Disclaimer: This is purley theoretical and speculative...for now.
As many of you are probably aware, there exist some chicken breeds, such such as Silkies and Sultans, that possess feathering on their feet instead of scales. Last year, a full-sequence study of the chicken genome has identified 24 potential genes responsible for that trait.
In theory, after identifying the correct gene(s) that are responsible, we could deactivate them to produce chickens with normally scaled feet...but why stop there?
After the feet, it could also be possible to elliminate the feather mutation across the entire body of the animal to produce a bird completely covered in scales.
One could argue that in battle, scales would provide a greater defensive advantage as they would be more difficult to grab and pluck, while simultaneously protecting the animal from stabs, slashes, and blows, but I would love to hear everyone else's thoughts ^_^