Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance

Primal urges, the quest for ultimate power, sex, death, gender bending, and huge vet bills – these are the things that chickens are made of.

In Martin Gurdon’s hilarious debut Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance he relives the highs and lows of chicken ownership.

Martin’s chicken odyssey started in his childhood when he purchased his first chicken, Ethel, from a battery farm. Once he became a teenager this hobby was long forgotten, and his interest moved from chickens to chicks (of the human kind). That was until, after years of married bliss, his wife Jane muttered these fateful few words ‘You’d like to keep chickens again wouldn’t you?’ and the rest is history.

So, leaving behind a calm and relatively stress-free London life, Martin moved to Kent and became an expert in brutal pecking rituals, physiotherapy, DIY, social work and psychotherapy all within a few weeks of buying his first flock.

Within these pages you will meet a cast of unusual characters, from the frightening disciplinary measures of Bossy Chicken, and the maternal instincts of Psycho Chicken, to the bizarre tales of Mike the headless chicken from Colorado, and the physical rehabilitation and sexual transformation of Yvette. Learn more than you ever wanted to know about candling, vent gleet, bumble foot, and red mites, and discover the answer to that age-old question ‘why did the chicken cross the road?…

Full of love, death, sex and intrigue Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance is better than any soap opera. It is, in fact, true ‘chick lit’. But beyond all the drama contained within it, there are even some practical lessons to be learnt about what not to do when keeping chickens.

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