Polish chicken is a unique fluffy breed with a beautiful crest of feathers on the head. These fancy showgirls are eye cuddly and make good chicken pets.
There are many chicken breeds but polish chickens are unique in their own way. They are calm and docile in nature and can offer a few eggs for you in a week.
So, do you want to know more about these afro chickens? In this article, I will take you through everything you need to know before heading to the store to buy one.
Polish Chicken History
The history of polish chickens is one with some controversy in it. There are diverse opinions and different answers as to where these crested chickens originated from.
Some say that these birds were brought by Asian Mongols during medieval times to Eastern and Central Europe, and thus, could have originated from Poland.
Polish chickens were standardized in the Netherlands and ancient paintings from here and in Italy show some birds that resemble them.
Another theory states that, the king of Poland was overthrown making him go and seek asylum in France where he carried with him some polish chickens.
It is believed that these chickens made their way to Holland from Spain where they were highly touted for the unique head features.
In 1700s, these chickens made their way to Europe and later in the 1840s to the United States where they were highly prized for their white eggs.
However, they could not remain the best chickens for eggs because the Leghorns soon come and were able to outlay them.
Since then, these chickens were kept as ornamental birds where many love them for showing. Polish chickens are recognized by the APA as a continental bird.
Both the standard and bantam versions are recognized. They are available in different varieties like: White Crested Black, Black Crested White, and Bearded and non-Bearded.
Polish chickens recognized color varieties are: White, Silver, Blue, Golden and Buff laced.
Characteristics of polish chicken
Polish chickens are well characterized by the crest of feathers on the head. This gives these show chickens a fancy hairdo.
The skull in polish chickens protrudes up pushing the head feathers higher making these chickens appear alike they are wearing a wig.
Polish roosters have a V-shaped single comb which is red in color. In the hens, the comb is rarely seen because it is tucked inside the head crest.
The earlobes are white so is the skin color while the wattles are red. The beak of the white crested black polish is white but in other varieties it may vary.
Legs are of a grey color and have no feathers on them. On each foot, there are four well-spaced toes with short claws.
Eye color is bay. These chickens are small to medium birds where the rooster weighs 6lbs while the polish hen weighs 4.5lbs.
Frizzle polish chickens are common because these chickens are prone to frizzling just like Silkie and Cochin chickens are.
The head feathers in these chickens cascade over the head and faces causing visual problems and making them an easy target for chicken predators like hawks and possums.
In some varieties, these chickens are sometimes bearded and have a profusion of feathers around the head and face. This makes them look gamey more like a wild bird.
Temperament and Hardiness
Polish chickens are calm, docile and friendly birds. They make good chicken pets where even the roosters are loved because of the way they get along well with kids.
These chickens will not mind sitting on your lap or having a nap with you. They will follow you as you carry on with your daily chores giving you company and affection.
Because polish chickens are fluffy, they tend to do well in cold climates but will still be fine in hot zones. They do well in chicken cages because they handle condiment pretty well.
However, since their heads are crested and the feathers block their vision, let them not free range. They may not notice when a predator is around and this exposes them to predation.
Polish chicken egg laying and uses
Polish pullets begin to lay their eggs at around five months of age. This is good because they lay early than those breeds that begin at 6 months.
When they are about to start laying, these teenage girls will often like to hang near nesting boxes. They will also mate with the cockerels and at times they will be heard trying to make soft cackling sounds.
Female polish chickens are faithful layers of 2-3 medium sized eggs per week. Polish chicken eggs have a white egg shell and the inside egg is white with a single yellow egg yolk.
The good thing with these chooks is that they are consistent layers. Once they start, they will keep your egg tray full of white eggs that entire season.
However, polish chickens seldom get broody and therefore make awful mothers. These birds were bred to be show chickens but originally were kept as egg layers.
Polish chickens and chicks for sale can be bought from reputable chicken breeders, hatcheries and any tractor supply store near you.
It would be wrong to say that these chickens cannot offer meat. Although they are primarily raised for showing and as pets, they can still offer some white meat.
They are small to medium sized chickens so do not expect them to offer enough meat for a large family.
Polish chickens can live for more than 8 years. This is so because they are mainly kept in captivity where all their basic needs are met as required.
However, the number of years these chickens will live can either increase or decrease depending on the environment around them.
Infestation by chicken diseases, parasites and predation will shorten their lifespan. On the other hand, those kept as house pets are likely going to live for very long.
A normal chicken has a lifespan of 5 to 8 years except for most hybrid chickens that will not make it above 3 years because of laying too many eggs.
Naturally, polish chickens are healthy and robust birds. They are cold and heat tolerant chickens that do well when caged or raised on deep litter method.
However, chicken worms do infest these friendliest chickens. Gape and thread worms will compete for food inside the chicken’s intestines making your girls malnourished and unhealthy.
To control chicken worms, seek advice from a qualified chicken vet near you on the right dewormer to administer.
You can also make a habit of feeding Zucchini and cilantro as treats. These chicken treats are believed to act as a natural dewormer for chickens.
Chicken lice and scaly mites are another serious threat. These ecto-parasites will even seek refuge inside the head crest.
To deal with them, use small amounts of diatomaceous earth powder in the chicken dust bath. DE works by removing body oils and moisture from the parasites thus, dehydrating them to death.
Always remember to clip the head feathers. Sometimes, they will get long and block the vision of your Blue polish exposing her to predators.
Why choose polish chickens?
Polish chicken breed is a good and friendly bird to add in your flock. These chickens are hardy and tolerate confinement pretty well.
They are not noisy like Hamburg chickens are and thus, can be raised on an urban setting. If you want some white eggs, then this is the right breed for you.
But if you want eggs machines, then go for Golden comets chickens because polish were not meant to mint eggs but to cuddle your eyes with their pompom hairdo.
They are super friendly and will not hurt your kids. Polish chickens will accept to be handled and sat on the lap.
Your girls will offer love and affection if you do not mind having company around you. They will chat with you or even take an afternoon nap near you if you don not mind to.
Do you have some polish roosters? I am sure if you do nothing from your kitchen goes to waste. Those boys of yours will munch on leftover popcorn, cooked rice and other scraps as treats helping prevent any food wastage.
Easy tips on raising polish chickens
These chickens are not different from your Asil chickens or other Brown hen breeds. However, they require good care, food and shelter to live well.
Food is one of the basic requirements your polish chickens will need. Ensure that your chicken feeders have enough crumbles, pellets or other commercial feeds.
The diet your chickens take should be well-balanced with all nutrients they require for healthy growth and development.
When the hens are molting, a high protein feed is very important. For the chicks, remember that their diet should be rich in protein at the rate of 22-24%.
Water is very important to chickens. It will keep their bodies well hydrated as well as keeping all the metabolic activities running smoothly.
Give your hens clean drinking water served in chicken waterers. Using water troughs will keep the water clean, fresh and free from impurities.
During winter your birds will still need water to drink. However, every drop will turn into ice so you have to be creative to keep chicken water from freezing. Heated chicken waterers will help keep the water in liquid form as well as make it a few degrees warm and appetizing to drink on a cold day.
Chickens require shelter to keep away predators, elements and have a place to lay as well as sett on their eggs.
Ensure that your chicken coop is strong and well ventilated to allow free air movement. Construct your chicken coop on a high area where flooding cannot occur.
Latch the door properly at night or use an automatic coop door to ensure the hens are well secure.
Final thoughts on polish chicken
Polish chicken is a good bird if you want it as a pet. They will offer white eggs but not as many as those of ISA Brown chickens.
These birds are calm, friendly and cuddly making them ideal chickens to keep when you have little children.
They are hardy, robust and strong birds that will easily adapt on both cold and hot climatic areas. Polish chickens are not noisy and are the type to keep on an urban setting.
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