The Chinese port of Canton was opened to foreign trade in 1834. Among the new wonders carried home by returning European ships were chickens the traders called Cochins and Brahmas. Large, fluffy, gentle, with feathered legs and colorful plumage, they were welcomed in England like royalty. “Hen Fever” struck; peers and shopkeepers alike were seized with the desire to possess, breed, and show fancy varieties of poultry. New breeds were imported from the Mediterranean, Indonesia, and other parts of Europe.

The Fancy, page 2