Human-chicken Hybrids

Page 3: Reports


Caution: Some readers may find this page disturbing.



Human Hands or Feet

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.
E. E. Cummings

This webpage is a compilation of reports describing a variety of ostensible human-chicken-hybrids with human hands or feet.

An ostensible chicken-human hybrid with a human hand was reported on page 3, column 2, of the March 25, 1884, issue of The Louisiana Democrat, a newspaper published in Alexandria, Louisiana (source).

    A Curiosity.—We were shown on yesterday a brood of chickens, among which was one that attracted our attention most particularly.—The chicken to which we refer was in no way different from others of the brood, save with one exception, viz: that it had growing out of its body, immediately under its tail, a perfectly formed and well developed hand with five fingers. It is certainly a lusus naturae and will attract the attention of anyone. His chickship seems independent and half-way uses this hinder extremity as a sort of propeller. The chick was hatched on Sunday, and is owned by Mr. R. T. Hynson.
bird-human hybrid A guardian angel, one type of bird-human hybrid.

bird-human hybrids Egyptian Ba-soul, another type of bird-human hybrid (detail from a mural, Tomb TT 290, 19th Dynasty).

A subsequent mention of this same chicken appeared on page 3, column 3, of the April 3, 1884, issue of the same newspaper (source). The story refers to an exhibition of various unusual animals at the Exchange Hotel there in Alexandria (of which the previously mentioned R. T. Hynson was the proprietor). The relevant passage from the article refers to

a deformed chicken, that myriads of visitors daily visit to view; its almost inanimate form moves with a triangular motion, and struts at times with the pompishness of a peacock. The little creature “paddles its own canoe” for neath its hinder parts is a perfectly formed hand that closely resembles the dimpled “bunch of fives” of some fairy maiden.

Bunch of five is a slang term meaning “hand,” and the comparison to the hand of a fairy maiden is apparently a reference to the diminutive size of the chicken’s bizarre appendage.

In the following year a report about what seems to have been a separate, but similar chicken-human hybrid appeared on page 3, column 4, of the May 28, 1885, issue of the The Anderson Intelligencer, a newspaper published in Anderson, South Carolina (source). The story, which originally appeared in the Lancaster, South Carolina Ledger reads as follows:

    —Mr. J. T. L. Stover has a young chicken with two legs and a well-formed arm and hand. The hand has a thumb and four fingers very much like a human hand. The arm is attached to that part of a chicken which crosses the fence last. It is quite a singular freak of nature. The little fellow seems to be all right and is as healthy and pert as any chicken its age, is running around lively enough with every prospect of living to maturity.—Lancaster Ledger.

Stover was a resident of Oakhurst, South Carolina, an unincorporated community about ten miles southeast of Lancaster.

This last case is reminiscent of Liceti’s report about a kitten, supposedly birthed by a woman, which had two human legs attached to its rump.

Another case of a chicken with a human hand attached to its rump appeared on page 5, column 4, of the June 24, 1911, issue of the Evening Times-Republican, a newspaper published in Marshalltown, Iowa (source). In a list of notices about events in surrounding towns, the entry for Ottumwa reads:

    Frank S. McCullough has a freak chicken of the White Leghorn variety, a bit of puffy chanticler that has two pink feet of four toes perfectly formed and in proper place, also a caudal [i.e., tail-like] extension that ends with a five-toed foot closely resembling a tiny human hand. The singular specimen is the property of Mrs. Harve Gephart, 1201 North Elm Street.

Note: It was also in Ottumwa where thirty years earlier a woman was reported as having given birth to five children half human and half dog.

bird-human hybrid Ancient representation of a bird-human hybrid (Black-figure kylix with siren, Greece, 6th century B.C.E.).

Yet another case of a chicken with a human hand appeared on page 4, column 2, of the April 4, 1908, issue of The Ocala Evening Star, a newspaper published in Ocala, Florida (source).


    Mrs. Frank M. Brown of Silver Springs has a three-legged chicken which was hatched a few days ago. The chick is healthy and lively. The leg is well developed but the foot looks like a human hand. The bird is a great curiosity and every care will be taken to raise it.

And still another chicken with a human hand roosts on page 3, column 1, of the December 18, 1871, issue of The Daily State Journal, a newspaper published in Alexandria, Virginia (source):

    —A man in Rockingham has in his possession a chicken, one of whose feet is shaped exactly like the human hand. There are fingers and nails all complete, the hand or foot being short and fleshy, and altogether different from any other chicken foot that has ever been seen before.

And a case of a chicken having one foot like a human’s appeared on page 3, column 4, of the July 19, 1901, issue of Emmons County Record, a newspaper published in Williamsport, North Dakota (source):

    The Hitchcock farm, near Sheldon, has become famous. A chicken was hatched out the other day that has one foot formed in the exact resemblance of a human foot, excepting only that the big toe is on the outside. The wing feathers of the chicken were an inch long at hatching.

A related cross >>

Bird-mammal hybrids >>

Other human hybrids >>

Table of contents >>

Bibliography >>

Biology Dictionary >>

By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).

bird-human hybrids Birds of Joy and Sorrow (Artist: Viktor Vasnetsov)

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