A Silver Laced Polish Cock
|Country of origin||The Netherlands|
|Weight||Male: Standard Cock: 6 pounds; Bantam Cock: 30 ounces|
|Female: Standard Hen: 4.5 pounds; Bantam Hen: 26 ounces|
|ABA||All Other Combs, Clean Legged|
Gallus gallus domesticus
The Polish (Also called the Poland) is a European breed of chicken known for its crest of feathers. The English language name of these birds is a misnomer, as they do not originate in the country of Poland. Instead, the oldest accounts of crested chickens comes from the Netherlands. In addition to combs, they are adorned with large crests that nearly cover the entirety of the head. The crest on their head limits their vision. This can affect their temperament, and thus, though normally tame, they may be timid and easily frightened.
Polish chickens are bred primarily as a show bird, but were originally productive egg layers. Accordingly, Polish rarely go broody and are noted for their white eggs. There are bearded, non-bearded and frizzle varieties.
The origin of the Polish's name are about as murky as the beginnings of the breed itself. The name could come from the bird's (at least supposed) country of origin, Poland. It also could have descended from the Middle Dutch word pol, meaning "head" (see Redpoll). They also may have been named after the Polish soldiers, who once wore feathered caps.
There are some controversies around origin of the Polish chicken's breed. Some state that the breed has Polish origin. These doubts might have arisen due to generally limited access to original sources documenting the Czubatka's (Polish chickens') presence in the history of Poland, caused by the fact that these testimonies are available in Polish language only. The Polish chicken breed's original, i.e. Polish, name is: Czubatka (ˈtʃubætkə). For centuries Poles kept their Czubatka domestic fowls in small farms scattered all over Polish territories. The full name of Polish chicken is 'Czubatka Staropolska' or 'Czubatka Dworska', where in Polish language 'Czubatka' simply indicates a hen or rooster with 'czub' (a tuft of feathers growing on top of the head), the word 'Staropolska' is an adjective meaning 'old-Polish' and the alternative nickname 'Dworska' is an adjective meaning 'court'. The Czubatka has multiple representations in Polish literature and art, and the Czubatka rooster is an iconic image symbolizing a country gentleman - character. To wind down, it is worth to mention, that the Czubatka poultry had been looking and behaving exactly like the contemporary Polish chickens do today for long (first accounts come from Middle Ages) before it was firstly introduced to Dutch breeders as the Polish chicken.
The derivation of the Polish chicken breed is unclear. It didn’t originate in Poland; breed historians are believing that Spanish immigrants who came to Netherlands in the late 1500s took the chicken breed with them from Spain. Dutch breeders developed the chicken breed, which is extensively portrayed in Dutch and Italian paintings from the 16th through 18th centuries. The crested Polish chickens were declared as thoroughbred in the 16th century. The American Poultry Association states that the breed was introduced to America between 1830 and 1840. The breed was under a certain period of time, a favored by American farmers and chicken fanciers. The American Poultry Association accepted three Polish varieties into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874; additional varieties were accepted in 1883, 1938 and 1963.
Though the origins of the breed are unclear, one theory suggests that the ancestors of the Polish were brought by Asian Mongols to Eastern Europe during medieval times. It is also said that the predecessors of the breed were brought to the Netherlands from Spain or Italy during the time of the Seventeen Provinces, these are speculations, however. Birds bearing a strong resemblance to the Polish can be seen in paintings dating from the fifteenth century. The breed was standardized in the Netherlands. Though usually only a fair layer at best today, In France they were known as an excellent producer of eggs.
|Cock||6 lb. - 2.75 kg|
|Hen||4.5 lb. - 2 kg|
|Cock||30 oz. - 850 grams|
|Hen||26 oz. - 740 grams|
The Polish is a light, Continental breed. Its prominent crest is caused by a protuberance, or knob, atop the bird's skull, from which the feathers grow. It sports the V-shaped Comb and large nostrils commonly seen in crested breeds. Care must be taken so that the Polish's crest and (if they have one) beard do not get wet or mite-infested. Polish are very vulnerable to predators due to their reduced vision.
- Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. pp. 145–146. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5.
- "Chicken Breeds", My Pet Chicken, accessed March 19, 2011.
- Damerow, Gail. The chicken encyclopedia. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-60342-561-2.
- Bassom, Frances (2009). Chicken breeds & care : a color directory of the most popular breeds and their care (1. ed.). Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books. p. 107. ISBN 978-1-55407-473-0.
- "Hodowca Drobiu", Stanisław Roszkowski / Qvo Vadis Czubatko Staropolska (dworska)?
- History of Polish Chickens
- Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's illustrated guide to poultry breeds. North Adams, Mass.: Storey Pub. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Polish (chicken).|