Black Polish Chicken: Egg Production, Breed Personality and Care

black polish chicken featured image

The rock star of the poultry world, the Black Polish chicken is famous for its extravagant coif, but yet, is not a Polish breed at all. As the most popular variety of Polish chicken, it’s an excellent egg producer laying up to 200 eggs per year while also being used for poultry shows.

The White Crested Black Polish chicken comes from the Netherlands and credit is given to the Dutch for naming them after the feathered hats that the armies from Poland wore.

They have been a popular breed in Europe since the 17th century, and are today a worldwide breed, admired by chicken fanciers, and backyard flock owners alike.

Black Polish Chicken Breed Overview

Recognized Breed NameWhite Crested Black Polish Chicken
Lifespan7 to 8 years
Coloring and PatternBlack feathers with white and black head feathers, white earlobes, and red wattles
WeightStandard roosters should weigh 6lbs
Standard hens should weigh 4.5lbs
Polish bantam should weigh less than 1.8lbs
Crested/Non-CrestedCrested
Comb TypeV-shaped comb
Distinctive DetailsCrest of feathers resembles a pom-pom or top hat. Hens have sleek crests, while roosters have tousled crests
Bearded or Non-beardedNon-bearded
Feather TypeFrizzle, Silkie, and Standard feather types exist
Heritage BreedYes
Tolerant to Heat?Yes
Tolerant to Cold?No
Meat Production Breed?No
Egg Production Breed?Yes
black polish hen

Egg Production

White Crested Black Polish hens are decent egg layers and produce 150 to 200 white eggs per year. Compared with other egg production breeds, they are considered average, consistent with most egg laying backyard chickens.

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Black Polish pullets start laying eggs at the 20 week mark, consistent with other Polish hens. Typical production is 3 to 4 medium size eggs per week.

White Crested Black Polish hens do not lay eggs in winter so you will need to wait until spring to start gathering eggs, even if a pullet is at the point of lay.

Temperament

These beautiful birds have a docile temperament and individual personalities, with many people choosing to make them pet chickens.

Some Black Polish chickens will be easily startled or initially unwelcoming to strangers. This breed in particular has extravagant plumage that can limit line of sight resulting in timidity.

It is possible to carefully trim their head feathers if it is interfering with everyday activities such as foraging or if they seem overly stressed by potential predators.

You may see aggressive behavior in your flock of hens when new members are added as they sort out the pecking order, but should abate once they have established their hierarchy.

Polish roosters are known to be aggressive and protective of their flocks. Roosters should live separately from hens and not with other roosters as feather-picking behaviors have been observed more often in this breed.

Black Polish Chicken Coop

Polish chickens should have a spacious chicken coop and provide at least 12 square feet per chicken. They should have perches and roosts that are close to the ground, and plenty of them to prevent feather picking.

They are not a good free-range bird because their eyesight is obstructed, making them vulnerable to predators.

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Breeders should know that Polish hens are not likely to be broody and may not be the best mothers to their baby chicks. Brooding boxes should be at least 12×12, and house no more than 2 hens at a time.

Polish chicks will likely need assistance from an incubator to hatch successfully. A hatchery should also be set up in advance with a safe heat source, a chick waterer and feeder.

Feeding and Health

Food requirements for Black Polish chickens are similar to other chickens. Baby chicks should start on chick starter, and then move to grower feed once they reach six weeks. At 12 weeks, they can be given layer feed.

Black Polish hens should be given layer feed with protein between 16 and 18 percent. They should also be given a calcium supplement such as oyster shell, to help them with egg production.

Frizzled Polish chickens will need extra nutrients too, as their feathers tend to be weak, so ensure they are given a high-quality layer feed, with oyster shell supplements.

Supplements of fresh food and table scraps such as cucumbers, watermelon, and oats can be given to chickens as a treat but should not make up more than 10% of their total diet. Be sure to check whether a particular food is safe for chickens to consume before allowing them to eat it.

Lastly, you will want to ensure your flock has access to chick grit at all times. This is especially important for Polish chickens who will not pick up enough grit through foraging and is vital for digestion.

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FAQs

What types of Polish Chickens Are There?

The American Poultry Association registers Polish chickens of all acceptable varieties and originally published the Standard of Perfection for their breed in 1874. Both Bantam and Standard sizes are included.

Accepted varieties of Polish Chickens include:

  • Non-Bearded White Crested Black Polish
  • Non-Bearded Golden Laced Polish
  • Non-Bearded Silver Polish
  • Non-Bearded White Polish
  • Bearded Golden Laced Polish
  • Bearded Silver Polish
  • Bearded White Polish
  • Bearded Buff Laced Polish
  • Non-Bearded Buff Laced Polish
  • Non-Bearded White Crested Blue Polish

It should be noted that the Tolbunt Polish is not yet recognized by the APA.

What are some other names for Black Polish chickens?

Polish chickens have also been called Poland, Tophat, Paduan, and Crested throughout the years.

Are Black Polish Chickens Family Friendly?

Yes – absolutely! It should be noted that Polish hens are particularly well-suited for families with children. Polish roosters tend to be aggressive so always ensure children are supervised around them.

Are Black Polish Chickens Good for Beginners?

Polish chickens are good for beginners because they are docile, decent egg layers, and are a healthy and hardy breed with a generous lifespan. They are also the most popular variety of Polish and are reasonably priced.

Can Black Polish Chickens be Raised for Meat?

Polish chickens are not good meat birds. They have small breasts and little meat. There are many other broiler breeds that are better if you wish to raise chickens for meat.

Christina

A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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