*To keep those mites and lice away, mix some mitacide or lice powder with Vaseline and apply a dob in the middle of the crest and under the wings. It works.
*The crest of the Polish can often obscure it's view. If the bird is being bred, is in with other breeds or isn't being exhibited it's a good idea to tie the crest up to allow the bird to see better. If the bird will be exhibited you can use masking tape, painters tape, hair bands, rubber bands or any other temporary means of keeping the crest up. You may want to keep it up for about two weeks but no longer than a month then let it down for a while. The crest may take up to two weeks to regain it's proper shape. A longer lasting solution is to cut the feathers around it's face. Of course if the bird will be shown keep in mind the amount of time needed for those feathers to molt then regrow.
*To keep your birds from becoming bored and start feather picking try putting big chunks of styrofoam or flakes of hay in the pen. The birds will spend hours pecking and scratching.
*An old poultry book says that if you put a dab of lard on a chick's head, it will help get rid of mites.
*Don't run crested breeds with non-crested breeds. With all those crest feathers they can't see well enough to defend themselves.
*Keep a box with Seven powder mixed with sand so the hens can take dust baths during the winter.
*Make sure the birds get their greens during the winter to help keep their nutrition at a steady rate-lettuce, green beans, dried grass clippings, and even carrots (although they have to learn how to eat the carrots) are some of the things you can give them to eat. Rabbit food is good as well.
If you are exhibiting poultry you should own the APA and the ABA Standards of Perfection.
*Watch for stubs- they are the little tiny feathers that grow on the shanks and between the toes of Polish. They are a disqualification. Remove them when they are small. The larger the feather is the bigger the feather follicle is and plucking may make it bleed. If a judge notices that a feather has been plucked it may influence their decision.
*Study the description and picture of the the White Crested Black, Blue, Khaki and Chocolate in the APA and ABA Standards of Perfection. Pay particular attention to the crest. If your bird has too much color in the front of their white crest simply pluck those feathers out one at a time. Do only a small area at one time so the bird does not get too sore. Be sure to leave the appropriate amount of color in the front of the crest.
*Watch for squirrel tail- that is a tail that sits at 90 degrees or more from its base. It is a disqualification.
Here are some tips to help guide you in your breeding program. Of course, you should consider all of the good and bad points of each individual bird when making your selections.
*Something to consider when breeding is the comb on the hen. The hen without a comb is the one you want to use to keep the comb off the cockerel.
*Another thing to consider when picking your breeders is the way the crest sits on the head. It should sit centered on the head not loping to one side nor protrude forward of the nostrils.
*Use hens with low tail angles
*Though both the male and female each contribute 50% of the genes to the offspring it is generally said that the female decides the type and the male adds the color.
*When brooding chicks, keep supplemented water in front of them all the time. Change the water every day and keep it clean.
*Try feeding older chicks 28% turkey starter crumbles. It helps with all the extra feathers they have to grow.
*When brooding chicks, try to keep the flock to 10 or 15. They don't seem to do very well in larger flocks when very young. Once they are fully feathered they can be put into a larger flock of same age birds.