The Irish 'Barnyard Series' of coins features animals that were very important to Ireland's mainly agricultural economy.
The penny features a hen (chicken) and her chicks. The importance of the hen in a rural agricultural community is obvious. This design appeared on the first coinage of the Irish Free State in 1928 (KM3), and was carried over with a modified obverse on this issue from 1940 to 1968. This is the only animal design that features an 'extra' -- the hen is clutching an arrowhead in one of its claws.
For more on modern Irish coinage, please visit this site.
All coin images in Daniel's Coin Zoo are from my personal collection. I collect, research, and personally photograph every coin displayed on this site. PLEASE do not take my images without permission. If you would like to use any coin image you see, just ask me. Thank you.