Frink frequently portrayed animals in her work. Birds, in particular, began to appear in her sculpture shortly after the Second World War. They were used by her as vehicles for strong feelings such as panic, tension or aggression. They have also been read as having connotations of military might, particularly air power. Although many of Frink's bird subjects appear predatory and aggressive, the hen in this work is a victim whose pose evokes the tragic aftermath of conflict. The sculpture is one of a series, made during the same period, depicting animals in their death throes.