Monet’s Chickens

by Ariane ~ November 13, 2010

A few steps away from his home at Giverny, Claude Monet had a chicken yard full of hens, and Fondation Claude Monet still keeps a few chickens in this corner of the garden.

Just like Monet, they don’t choose every year the same breed. In 2010, visitors enjoyed looking at the funny Padua chickens, absolutely stylish with their fluffy feathers on the head.

Monet loved to have fresh eggs at hand, and the family must have eaten many every day, according to the storage available: in the pantry of Monet’s house, two boxes could contain 116 eggs!

But hens were not a sign of wealth for a family belonging to the middle upper class, this is why they were hidden in a corner of the garden under a big fig tree. However, their presence was revealed by crowing of the roaster.

Turkeys, on the contrary, were considered decorative fowl and were proudly shown in the turkey yard next to the kitchen.

Nowadays, the turkey yard displays turkeys and chickens together. The roasters of both yards like to have sort of a dialog, exchanging their cock-a-doodle-do. The big roaster in the turkey yard has a deep voice, the Padua roaster in the chicken yard a high pitched one, and when they talk together, they are absolutely irresistible.

I kindly dedicate this post to Cynthia Brian, the “Chicken Lady”, co-author of “Chicken Soup for the Gardener Soul”.

3 Responses to “Monet’s Chickens”

  1. Cynthia Brian Says:

    Thank you, Ariane, for the dedication. Yes, I am the proud “Chicken Lady” of California. I have raised many breeds of chickens since I was eight years old and I still have about 24 chickens today. Alas, my last brood of chicks turned out to be all roosters. They, too, try to out cock-a-doodle-do one another.

    I miss Monet’s gardens.

    Merci a vous!

  2. Herman Northcott Says:

    Do you know the dates for 2014 when tours start for Monet’s house?

    Thank You,

    Herman Ray Northcott Jr.

  3. Rick Neal Says:

    Ariane, I very much enjoyed your article today.

    Rick Neal

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