I am researching the development of chicken breeds and the possibility of identifying characteristics associated with various breeds or types in skeletal remains. I would be very interested to know if anyone has recorded, or otherwise knows of, evidence for five-toed fowl in zooarchaeological material. I have Peta Sadler's article (Sadler, P., 1991. The use of tarsometatarsi in sexing and ageing domestic fowl (Gallus gallus), and recognising five toed breeds in archaeological material. Circaea 8, 41-48) and am aware of the identifications made by Bramwell in the Baynard's Castle assemblage, although unfortunately he does not give details of how these were arrived at. (Bramwell, D., 1975. Bird remains from medieval London. The London Naturalist 54, 15-20.) Any additional observations or comments would be most welcome.
University of Leicester