I am not called "the crazy chook lady" for nothing, so of course I absolutely had to read this book! After decades of keeping our own backyard chooks, who are a much loved part of our family, I have done a fair bit of reading on the subject and have quite a few "how to" chicken related books on my shelves. However, How to Speak Chicken is delightfully different. Instead of giving advice on keeping chickens, it delves into the subject of how chickens communicate, and how we can get more out of our flock if we are able to understand their language.
The author's love for her flock shines through on every page, as she shares both her own insights as well as latest research findings about how intelligent chickens really are. I found it utterly fascinating, even though I had suspected that there is a lot more to these lovable creatures than we give them credit for. Did you know that chickens can remember up to 20 members of their flock, and have a unique call (or "name") for each one of them, including you (once you have been accepted into their flock) Can you tell when they are warning you of a perceived danger from the ground as opposed to danger from the air Have you ever suspected that chickens can sleep with half of their brain still wide-awake and alert for danger I didn't, but ever since reading about chicken communication I have been a lot more attuned to the call of my own hens and how they "chat" with their sisters and members of our family. I watched in fascination as the new puppy was initially greeted with a "danger from ground" alert, but is now accepted with soft clucks as she sniffs around the chook pen.
If you are a chicken lover, or have a chicken lover in your midst, this delightful book would make a perfect Christmas present. The charming and uplifting pictures of various chickens provide a colourful backdrop to the interesting information contained in its pages. Despite being informative, the text is easy to read and devoid of the scientific lingo that tends to exclude some readers - this is a book that can be read and enjoyed by the whole family. Full of love for our feathered friends, How to Speak Chicken was both one of the most informative as well as uplifting books of the year for me - I loved it. So much that I have dominated a few lunchtime conversations with "did you know that chickens ....." Hopefully friends and family will either share my enthusiasm or learn to forgive me!
I highly recommend How to Speak Chicken to any chicken lover or anyone who is still sitting on the fence about them - apart from learning to appreciate the intelligence of these loveable backyard creatures, the fun and fascinating facts contained in the book will make you a star of any dinner conversation (just ask my family ;).
Thank you to Netgalley and Storey Publishing for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.
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