28 Jan 2013, Posted by admin in MEET, 1 Comments
When we read about something we eat, it often comes with a warning — unhealthy, inhumanely raised, antibiotic-filed, (un)fairly traded. The Magnificent Chicken, a follow-up to Tamara Staples‘ out-of-print book The Fairest Fowl (2001), accomplishes so much more by focusing on the (truly) magnificent side of poultry.
The Brooklyn-based photographer opens a window into the curious world of “show” foul, a veritable soup mix of “bearded” chins, “beetle-brow” foreheads and incredible feather patterns that resemble fine china designs. There are just as many glorious poultry breeds past, like that stunning copper-colored Golden Sebright Bantam (1874) as present (a Porcelain Belgian Beaded D’Uccle Bantam that made the cut in 2009 for its pastel hues and delicate feathers).
Staples includes the year each breed was admitted to The Standard of Perfection manual, the chicken breeder’s gold standard, its country of origin and best career choices (some are good egg layers, others are bred primarily for the pageant circuit). You’ll leave with too much respect for these quirky, charming farm foul to buy anything but those raised in happy coops.
Get five of Staples’s chicken snapshots over at LA Weekly. (Warning: you’re going to want a chick.)