A beautiful example of what I like to think of as Catskill style dry fly tying. This was also the way that we learned to make dries (especially the way you wind the hackles) in North Central Pennsylvania.
On midge size flies I learned to use Polly yarn strands too. Once I pass #18 hooks they are all Polly now
You can use hen but I never did, the hen feathers are not as nice and light as the tips that Allen is showing you here. I tried hen one time so I cant say never. I burned some wings from hen and thought they were heavy and made my flies sink. So............I would use feathers from your dry fly cape.