Thursday, March 1, 2018

How to Speak Chicken Book Review

 How to Speak Chicken
I’ve never felt emotionally closer to my flock than after reading Melissa’s book;

I had the pleasure of meeting Melissa Caughey at the 2015 Mother Earth News Fair in Wisconsin. At the fair, we naturally found ourselves discussing our flocks. I can say that Melissa truly loves her chickens. She speaks about them as though they are old friends. If anyone knows how to speak chicken, it’s Melissa!

Most books about chickens are about necessities. They cover the basics of raising healthy birds. This is the first book I’ve come across that delves into the true personalities of chickens.

Melissa speaks to the fact that chickens are not simple egg laying machines, but rather are capable of a wide range of emotions, communication skills and complicated thought processes. Chickens not only have complicated relationships with each other, but are capable of connecting to humans with a deep and compassionate bond.

One of my favorite sections of this book begins on page 34; Chicken Language Explained. It serves as a field guide to the language of chickens. So many of these chicken phrases are familiar to me, and I couldn’t help but laugh as I read aloud the bawking noises with the sound of my own chickens in my head.

I also love the section on page 60, the Positions within the Flock. Melissa uses the word “Sentinel” to describe the position of a hen that takes the lead in a rooster-less flock. I’ve been searching for this term since I started raising chickens. I love that Melissa breaks down the flock pecking order and names each position.  

I also love how she describes the relationship with roosters. I happen to love roosters and with the hen being so coveted , I find that there is a lack of recognition for the beautiful other-half of the chicken world. A flock with a rooster really is different than an all female flock.

The section on brain function is fascinating! Melissa shows how chickens are not only able to be trained, but are capable of math, problem solving, decision making and even physics!

Melissa shows that there is more to keeping chickens than simply feeding and egg collecting. It’s beautifully written, and full of gorgeous images, personal testimonies and most of all, chicken love. 

To purchase a copy click here: How to Speak Chicken by Melissa Caughey
Be sure to check out Melissa's other book: A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens by Meilssa Caughey
And her website: Tilly's Nest

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