Originally, this breed was known as the Paduan and even today, this name is still used. The breed had been known in the Netherlands for centuries and it was not until 1850 that they really became popular and were spread around the world. The most likely place of origin is the southeastern part of the former Soviet Union. There are lots Russian breeds with muffs and beards and the well-known Crested Siberian only differs from the Bearded Poland in that they have leg and foot feathering. The Russian Pavlowskajas resemble the Bearded Poland fowl the most. It is quite possible that selective breeding developed this breed. There is a close link to the Non Bearded Poland, although both breeds differ genetically on certain points. In some countries, the two breeds are considered as one in two varieties, with and without muffs and beard. They are available in very high quality in Europe and notably the Netherlands. A very active speciality breed club was formed in the Netherlands to promote the breed in 1980. This club has helped many new fanciers both in the Netherlands and abroad to acquire sound breeding stock. In 1990, the frizzled varieties were recognized in Holland in all standardized colors of this breed.
Bearded Polands also exist in bantam form, which have become much more popular than the large fowl. Certain colors are very rare. The situation in some countries is that the Bearded Polands in certain varieties are in danger of extinction! Serious expectations are that if no conservation measures will be developed they will die out soon. It is to be hoped that more people do start keeping and breeding this lovely breed.
Instead of the comb, this breed has a full crest of feathers on the
well-developed skull knob. Sometime a rudimentary comb is shown in front
of the crest. The hens have oval-shaped feathers in the crest, whereas the
cocks have elongated, pointed feathers. The crest needs to be circular and
compact. The face is covered by muffs and the beard is just under the
beak. Very small wattles are allowed in some countries but are an
international preference for no wattles. Bearded Poland weighs more than
the Non Bearded Poland and the types are slightly different as well. The
type of the Bearded Poland is higher, the body and neck slightly longer
and the plumage is looser. The back slopes down towards the tail. A
rudimentary comb is sometimes seen. The wide-open nostrils are placed
higher on the beak as in the Dutch Kraaikoppen (attn. NOT German
Kraienkoppe - a total different breed!) The eye color is red-brown and
the ear lobes are small and white, although the muffs mostly cover them.
The large wings are carried close to the body and sloping backwards
towards the ground. The tail is well developed and is carried medium high;
very characteristics are the beautifully curved sickles. The full, broad
and rounded breast is carried slightly forward. The leg color is dark to
slate blue, depending on the variety. Cuckoo-colored have white legs.
The husbandry is identical to the Polands. Bearded Polands are very friendly and tame. They make excellent show birds. To be successful with the breed, they need to be kept in dry and sheltered environment. They lay fewer eggs than other breeds, approximately around 125 a year. Bearing in mind that the white eggs are rather large for the breed. Bearded Polands rarely get broody.
Their body size has been getting smaller of late, making the weight all-important! For bearded Poland it should be between 1500 and 2300 grams depending on sex and age.
The following colors are known: Golden- and Silver Laced, Chamois or White Laced Buff, Black, White, Blue Laced, and Cuckoo as well as the Frizzled varieties. The bantam variety is as said before better known than the large variety.