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The Poland Chicken

History

Known in England as the Poland, this chicken is the most popular of the crested breeds. It is also one of the oldest. The origin of this bird and its name is still not clear. Crested birds have been described all over Europe, not just in Poland. It has been known as a pure breed as early as the 16th century. They appeared and received classification at the first poultry show in London in 1845. Then available in four colours.

Behaviour

The Poland chicken is an unusual and beautiful bird. They do look rather strange with their big hair do! They lay a good number of white eggs. Generally classed as a non-sitting bird, they can occasionally become broody. Breeders tend to tie the crest up to keep it clean and allow the bird to see well. The Poland has a thin skull and can suffer from hypothermia quite quickly in the cold. Mites need to be looked out for, as they cannot preen themselves very easily to remove them.

Varieties

Colours of the Poland are very varied. The best known being the white crested black with its black body and white crest. The other two similarly patterned colours are white crested blue and white-crested cuckoo. These three colours do not have a beard and have wattles; all the other colours have a beard with no wattles. They have white earlobes. The crest of the female should be very round with the males being spikier. The eyes are red in all colours and beaks and legs are dark blue in all except the white crested cuckoo, which has a paler beak and legs. The chamois, gold and silver are all laced.

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