Dispatches from the Backyard Chicken Movement
- PUBLISHED: May 2021
- SUBJECT LISTING: Food, Nature and Environment, Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 272 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5 in
- ISBN: 9780295748627
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
“Chickens are a lot more mainstream than veganism and a little bit like kombucha: super weird twenty years ago, now somewhat popular and made even more so by logos, brands, and hashtags.” So begins Gina Warren’s deep dive into the backyard chicken movement. Digging into its history and food politics, she provides a highly personal account of the movement’s social and cultural motivations, the regulations it faces, and the ways that chicken owners build community. Weaving together interviews with urban agriculture advocates, entrepreneurs such as a $225 per hour “chicken consultant,” animal rights campaigners, and a fabulous cross-section of chicken enthusiasts, Warren sheds light on Americans’ complex relationship with animals—as guardians, companions, and eaters—and what it means to be a conscious eater.
As Warren chronicles her own misadventures raising chickens, her pursuit of what’s best for her own flock leads past chicken tutus and gourmet chicken treats and into serious attempts at sustainable eating, such as cooking insects and dumpster diving. The result is a fresh and charming story that speaks to backyard chicken owners, while also raising questions about sustainable farming, industrial agriculture, and our connections with the animals we love.
Authors & Contributors
Gina G. Warren writes about animals, the natural world, and human relationships for publications such as Orion, Creative Nonfiction, and Terrain.org. She raises a flock of two dozen chickens in her South Louisiana backyard.
[E]xceptionally thoughtful...a welcome addition to others about the backyard chicken movement.- Food Politics
[E]ntertaining, thoughtfully earnest book... a very accessible rendering of a topic that reflects larger issues in the US food production industry.- Choice
Hatched is Gina Warren’s exceptionally thoughtful account of raising backyard chickens from chicks to dinner, with dumpster diving in between—actions that reflect her deep respect and care for the animals we eat and her profound commitment to living ethically.- Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics
Funny, moving, and thought-provoking. A reader need not have chickens—or the desire to keep them—to find this valuable book appealing.- Robin Mather, author of The Feast Nearby
Warren masterfully weaves in her own journey and experiences while examining the backyard chicken movement in its various forms.- Anne Kuo, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens: How to Raise a Happy Backyard Flock
An engaging read. Issues of animal welfare and the ethics of farming are nicely blended with contemporary questions surrounding privilege and access to fresh food. This will definitely encourage some important self-reflection on how you view your food–and how your food views you.- Joseph Barber, general editor of The Chicken: A Natural History