Extra Extraordinary Chickens – Stephen Green-Armytage (2005)


A second volume (except that I didn’t know there was a first) of absolutely stunning professional photographic portraits of some breeds of ornamental chickens. (That’s right. Chickens.)  This was an absolute joy to look at and learn (at  least on a superficial level) of the numerous kinds of chickens that are out in the world and just look fabulous. (Seriously.)

Ever since we visited the South Plains Fair last September and found ourselves looking at the chicken exhibits, I’ve been curious to learn more about these beautiful chickens. This volume has about 60 different breeds in it, but it’s the photography that is incredible. (Well, and the subjects of course.)

There are just pages and pages and pages of beautiful chickens (and roosters and co.) and in the studio photographic portrait set-up and in the hands of a very good photographer, they come alive in their beauty. I don’t think these are the typical chickens, but they are some of the prettiest and most amazing chickens that I have ever seen.

I did learn some stuff though (and was not just dazzled by chicken super-models):

  • Roosters are older males
  • Chickens are older females
  • Pullets are younger females
  • Cockerels are younger males

The use of “Bantam” weight and “Featherweight” in the weight divisions of boxing originate from the world of chickens and cockfighting. Cockerels who are successful in the cut-throat world of cockfighting are usually aggressive and very tough creatures. “Bantam” weight is a less-than-full-size creature (like a miniature breed), and Featherweight is very lightweight. (Light as a feather, see?)

A Silkie...

A Silkie…

And out of all these fantabulous portraits, a few did strike me as wonderful:  Silkies (who resemble feather dusters), Polish frizzle (more fantastic fluff balls), and Cochins (who have lush thick feathers on their legs and feet so that they look like they are wearing a pair of trousers). Another one I adored was called the Appenzeller Spitzhaubere which tend to have a great Mohawk feather look on their heads and take me back to the 1980’s…:-) And this one below who looks like someone just come in out of the wind here in Texas…


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