Unique birds of a feather flock together, and Polish Chickens are no exception. These gorgeous crested birds are known for their downy flair—some even come fully bearded—but there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the Polish Chicken. Here are a few important things to know about this heritage breed.
They're Not Actually Polish
According to the Livestock Conservancy website, Polish Chickens don't originate from Poland, but were given their name because of how their crests resemble the feathered hats donned by soldiers in Poland. One theory is that this breed originated in Spain and was subsequently brought to Holland. It was there that the breed gained its unique coloring and signature crest. Another theory, according to the Rural Living Today website, is that the birds were brought from Asia to Europe during the Middle Ages.
They're Mild Tempered
The Livestock Conservancy page notes that birds in this breed tend to be non-sitters and non-broody, and are known to be mild-tempered and even cuddly when well-bonded. They're also lower in the pecking order and can be vulnerable to bullying by more aggressive breeds. This makes them ideal as show birds and as pets. Be mindful, though: according to the folks at the EcoPeanut website, because their crests tend to partially or even fully cover their eyes, they're more likely to be spooked. This also means they're more vulnerable to airborne predators when let out to free-range, so take extra care if you choose to let them wander.
They Require Extra Maintenance
Keeping the plumage on this bird clean and dry is essential, in order to prevent dust, dirt, or debris from getting into their eyes. According to EcoPeanut, these birds do well in confinement, which will help keep them away from excess dirt and the elements. However, if their crests do get dirty, it is important that they're cleaned and dried as quickly as possible. These fowl are also at risk of infestation of mites and lice, and should be checked and treated regularly to prevent irreversible damage to their eyes.
They Can Be Persistent Layers
Long before they laid claim to the showroom floor, these birds were used primarily for their egg production. However, as they're been bred more for ornamental purposes over the years, their laying levels have decreased as well. Polish Chicken eggs tend to be medium-sized and white, and the most persistent can lay up to 200 eggs a year (EcoPeanut). The Livestock Conservancy notes that these birds tend to lay a bit later in the season, but once they being, they are excellent producers.
Making sure they're well-cared for, well-fed, and have enough protein is an essential part of keeping your Polish Chickens happy. PopWorms! has an excellent variety of black soldier fly larvae supplements to add to your laying feed to make sure all your chickens are happy, healthy, and full of love.
Visit our online store, or find us at your local supplier to get goodies for your backyard friends today.
Happy Memorial Day!