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Breed Spotlight: Polish Chickens

Polish chickens are show stoppers! The fabulous head feathers of this chicken are not only unusual but also fun and quirky!

While slated as “eye-candy” that is not the only benefit to having these chickens in your flock, their mild manner makes them the perfect choice for children, backyard flocks and 4-Hers to show at competitions.

We’ve put together a quick and simple breed spotlight so you can get the facts without the fuss. Find out if the Polish breed is the right chicken for you.

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Thinking about getting a Polish chicken? Don't miss our overview of this funky breed! #homesteading #homestead #backyardchickens #chickens #raisingchickens #poultry

Polish Chicken Breed Profile

Polish Pronunciation:

Pol·​ish

Polish Chicken Personality:

Polish chickens are on the bottom of the pecking order because of their mild and calm demeanor. They are inquisitive and love to investigate their surroundings, but you do have to take precautions because their curiosity can land them in some sticky situations.

However, due to their head feathers obstructing their vision, they can be startled easily. An easy fix is trimming their moppy hair-do or whistling/calling them before you approach.

Polish chickens are hardy in most climates except for soggy ones. They are rarely broody and are average egg producers.  

Size:

Polish chickens are of average size with the male around six pounds while the hen is only an average of four pounds.

Appearance:

Polish chickens have an exceptionally flamboyant presence with pom-pom hair-dos on the hens and an extravagant fan of feathers on the roosters that resemble a punk rocker just getting out of bed in the morning. The feathers continue to grow on both sexes until they cascade over the eyes.

Some varieties of the chickens also have “beards” which are longer feathers around the head and face.

Roosters have a red V-shaped comb while both sexes tout white earlobes, grey legs with four toes and no feathers on their feet.

Polish Chicken Variations:

Color:

NonBearded

  • White Crested Black
  • White Crested Blue
  • Buff Laced
  • Golden
  • Silver
  • White
  • Buff

Bearded

  • Golden
  • Silver
  • White
  • Buff Laced
  • Tolbunt (not yet recognized by the APA)

Size:

Polish chickens come in both Standard and Bantam size. Can you imagine that hair-do in a bantam version? Too cute!

Polish chickens

Laying Skills:

Polish lay around 150-200 eggs per year.

Polish Chicken Eggs:

Polish chickens lay medium/large white eggs.

Free-Ranging Skills:

Polish love to forage and are great for free-ranging as long as you keep an eye on them, so they don’t get into something they didn’t SEE because of their floppy hair-do.

Best Climate for Polish Chickens:

Polish are hardy in most environments, except for those with a lot of moisture because they cannot get their crest soaked. When rain or slushy snow is coming down, they should be shooed into the barn as quickly as possible.

Polish chickens

History:

One might think they indeed derived from Poland but alas that is not so, instead, they are believed to come from Spain into Holland during the Spanish occupation.

The original Dutch word ‘Pol’ meaning a large head is thought to be the basis for their name.

Polish chickens were recorded in paintings and literature as early as the 15th century in the Netherlands. They received the classification of a “thoroughbred” by the Dutch in the 16th century.

They then traveled to England in the 1700s and later on to the U.S. around 1830-40s where they were the egg-producing favorite. That all changed when the Leghorn’s egg production overshadowed theirs.

Fun Polish Chicken Fact:

Legend claims that in 1736 after the King of Poland was forced to flee to France with only his luggage. Hidden in that luggage were his prize Polish chickens, which he then introduced to the French aristocracy. They were soon adored by them as well which assured the breed of its future.

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