The Polish chicken is a breed of domestic chicken that was developed in Europe, although its exact origin is unknown. Some suggest that the breed descended from Asian chickens brought to the area during medieval times, while others assert that the breed could have descended from Italian or Spanish chickens. Despite the debate about its origins, it was given a standard in the Netherlands in the sixteenth century. It was introduced into the United States of America in the early nineteenth century and accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1874, after which time it experienced a certain amount of popularity.
The Polish chicken varies in weight depending upon the sex and type, with standard type cocks reaching a weight of six pounds and hens reaching a weight of 4.5 pounds. The bantam type of this breed is smaller, reaching weights between 1.6 and 1.8 pounds. It can come in bearded, non-bearded, and frizzled types. This breed is best known for the crest of feathers that nearly covers the entire head and hinders the eyesight. The comb is v-shaped and cannot be seen from under the crest and individuals can display a beard under the beak. Care must be taken to maintain the beard and crest to prevent them from molding or becoming infested with mites. Generally, the Polish chicken is tame but nervous, due to its poor eyesight.
Image Caption: A white-crested black Polish cockerel. Credit: Berit/russavia/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)