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Pioneering Poultry: A Morphometric Investigation of Seventeenth- to Early Twentieth-Century Domestic Chickens (Gallus gallus) in Eastern North America

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Eric TourignyORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Springer, 2023.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Chickens were among the first domesticates introduced by Europeans to North America, where they quickly became established. Morphometric analyses of chicken remains from sites in eastern Canada and the Northeastern USA demonstrate that founding populations likely came from several different types of chicken. Comparison of these data with English medieval and post-medieval assemblages reveals that continued selection for larger body size in both populations resulted in larger chickens. However, the physical proportions of these birds remained consistent across time and space until the nineteenth century, when breeders began producing specialized laying, broiler, and show birds with exaggerated characteristics.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Welker M, Foster A, Tourigny E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Historical Archaeology

Year: 2023

Volume: 27

Pages: 458-479

Print publication date: 01/06/2023

Online publication date: 14/09/2021

Acceptance date: 05/08/2021

Date deposited: 15/09/2021

ISSN (print): 1092-7697

ISSN (electronic): 1573-7748

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10761-021-00630-7


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