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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Poultry Breeds - Polish Chickens

Poultry Breeds - Polish Chickens


Origin: The Polish origins are not known, yet they have been known to exist since the 1600’s from paintings. Some historians believe they originated from Spain and were then transported to Holland, where the Spanish occupied the area. The credit of creating a standard of varieties goes to the Dutch. The reason for this fowl’s name relates to the polish military hats with a feather crest. The Polish are thought to have made it to the United States before the mid-1800’s.

Characteristics: The Polish an unusual and beautiful breed. They have a crest (some also possess a beard and muffs), are small, soft feathered, fairly active despite restricted vision due to their large "head gear." They need plenty of space to avoid damaging each other's crests by picking. Ice forming in their crests from drinking water can be a problem in cold weather. And sometimes their crests restrict vision and cause them to be easily frightened. The crest is also susceptible of lice. The Polish have an obscured v-shaped comb red wattles, and white earlobes. The shanks are gray. They possess a calm and gentle disposition, however, they are easily frightened and are prone to being bullied by other more aggressive breeds.

Standard Weights: Cock: 6  lbs; Hen: 4 ½  lbs; Cockerel: 5  lbs; Pullet: 4  lbs.


Skin Color: White

Egg Shell Color: White

Use: The Polish is mainly an ornamental bird, however, at one time they were use for their eggs, but when the Leghorn became popular they were no longer widely used for egg production. The Polish are very prolific, laying around 200 or more eggs.



Dr. Joe Berry, Extension Poultry Specialist, Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University

Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ekarius, Carol. "Chickens: Polish." Pocketful of Poultry: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2007. 134-37. Print.

Lewis, Celia. "Breed Profiles: Polish." The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them. New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2011. 137-38. Print.

"Polish Chicken." The Livestock Conservancy. The Livestock Conservancy, n.d. Web. 06 July 2015.


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Updated November 18, 1996



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