A reek hen or reek fowl was a chicken given to a landlord, the church, or another authority as a tax or tribute. It was specified as being a 'well-fed fowl', but in many cases it was a symbol of vassalage, and may or may not have been enforced. In other cases it was a tax, with one reek hen due for every hearth with a fire (or, as it may be, every chimney with smoke). If this was part of a tribute, it would indeed be only a part, in addition to other goods and moneys; for example, a tribute might be one days harvest and a reek hen.

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