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    White Crested Polish

    Chicken Breed

    These egg-laying birds are known for their crown of feathers.


    Authored by Sam Peterson

    Breed type


    Egg color


    Pen or free-range?

    Works well in both


    Docile, can be flighty

    White Crested Polish quick facts

    Lifespan: 4-7 years

    Weight: Females (Hens) - Approx. ~4 lbs; Males (Roosters) - Approx. ~6 lbs.

    Appearance: White pom-pom crests with black bodies; available in both bearded and non-bearded varieties 

    Egg Production: Approximately 100 eggs/year

    Good for Beginners: While they generally easy to care for, their crests can require extra care, making them a less beginner-friendly breed

    History of White Crested Polish

    The Polish is a well-respected ornamental breed known for a crown of fluffy feathers atop their heads. They have a storied history with origins in Europe, and the White Crested variety is no different, having been depicted in paintings and drawings for hundreds of years. With a name like ‘Polish’, most would think it is of Polish origin, but most credit the breed’s popularization to the Netherlands. Polishes continue to surprise owners today with their show-quality feathering and unique demeanors.

    Temperment and good-to-knows

    White Crested Polishes share the same friendly demeanor with other Polish chick varieties. The defining feature of Polishes is their docility and tendency towards flightiness. They can be described as ‘nervous’, but most of this is due to their crests. The overhanging feathers of their crests obscure vision and make it so they have less situational and visual awareness than other breeds. When approaching your White Crested Polish chickens, try to make a bit of noise so they know you are coming. This will help acclimate them to your presence and help make sure they don’t run off. Repeating this ritual will eventually lower the guard of your Polishes. If you are planning to include White Crested Polishes in a mixed flock, it is important to remember their docility can make them the target of bullying by more aggressive breeds. Other docile breeds will mesh better with Polishes.

    Since they are generally regarded as an ornamental breed, Polishes do not have the same egg-laying capacity as other breeds. Like the other color varieties of Polish, White Crested Polish chickens usually lay around 100 medium-sized, white eggs a year. This number can increase or decrease based on the individual productivity of your hens, but this figure is reasonable to expect. Unique amongst non-layers is that Polishes rarely go broody.

    Visual characteristics of White Crested Polish birds

    White Crested Polish chickens are the best way to experience the beautiful feather crests that make the Polish breed so memorable. Their white crests are typically combined with a black body that makes for a striking color contrast. This contrast draws the eye right to the iconic, fluffy crest, which can vary in shape and size according to the gender of the chicken. The crests of roosters have a less ‘well-kept’ appearance, while hens keep a much tighter ‘pom-pom’ shape. White Crested Polishes come in both bearded and non-bearded varieties that can greatly alter the look of your chickens. The combination of a fluffy muff and beard with the tall crest of a Polish makes for a special sight. With proper grooming, White Crested Polishes can make for great show chickens. The combs of both genders are typically obscured by their crests but come in a unique, angular shape.

    Health and care

    The feather crests of White Crested Polishes come with special care needs. Since they can obscure vision, Polishes are naturally vulnerable to predators. Keeping your flock protected under a wire coop topper will help alleviate the threat of flying predators. Weather can also be a concern for Polish chicken owners, as their fluffy crests can get waterlogged and cause problems for the chicken. Keeping your chickens warm and dry is important, and special attention should be paid to your Polishes during very cold or very wet weather. Allowing them ample shade during extreme heat will help keep your chickens from overheating under their fluffy caps.

    Frequently asked questions about White Crested Polish chickens

    How do you care for a White Crested Polish chicken's crest?

    The crest should be kept clean and dry to prevent matting and infection, and trimming may be necessary to improve visibility.

    Are White Crested Polishes good with other chicken breeds?

    They are generally good with other chickens and birds in coops as long as other birds do not bully or become aggressive toward them.

    Are White Crested Polishes good for meat production?

    No, they are not considered a meat-producing chicken breed as they have a smaller body size and do not gain weight as quickly compared to other chickens.

    Do White Crested Polish chickens require a lot of space to roam?

    Because they are a smaller breed, they do not require as much space as larger chickens, but they still need room to move around in backyard coops.

    Are White Crested Polish Chickens cold hardy?

    White Crested Polishes are not known for their cold hardiness, as they have small wattles and combs and a relatively small body size. Their crests can also become waterlogged, which could cause issues in colder weather.

    Everything your flock needs

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    Find all the information you need about raising chickens. Get an overview, then find helpful links to more in-depth education.

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