City Chickens

May 2012. 64p. 978-0-54751-183-5. 16.99.
Gr 4-6–Urban chickens are all the rage these days, with coops and hen runs sprouting up along with beans and tomatoes in veggie patchs. However, the demands of poultry-keeping can prove onerous and neighbors might complain even when the birds are legal–so, what to do? A place like Chicken Run Rescue is the ideal answer. Heppermann’s chatty, anecdote-filled text records the efforts of a Minneapolis couple to rescue unwanted and abandoned chickens and relocate them. Like many rescue operations, Chicken Run depends on a network of foster and adoptive “parents.” Colorful photos of chickens and interacting humans lend visual interest to the unfolding stories. Tales such as 106 rooster chicks stolen from a biology lab but dumped in a ditch by the side of the road, and of McNamara, an arthritic rooster who taught himself to sleep comfortably on his back rather than painfully on a roost, are included. Heppermann discusses her own chicken adoptions, and offers advice for educators to eliminate those annual "hatching" projects. While most readers of this heartwarming book will not rush out to adopt chickens, those who are inspired to do so may wish to look into Jenna Woginrich’s relaxed and informative Chick Days: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide To Raising Chickens from Hatchlings to Laying Hens (Storey, 2011) before taking the final leap. A warm, inviting look into an unusual facet of animal rescue efforts. Pat Manning formerly of the Eastchester Public Library.
Text and full-color photos in a lighthearted design chronicle the work of Mary and Bert Clouse, cofounders of Minneapolis’s Chicken Run Rescue, a shelter and adoption agency for lost and mistreated chickens.

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