Often in the plantation society of the southern colonies, the mistress of the house would leave the raising of fenced-in common chickens to the slaves, while she would concentrate on raising the more elite ducks, turkeys and geese.
An account in a 1772 Queen Anne's County, Maryland deed book noted the presence of"one new paled garden 150 by 100 in good repair with a paled yard between the dwelling house and garden in good repair." Women usually tended the poultry close to the house.
There was a poultry yard at George Washington's boyhood home, Ferry Farm, in the Northern Neck of Virginia about one mile below the falls of the Rappahannock River. George Washington's 1771 survey of the "Home House" farm locates the fenced-in "hen yard," adjacent to the kitchen garden to the north of the house.