The Polish chicken is a cute, quirky poultry friend that is a true delight to have in your flock.
With a natural talent to shine in the coop or shows, the Polish chicken has many qualities that can make it a good addition to your flock.
They’re also adorable, friendly, full of personality, and make great companions. In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about the Polish chicken.
Polish Chicken Personalities
What Are Polish Chickens Like?
Polish chickens are quirky, funny creatures that are full of personality and love to be held.
They’re best known for the tufts of feathers on their head, lovingly referred to by chicken owners as their “pom pom.”
This chicken breed is a stunning mix of white, brown, and black making it a real head turner. The silver laced polish varieties are black and white chickens.
They’re great for children since they’re not aggressive, like being held, and are friendly. Because of their size and the crest of feathers (which can cover their eyes and make it hard for them to see), they can be a little skittish around very fast movement.
But with consistent handling and treats like black soldier fly larvae, your Polish chickens will welcome your visits!
What Are Polish Chickens Used For? (What Is The Use Of The Polish Breed?)
Polish chickens are largely kept for ornamental reasons – because they’re pretty and friendly. They’re also great for children because they like to be held and enjoy human companionship. Polish chickens are fair egg layers, and you can expect 2-3 eggs per week (assuming the hen’s diet is adequate. You can learn more about what chickens eat here and high quality alternative feeds here.)
Quick Facts about Polish Chickens:
|Feather crest on head||White Crested Black||White||Friendly|
|4 toes||Golden laced||Lay 2-3x per week||Quiet in coop|
|~6 pounds||Buff laced||~100 eggs per year||Good for children|
|V-comb, small wattles||Silver laced||Medium sized||Likes treats & toys|
Polish chickens have 4 toes, a crest of feathers on their head that often covers their eyes, and have a calm appearance. The hens do not have prominent wattles or combs, and both sexes have a v-shaped comb.
Polish chicken breed and color varieties:
- Non-Bearded White Crested Black
- Non-Bearded Golden
- Non-Bearded Silver
- Non-Bearded White
- Bearded Golden
- Bearded Silver
- Bearded White
- Bearded Buff Laced
- Non-Bearded Buff Laced
- Non-Bearded White Crested Blue
At most major hatcheries, you’ll find most of these types. The most popular Polish chicken varieties are:
- Silver laced
- Buff laced
- White crested black
- Golden laced
The laced chickens are popular because their feathers are very beautiful, and they’re a colorful addition to any flock. The white crested black variety are prized because they’re black chickens with a contrasting white crest – a real head turner!
You can also find “frizzled” variants (the feathers look messy and turn upward, instead of lay neatly against their bodies.). You can learn more about frizzles here.
It’s important to note that Polish chickens aren’t very cold hardy, but they’re heat tolerant. So, if you live in a cold area, you will need to pay special attention to them during the cold days. In the summer, it’s also important to note they could get heat stroke – so providing cool, fresh water at all times is critical.
Is A Polish Chicken A Bantam?
While there’s full size Polish chickens, there’s also Polish bantams available (you can read more about how to raise bantams here – because of their size, they have some special needs to keep them safe from chicken predators.
Full size Polish roosters weigh about 6 lbs and hens weigh 4.5 lbs. The bantam varieties weigh about 2-3 pounds.
They’re relatively good fliers, although they’re unlikely to “fly the coop” and wander off. Because of their crest of feathers, they can’t see very well, so they usually stick close to home.
Do Polish Chickens Have 5 Toes?
Polish chickens have only 4 toes. Only:
- silkie chickens,
- houdan, and
chickens have 5 toes. You can learn about these chicken breeds here.
Are Polish Chickens Aggressive?
Not usually. Polish chickens are easy going, and due to their friendly natures, they enjoy human company.
What Age Do Polish Roosters Crow?
The age a rooster will first crow varies on the breed, but in general they typically will begin crowing at about four or five months of age, some late bloomers even at 8 months.
Do Polish Chickens Lay Eggs?
The Polish chicken is not reliable egg layers although they do lay a good number of around 200 medium to large sized eggs/year. Although it does take them a while to get into the swing of laying, but once they do it comes consistently.
Despite popular myth, you don’t need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs, although it’s not a bad idea to keep one to protect your hens.
How Many Eggs Do Polish Chickens Lay?
Polish chicken hens aren’t great layers – you can expect 2-3 eggs per week. This also depends on her diet (a poor diet can cause chickens to stop laying eggs. It’s best to stick with a 16% layer feed and always offer a calcium supplement. You can learn more about egg laying, including how often chickens lay eggs, here.
What Color Eggs Do Polish Chickens Lay?
Polish chickens lay white eggs.
Are Polish Chickens Good Layers?
Since this chicken is often used for ornamental purposes their egg laying ability varies on the breed. Polish are sweet natured and beautiful exhibition birds but not reliable egg layers.
How Many Eggs Does A Polish Chicken Lay?
Polish chickens lay around 200 white eggs per year.
What Age Do Polish Chickens Lay Eggs?
Most Polish hens start laying eggs at about 5 months of age, which is a bit earlier than other popular breeds like Cochins, Speckled Sussex, or Buff Orpingtons. This will depend on her diet and the season – if she turns 6 months old during the winter, she might not lay until spring. Most chickens need 12-14 hours of light a day to lay eggs.
Are Polish Chickens Broody?
While any chicken can go broody (even roosters, oddly enough), Polish chickens aren’t bred for their mothering abilities. So, they don’t tend to go broody.
How Long Do Polish Chickens Take To Hatch?
Caring For Your Polish Chicken
Full size chickens and the bantam versions have similar needs:
- A safe coop (you can learn how to build a predator-safe coop here)
- A high-quality feed (here’s the feed I recommend)
- Clean water (get my waterer recommendations here)
- Entertainment, such as a chicken swing
To keep predators and pests out of your coop, it’s best to use a chicken feeder that’s easy to clean and/or will automatically close. You can check out the chicken feeders I recommend here.
Do Polish Hens Have Spurs?
No, they don’t. Only the roosters have spurs.
Where Are Polish Chickens From?
The origins of this breed is a bit unclear, however, there are several anecdotes saying that the bird came from Europe. The most notable story is that in 1736, the King of Poland was dethroned and fled to France bringing with him his beloved Polish chickens.
They were well loved by the French aristocracy and from then on their future was assured. The Polish chicken traveled from Continental Europe to England (1700’s) and eventually finding its way to the USA in 1830-1840.
Where To Buy Polish Chickens?
Most major hatcheries carry Polish chicks, including:
- Cackle Hatchery (You can read our review of Cackle Hatchery here.)
- Meyer Hatchery
- Murray McMurray
- Ideal Poultry
- Stromberg Chickens
You might also be able to find Polish chickens at farm stores or local breeders.
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.