The Poland is a very unusual chicken! It is also called the Polish (mainly in America) and the Padua.
The Poland is a European breed of chicken known for its crest of feathers, which sets it apart from any other breed.
The name of these birds is a misnomer, as they do not originate in the country of Poland. Instead, the oldest accounts of crested chickens comes from the Netherlands. Mentioned in literature as early as the sixteenth century, Polish Chickens are a very old breed. The Poland breed probably originated in Eastern Europe, but nothing is truly known about its origins. Polands were brought from Asia in to which is now southern Russia by Mongols and other invading tribes under their rule. They were then brought in to Poland and kept in villages and by nobles and were distributed further in to Western Europe by Germans who lived and worked in Poland, Germany, Holland, England and Italy’s Padua city.
Breed standardization was done in Holland, England and Germany and the name change took place in 1869 Germany, Dresden at a convention of Poultry breeders to Paduaner (Polish Padewski). During that time Poland had been partitioned out by war and was gone from the map. Poland breeders persisted in having the name changed back, although there are still breeds that are called Padewski.
The oldest reference found to date is the stone statue in the Vatican which bears a very close resemblance to a crested fowl. Another discovery was in a Roman archaeological dig in the south of England where a skull from a bird was discovered and was exactly the same as the skull on today’s Poland breed. It therefore suggests that this breed did originate from this area and was imported into the U.K. by the Romans. This also suggests that the breed is possibly one of the oldest in existence today. These were brought to their wonderful point of development by European and English breeders as long ago as the mid 1800s.
The Poland appeared at the first poultry show in London on 1845 after being brought to the UK by poultry expert John Bailey from Holland in 1835.
Their history continues to evolve as breeders continue to perfect the breed and produce new colours.