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White Crested Black Polish Chicken - Standard Large Fowl

Also known as: Poland, Polland, Crested Dutch, Paduans or Padoues.

Foreword: Please note that all care and raising practices in this document are the methods I have been using for years. They are successful for ME. Some, or all, may be successful for you. Each person has different experiences. Please keep that in mind when getting advice from breeders, chat forums, and social media groups. If someone insists that their way in the ONLY way, do yourself a favor, and move on to someone else for help.

Polish Chickens are not actually from Poland, they are from the Netherlands. Of the varieties of Polish, the White-crested Black Polish is the most popular. The color of their plumage is a rich glossy black throughout, with the exception of the crest, which is white. The shanks and toes are black, or dark slate; comb and wattles are bright red and earlobes are white. The feathers on the body & tail have a colorful oil sheen through out. They are very striking birds. It's hard not to stare. There are 2 size varieties; Standard (large fowl), and Bantam. Standard Polish cocks weigh 6 pounds, and hens weigh 4 pounds. Bantam cocks weigh 30 ounces, and hens weigh 26 ounces.

My Polish are the RARE Standard (large fowl) size.

Although they come in a variety of colors, I only raise white crested black.

They also come bearded, or non-bearded. Mine are only non-bearded.

For a third twist, you can get them in frizzle, or smooth. Mine are all smooth.

These are just my own personal preferences, and will not be changing in the future.

My birds are out of the top lines in the country. They are free range in the summer, but locked in at night to protect them from predators. In the winter, they are kenneled indoors. It is extremely important to keep them in a very dry place during cold weather. If the crests become wet and freeze, it can be life threatening to them very quickly.


-Eggs are viable for 21 days, if they are stored properly. Of course, the longer you wait to incubate them, the lower the hatch rate.

-Eggs should be stored in a cool dark place. Don't let them freeze, or get too warm. Mine are usually kept at around 50-60 degrees, and they do great. Store the eggs with the pointed end down.

-The eggs are a medium Bantam sized egg. They are slightly smaller than a grocery store chicken egg. They are bright white in color.

My Polish hens typically lay 4-5 eggs per week, each. Polish chickens rarely go broody, and even if they did sit on the eggs until they hatched, they would murder the chicks immediately. You must incubate the eggs, or use a broody chicken, like a Silkie, to sit on them.

Incubating / Hatching

-If you purchased eggs, be sure to let them settle for several hours before putting them in the incubator.

-Make sure your incubator is clean. If it's dirty your embryos will get an infection.

-The incubator needs to be between 99 - 101 degrees Fahrenheit, through the entire procedure. Use 2 thermometers. I have had thermometers go bad in the past, and cooked the chicks. I use one glass, and one digital, in all of my units.

-Humidity during Incubation can be between 30-50%.

-Humidity during hatching needs to go up to 70% or more.

 I have found that spring, or distilled, water is best. Tap water can cause infections, and residue build up on the eggs. Though the residue is minimal, its enough to make it harder for those chicks.

-I use electric turners. Place the eggs in the turner rails with the pointy end down. If you are not using a turner, you will need to turn them manually every 3-4 hours. The eggs will need to be turned for 18 days.

-On day 18 stop turning the eggs. If they are in rails, set them down on the bottom of the incubator, or move them to your brooder, if you have one.

-Remember to raise the humidity. Try not to open the lid, if you can help it.

-Hatching generally takes 21 days. But they can be early, or late. After 23 days, everyone who is going to hatch, has.


-The chicks can be moved to a dry brooder. I use glass fish tanks. I put rubber shelf liner, available in the kitchen department of any retail store, in the bottom of the tub. The rubber shelf liner prevents them from getting splayed legs. It is much easier for them to get their bearings, and learn to walk. The shelf liner can be replaced with bedding after 2 days.

A heat lamp is clamped on one end, but aimed at the other end. Lay a thermometer in the bottom, and check the temp at both ends. One end needs to be at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The other end should be around 90 degrees, so they can move if they are getting too hot. Keep the food and water in the cooler end. The hot end is where they will want to sleep.

-Watch the chicks to adjust their temperature. If they are huddled, they are too cold, aim the lamp down more inside the tub. If they are hiding from the lamp, or trying to get away, its too hot. Aim the lamp up a little higher. At around 2 weeks you can start weaning them off the heat. Aim the lamp a little higher every few days. By the end of 4 weeks, they should not need it anymore, providing your living space is at least 60 degrees.

-After a week, I usually move mine to a child sized pool, with a heat lamp aimed at one spot.

-Side Note about lamps: If the chicks are picking on each other, use a red bulb instead of a clear bulb. And don't change the bulbs with your bare hands. The oils from your skin can get too hot on the surface of the bulb, and cause it to explode.

-The chicks can eat the adult food, and it does not need to be ground up. They do offer chick food, but I don't see any difference in the growth, and health, by feeding them the adult crumble.

-Their water should be in a very shallow dish, or have rocks or marbles in it. They do fall in, and they do drown. If you use a poultry waterer, they will be fine with it just as it is.

-At 7 weeks some of your chicks will have red wattles and ceres. Those are usually your males. The females will get them too, but it will be a few more weeks.

-By 10-11 weeks old, the males will begin to get their "hair" feathers.

At around 14-15 weeks your roosters will begin crowing. They can start breeding anytime now. However, your hens will not start laying eggs until they are 6 - 6 months old. They may still allow the males to breed them though. So don't be surprised if you see that, and still get no eggs.

-The young chickens may still have some white in their wings. They will not have their full adult coloring until they are sexually mature.


-The adults make a large variety of sounds. My daughter says she thinks they used these chickens to come up with the dinosaur sounds for Jurassic Park - LOL!

-Mine are fed Meat Maker Crumble. It is sold at Fleet Farm. It keeps them at a healthy weight. I mix it with cracked corn, and a very small amount of calcium phosphorus powder.

-Once a week I give them greens or other treats.

-They are fine in the cold, as long as they are dry. They do like to roost. Mine have some saw horses in their pen. I also have a heat lamp aimed at them, in case they do get cold.

Full grown the males will be about 6 pounds. The females will be about 4.5 pounds. The only purpose they really serve is ornamental/exhibition. They are a funny bird, mostly because they can't always see through their crest, so they get very animated when startled. Older hens lay nice sized

eggs, that you can eat and bake with.

The crest of the cock is composed of narrow feathers, something like those which form the hackle of the neck and saddle. They should rise well in front so as not to obstruct the sight and fall over to the back and sides in a flowing, even mass. The comb is peculiar, and belongs to the class of combs which forms a fancied resemblance to a leaf, and are designated leaf combs. It is better described, however, as two fleshy horns diverging like the letter V, the upper extremities

retreating into the crest. The crest of the hen is formed of feathers growing upward and turning in at the extremities, and should be large and globular in form and compact in character, with no sight of parting. The larger the crest the better, provided it is of good shape. A crest of loose texture and falling in all directions, is an undesirable trait.

And becomes a burden to the hen.

I have an even 50/50 split of male/ female in our flock. Although the males can handle up to 8 hens each, they do seem to prefer to pair off. Especially when they are free range. So far, I have not had any trouble with cocks fighting. Even while they're kenneled for the winter.

These birds can live 10-15 years with proper care. However, they typically only

breed up to 5 years. Mine are very tame, and are handled often. Even the ones I got as adults. My oldest Rooster follows me around like a dog. He's a total pest! So is one of my youngest hens - LOL!

Just don't startle them when you go to pick them up, and they are totally fine with human interaction.

Thank you for your interest in my Polish Chickens. View larger images in my Polish Chickens Gallery

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This page was last updated 11/10/14