What came first? The chicken or the feathers?

Made by Carol Brown

For me, it was the feathers first and then the chicken. 🙂 The picture in my head pretty much came out great, but the feet? I’m sure I can’t be the only one that needs help with that one. 🙂 Getting it to balance was a whole other job, I may have to redo the feet or mount the whole chicken on a wood block. All in all, this was a fun and challenging project for me.

Paper Mache feathers for chicken tail

7 thoughts on “What came first? The chicken or the feathers?”

  1. Thanks Jonni. I have used chicken wire for the body of birds so I can attach the legs up into the chicken wire. But even that way, balance can be an issue. I have also used some stones inside for weight for balance. I guess it’s one of those things that just takes a lot of fiddling to get right. I am working on a bird now and balance seems ok, but the tail feathers touch down in back and that really helps. Thanks for your comment. Some engineering is needed for birds. Whoda thot?

  2. How DID you get it balanced? With my birds, I need 3 touching points. The tail feathers on my birds have been touching the ground so it balances out. But with the tail feathers in the air, that is very difficult. I also make my bird’s feet bigger that they really are. That helps too.

    • Pat, I hope Carol tells how she did it, too. It’s a real challenge. I have two posts on this site that might help. One is a very small chick, but the way I made the legs is exactly the same way that I made the legs for the large dodo. Rex made a chick on two legs, too, so I hope he’ll chime in and add some suggestions.

      The ‘sling’ that I made for the legs has a portion that helps support the chest of the chick and the dodo. The chick was small enough so it wasn’t too hard to get it to balance, but the dodo was harder. I was living in a tiny rented house when I made him, with no room for a video setup, and I didn’t even take progress photos. But I did mention on that post that I used plaster cloth on the feet and legs and let it harden before finishing the rest of the bird. That gave me a wide, stable base to work on. After I had the rest filled out and covered with paper mache, he was still a little tippy so I cut a hole in the paper mache under his tail and added several small stones. He’s been standing on my bookcase for years, and has never fallen. This is what the chick’s legs looked like before the body was added:
      legs for paper mache chick

      • Love the idea for the chicks feet and your Dodo? Amazing. I think the trick might be the closer to the ground and the larger the feet are what makes for more stability.

    • I must confess that I ended up chopping the feet off and I am getting ready to mount it in wood….I’m sad about that but I found that I could get it to stand, all day, just to fall over!

  3. Your chicken looks fabulous! I made a chicken also and also have trouble keeping her balanced. I have put a wide Popsicle stick right behind her feet. I don’t know yet at this point what I will do with her balance issue. I love the feathers you have made. I know the time and work put into this chicken. Very nice!


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