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Alison Steadman - The Twelve Tweets of Christmas 3 of 12

Alison Steadman provides a seasonal offering from Tweet of the Day for the Christmas period.

During this season of goodwill our thoughts turn to crackling fires, being with the family and for many a song or a carol to bring merriment to the colder days. Tweet of the Day has been entertaining early morning listeners to the Radio 4 schedule every day since 2013, but this Christmas we will delight in an avian offering of the well known song the Twelve Days of Christmas.

As actress Alison Steadman discusses working out what the actual bird is on the third day of the song could prove a headache. The original three French hens mentioned in the song could be of course domestic chickens or hens in France, but not, I suggest, French Hens, a species which as far as we know doesn't exist. It's thought then our domestic chickens are descendants of junglefowl, forest dwelling members of the pheasant family from southern Asia. Of all the junglefowl, it is the red junglefowl that is believed to be the primary ancestral source of our humble hen.

Producer : Andrew Dawes
Photograph: Graham Ball.

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