Hondecoeter specialised in painting poultry. Here, the birds are startled by a barking dog, which appears from the left. A colourful cockerel struts off haughtily, the white duck protects her chicks and a pigeon flies off in haste.
This painting belongs with the painting of geese and ducks that is also hanging here. They come from the collection of the Orange-Nassau family, and were hung in Oranienstein Castle in Diez, Germany, in the eighteenth century.