out regularly to prevent the infestation from becoming troublesome.
- The Polish Chicken used to be a good egg layer, but these days they are not known so well for their egg-laying abilities, maybe producing around 200 eggs in a year. They take a bit of time to get into laying, but once getting into it, they can be pretty consistent.
- It is a good idea to trim the feathers on the face of the Polish Chicken for its well-being, so it can see when predators are on the prowl. Eye infections can also occur if the feathers are always in their eyes. It is because of these vision problems that they can often get separated from others; they cry out for the other hens.
- All in all, this unusual chicken is a pleasure to own, and worthy of a place in the flock because they are so lovely to look at. Polish chickens for sale are becoming a rarity, and it would be a great pity to let this bird, which graced the French aristocracy gardens to disappear off the chicken lists, it certainly doesn’t deserve that!