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Chicken People: A Poultry Tale of Pride, Passion, and Perseverance

This film is a heartwarming exploration of passion, dedication, and community in the world of competitive chicken breeding.

Keywords: Chicken breeding, passion, resilience, community, competition, poultry show, hobby, documentary, iWonder. Summary insight: 'Uplifting,' 'unique,' 'documentary.'


"Chicken People," a documentary by Nicole Lucas Haimes released in 2016, takes viewers on a delightful journey into the world of competitive chicken breeding. The documentary's relevance lies in its unique exploration of a niche hobby, uncovering the passion, dedication, and community that flourish in the most unexpected places.


"Chicken People" follows the trials and tribulations of three breeders - Brian C, Shari, and Brian K - as they prepare their prized chickens for the prestigious Ohio National Poultry Show. With their eyes set on the coveted title of Grand Champion, they navigate a year fraught with challenges, from inconsistent feather markings to a potential Avian flu outbreak threatening to shut down the championship.

More Film Analysis


"Chicken People" adopts a participatory approach, immersing the audience in the breeders' world. With commendable depth, it explores the intricacies of chicken breeding, the emotional investment of the breeders, and the surprisingly thrilling atmosphere of the competition.

Historical and Factual Context

Chicken breeding competitions have a long history, dating back to Victorian times when poultry was first exhibited for purposes beyond food production. Breeds are judged based on the American Poultry Association's "Standard of Perfection," a comprehensive guide detailing the ideal characteristics for every breed.

Key themes in the film

  • Passion and Dedication: The breeders' commitment to their chickens highlights the fulfilment found in pursuing one's passion.
  • Community: Despite being a niche hobby, the poultry show fosters a supportive and close-knit community.
  • Resilience: The breeders face multiple setbacks yet continue to persevere in their pursuit of the Grand Champion title.

Film Comparisons

While other documentaries on iWonder explore various subcultures, "Chicken People" stands out with its focus on a lesser-known hobby, offering a fresh perspective on passionate pursuits.

Noteworthy Moments

The tension-filled judging process at the Ohio National Poultry Show and the breeders' emotional reactions to their results are particularly impactful moments in the documentary.


Critics praised "Chicken People" for its quirky yet heartfelt portrayal of its subjects. "An engrossing and surprisingly emotional documentary," wrote The Hollywood Reporter.


"Chicken People" is a testament to the power of passion and the value of community, revealing the depth and dedication behind a seemingly frivolous hobby. It will appeal to viewers seeking heartwarming, human stories.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%
  • Metacritic score: 71
  • Film festival awards: 2 nominations



  • Brian C: A committed breeder with a fondness for his chickens.
  • Shari: A passionate breeder who takes great pride in her flock.
  • Brian K: A dedicated breeder with a deep understanding of chicken genetics.



  • Ohio National Poultry Show: The prestigious competition where the breeders aim to win the title of Grand Champion.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. What drives people to invest so much time and effort into a niche hobby?
  2. How does this unique subculture challenge our perceptions of passion and dedication?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "The Hobbit" - an unexpected adventure filled with passion, perseverance, and a sense of community.
  2. A famous song? "Eye of the Tiger" - embodying the spirit of competition and resilience.
  3. A famous piece of art? "American Gothic" - a portrait of ordinary people with extraordinary dedication.
  4. A famous celebrity? Steve Irwin - passionate, enthusiastic, and dedicated to his unique interest.
  5. A colour? Yellow - bright, cheerful, and full of energy.
  6. A music style? Country - reflecting the film's rural setting and down-to-earth characters.