In her new book, Once Upon a Flock: Life with My Soulful Chickens (Atria Books, $23), author Lauren Scheuer recalls making the decision to bring an animal — not a dog or a cat but a chicken, and several of them at that — into her home, in a format that’s part memoir and part how-to. Considering the recent flock of fowl-focused books, our favorites of which are highlighted below, she’s not the only one embracing poultry as pets.


Beautiful Chickens
Photographs by Andrew Perris and text by Christie Aschwanden
(Thomas Dunne, $20)

Chickens are stunning and varied, and in the included portraits, they appear oddly dignified as well. A text on breeds is packed with fascinating trivia.


The Chicken Chronicles: Sitting with the Angels Who Have Returned with My Memories: Glorious, Rufus, Gertrude Stein, Splendor, Hortensia, Agnes of God, the Gladyses, & Babe
By Alice Walker
(New Press, $17)

National Book Award– and Pulitzer Prize–winner Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple, takes a spiritual tack in this uplifting memoir about raising her flock of “girls.”


Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man
By Brian McGrory
(Crown, $24)

When Brian McGrory fell in love with a divorced veterinarian with two daughters, he reluctantly left downtown Boston for the suburbs, where his new family’s rooster became an “unusual mentor.”


Chicken Coops for the Soul: A Henkeeper’s Story
By Julia Hollander
(Guardian Books, $23)

Julia Hollander got sidetracked by chickens while acquiring a pet rabbit for her daughter. With gentle bemusement, she discusses how she got up to speed on the art of hen husbandry.