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.
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
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.