Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Isabelle Cnudde, above, visits with her flock outside their predator-proof coop. White Leghorns, inset, are known for big combs that flop at a rakish angle.
Chicken Little, the Little Red Hen, Medio Pollito - folktales from around the world acknowledge the goofy, enterprising and food-obsessed spirit of domestic egg layers. As backyard chickens keep gaining in popularity locally, spurred on by traditions like the Silicon Valley Tour de Coop, more families are getting a crash course in the personalities behind the eggs they eat.
Los Altos resident Isabelle Cnudde and her husband moved into their midcentury Los Altos ranch house in 2009 and first bought three hens, she said, "because I wanted to know where food came from - (seeking) 'happy eggs' was how I got started. But you come back from work and just hang out with the chickens. Egg layers become pets."