Uses: Exhibition. Eggs: 100 – 120 White.
Weight: Cock: 2 – 3 Kg. Hen: 2 – 2.5 Kg.
Bantam: Cock: 680 – 790g. Hen: 510 – 680g.
Colours: Self Black, Self Blue, Self White, Splash, Cuckoo, White Crested Black, White Crested Blue, White Crested Cuckoo, Chamois (sometimes called Buff Laced), Gold and Silver Laced.
Useful to Know: There are frizzled or straight, bearded and non-bearded varieties available.
Photo: White Crested Black Poland.
Poland Chickens (also called Polish in some parts) are in fact not from Poland as their name suggests. They are one of the oldest breeds of poultry and their origins are thought to be from somewhere in Europe. Some say England, some say the Netherlands and France. Poland Chickens are friendly little birds with huge amounts of character, great for smaller gardens and are very child friendly. Polands can be very amusing at times but are higher maintenance than other breeds. Polands tend to have restricted vision due to their head feathering. They can get spooked easily and can be very responsive to voice due to their lack of sight. They can get lost and start to cry out when they’ve lost the other birds in their flock and will also tend to get stuck in all sorts of unusual places so it is important to keep them confined in a safe area to limit the chances of them doing something to hurt themselves.
The Poland’s crest can be tied up in a band to help the bird to see which is more favourable than cutting their feathers. Polands are at a greater risk of ear mites than other breeds as they hide in their crest and cannot be seen easily, nor can the bird preen this area easily. Polands aren’t very hardy compared to other breeds and do need to be kept under cover during wet weather. With their extensive headgear, it is easy for them to catch cold, some breeders even dry their crest off with a hair-dryer if they get wet before they go to roost.
You can keep Poland cockerels together as they never fight and rarely will have any sort of disagreement. For breeding, 6 to 8 hens should be kept with a cock bird. Their eggs can be a little on the small side during their first year so it is best to breed from their 2nd year onwards. Polands rarely go broody. Sexing them can be almost impossible until they crow!
You can breed plain to frizzle to hatch both types according to Mendelian ratios, but you must never breed frizzle to frizzle since they will hatch without feathers. Never use birds with crests that come in front of the nostrils or sit off-centre / lean-to one side. Males inherit their combs from the mother’s side so to keep a comb off a cockerel, use hens with small combs.
The following books are available. Links take you to the Amazon or other sellers’ pages for the books.
- Popular Poultry Breeds – D. Scrivener – P.203
- Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds – C. Ekarius P.145
- British Poultry Standards – P.243
- UK: The Poland Club
- Breed in Focus: The Poland by Lawence Beeken
- Diseases Common to Polands by Lawence Beeken
- Exhibiting Polands – The Breed Standard by Lawrence Beeken
- Please leave a comment below if you can provide further information or have a question about Poland chickens.