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You may have heard the term Tolbunt Polish or Tolbunt Polish Frizzle chicken and seen the stunning pictures of some of them.   Maybe you know what a Tolbunt Polish chicken looks like when you see it but aren’t quite sure what Tolbunt means or what to look for.  Are Tolbunt Polish and Tolbunt Polish Frizzle different breeds?   Let’s take a look at what Tolbunt Polish and Tolbunt Polish Frizzle chickens are, and what to look for if you want to add some of these beautiful chickens to your flock.

Tolbunt Polish chickens are Polish chickens, sometimes called “top hat” chickens.    Polish are a unique and beautiful breed of chicken with their large showy crest of feathers and v-shaped comb.   Polish chickens are popular as an ornamental or show breed, but they can also be decent egg layers, producing up to 3 to 4 medium size white eggs per week and rarely go broody. They’re well known for their calm, friendly nature and don’t mind being held and cuddled. Their gentle temperament usually lands them lower in the flock pecking order, so watch that they aren’t bullied by more aggressive birds in your flock. Those big showy crest feathers can sometimes obscure their view (this is especially true for frizzled polish), so they can be easily startled and need to be well protected from predators.

What does Tolbunt mean?

Tolbunt is a specific coloring and pattern.  Tolbunt Polish chickens have a beautiful brown, black and white mottled pattern which can sometimes be difficult to find.  Many breeders are working hard to perfect the Tolbunt Polish coloring and pattern.  The proposed breed standard is reddish bay to mahogany feathers with lustrous black lacing and white mottling.  The crest and tail may have more white than the rest of the feathers.


Is Tolbunt Polish Frizzle a different breed?

Frizzle is not considered a unique breed in the United States.  A frizzled chicken is the result of a gene that causes the feathers to curl or “frizzle”.    Chickens receiving a copy of the incomplete dominant frizzle gene (F) causes the shaft of the feather to curl upward and outward rather than grow straight like non-frizzled chickens.   A chicken receiving one copy of the frizzle gene has a 50% chance of being a frizzle, whereas a chicken receiving two copies of the frizzle gene is called a “frazzle” or “curlie”.   Frazzle chicks will have extremely fragile feathers, may have bald patches, and are very likely to have health problems.  Responsible breeders avoid breeding chickens where both parents carry the frizzle gene.  If you’re looking for a frizzled chicken to add to your flock, make sure to purchase from a reputable breeder who knows how to breed frizzles responsibly.

Tolbunt Polish Frizzle chickens are difficult to find and can be more expensive because of the challenges breeders face in achieving the proper Tolbunt coloring and pattern as well as correctly breeding for frizzled chicks.


Quick Facts about Tolbunt Polish

Primary UseOrnamental, Egg Production

Egg Production:  Good, 150 – 200 eggs per year

Egg Size: Medium

Egg Shell Color: White

Bird Size:  Male 6 lbs. / Female 4.5 lbs.

Color: Black, White, Gold (Tolbunt pattern)

Temperament:  Calm

Heritage Breed:  The Livestock Conservatory(TLC) Heritage Chicken Breed; Watch Status


History of Polish Chickens

Birds that look like Polish chickens have been depicted in artwork by Dutch and Italian artists as far back as the 1400s, and they were also mentioned in literature during that time. However, the exact history of these birds is not known. Some historians think that they may have originated in Poland and traveled with Asian Mongols to Central and Eastern Europe during the Middle Ages, while others believe that they were brought from Spain to Holland during the late 16th century.

Regardless of their origin, Polish chickens have been bred for their unique appearance for centuries. They have a distinctive crest of feathers on their heads, which can be either bearded or non-bearded. The feathers on their heads can sometimes obstruct their vision, making them prone to aerial predation.

Polish chickens were first introduced to England in the 1700s, and they quickly became popular in France for their egg production. They were later brought to America in the early to mid-1800s, where they were also appreciated for their unique appearance and egg-laying abilities.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Leghorn chickens became more popular for their egg production, and Polish chickens were primarily bred for exhibition purposes. They continue to be popular today among poultry fanciers and are known for their friendly temperament and unique appearance.