The Polish Chicken, or the Crested Dutch Chicken, is an ornamental fowl that has a surprising appearance. These beautiful birds are distinguished by an explosive topknot of feathers, usually in a contrasting color to their body color, which accents their plumage. Though these are not the only crested Chickens, they are perhaps the best known of all other crested breeds.
Polish Chickens are non setters (most hens will not go broody) and for this reason they are hard to propagate without an incubator. They are rather prized for their beauty and for the pure white color of their eggshells than for their laying qualities. It is important not to startle Polish Chickens because their crests restrict their vision, so it may be easy to sneak up upon them without intending to. Under normal circumstances, however, Polish Chickens may be calmer than other chickens because their crest restricts vision much in the way a hood might. It is important to allow them plenty of space to prevent them from picking out each other's topknots. Polish Chickens are active, however, and because of their beautiful appearance they can be fun to watch!
All Polish Chickens have large nostrils and a topknot of feathers. The topknot emerges from a protuberance atop the chicken's skull. Juveniles usually do not develop adult coloration until they are sexually mature. The skull formation (knob) is visable from the time they hatch. The characteristic crest is usually completely developed by the time Polish Chickens are about four weeks old.
By maturity, a standard cock weighs about six pounds and a standard hen weighs about four and a half pounds. All Polish Chickens have tight feathering, white skin, and lay white eggs; however, the resemblance ends here. These chickens are available in a variety of types. A few recognized colors include White Crested Black or Blue, Golden or Silver Laced, Bearded White, Bearded Golden, Bearded Silver, Bearded Buff Laced. All of the bearded varieties are also available in non-bearded varieties.
.Mentioned in literature as early as the sixteenth century, Polish Chickens are a very old breed. They were probably imported from Eastern Europe to England, where they became known as Poland Fowls. Continental Europeans often refer to these and to all crested breeds as Paduans or Padoues. Polish Chickens have been praised for years as beautiful birds for exhibition
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