When Animal Keeper Ginger Paschall learned that the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo would be acquiring a flock of chickens, the story of New England folk hero Nancy Luce, the Chicken Lady of Martha’s Vineyard, promptly came to mind.
Chickens are having a moment. Increased demand for locally sourced eggs has spurred interest in backyard coops to the point where many of us either know someone with a flock of their own, or tend one ourselves. And yet how much do we really know about the most common bird on Earth, which was first domesticated from the southern Asian junglefowl 6,000 years ago? Our staff explore the wonderful ubiquity and mystery of chickens during the process of bringing these feathered favorites back to the L.A. Zoo after a seven-year absence.