Poland

An old breed, although its ancestry is unclear due to many countries having laid claim to its making

Recognised instantly by its massive crest, the exhibition Poland is truly a sight to behold. This is a fairly high-maintenance breed, with a number of conditions being made worse by its crest, such as lice infestations and eye problems, although there is movement within the breed club both at home and abroad to reduce the crest to a more practical size and shape. Bantam Polands do make good pets and will, like Pekins, run to their handler for food. Ensure that drinkers and feeders don’t allow the birds to soil their crests, which can be taped up or cropped if the birds are to be kept outside to free-range. Standard colours include chamois (buff laced), gold, silver, self-white, self-black, self-blue, white-crested black, white-crested cuckoo, and white-crested blue. In birds with larger crests the head is very delicate, and if alarmed – particularly if approached from above – the bird will fly upwards and knock itself out.