Any chance it could be from a heath hen (or, depending where the site is, prairie chicken) Tympanuchus cupido? The length is about right although the proximal and distal ends may be too wide. Heath hen would be interesting...
From: Analysis of animal remains from archaeological sites [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of adam heinrich [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 15 May 2014 20:45
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ZOOARCH] chicken breed through bones
I have a complete chicken (Gallus gallus) tarso-metatarsus that is significantly shorter than the typical chickens I have seen. It is likely female (no spur), 46.5mm long, 11.9mm wide at the proximal articulation, and 12.3mm wide at the distal end.
The female chickens in the comparative collection are over 70mm in length at this bone. Could this chicken be of a particular breed? Does anyone know of any research on the osteological differences of different chicken breeds? The context is c. 1804-1850s.
While on the topic of chickens. Does anyone have comparative archaeological research on culling chickens such as male chicks? The same context has about three chickens of various, but very young ages.
Thanks, Adam Heinrich