Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say” as Want to Read:
How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  353 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Best-selling author Melissa Caughey knows that backyard chickens are like any favorite pet — fun to spend time with and fascinating to observe. Her hours among the flock have resulted in this quirky, irresistible guide packed with firsthand insights into how chickens communicate and interact, use their senses to understand the world around them, and establish pecking order
Kindle Edition, 145 pages
Published November 28th 2017 by Storey Publishing, LLC
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Speak Chicken, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Speak Chicken

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  353 ratings  ·  77 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Speak Chicken: Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say
Montzalee Wittmann
How to Speak Chicken
Why Your Chickens Do What They Do & Say What They Say
by Melissa Caughey
What a joy of a book! This book has love just oozing out of it! There are lots of pictures, tons of great information on not only the communication of of feathered friends but so much more. These little guys are not bird brained after all. The wonderful and delightful stories are worth the money itself. The info, personal stories, the charming pictures, and so much more all stuffed into a big fluffy pile
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
-Anatole France"

I enjoy chickens on several levels. Having grown up on a 'mixed farm', we usually had a dozen laying hens. It was fun to watch them pecking bugs on the blades of grass and scratching in the dirt. Not so much fun when running barefoot and finding that the chickens had ventured there beforehand leaving deposits.
One of my favourite chores was to collect the eggs. Sometimes the eggs would be warm when I reached
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
My neighbor found this book in a bag of books she bought at her church auction and knowing that I'll take up with anything "animal" she brought it to me. I don't know if she read it or not but she obviously thought that I was weird enough to appreciate it. My husband kept looking at me funny..funnier than usual...and shaking his head. But I learned that I might want to be careful what i say to the next chicken that I meet...outside of a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken that is. I learned in 144 ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not called “the crazy chook lady” for nothing, so of course I absolutely had to read this book! After decades of keeping our own backyard chooks, who are a much loved part of our family, I have done a fair bit of reading on the subject and have quite a few “how to” chicken related books on my shelves. However, How to Speak Chicken is delightfully different. Instead of giving advice on keeping chickens, it delves into the subject of how chickens communicate, and how we can get more out of ou ...more
Clare O'Beara
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: birds-fact
This is a very enjoyable read with bright, colourful cheeky photos of chickens. The home flock kept by the author adopted her as one of them because she spent so much time with them, and they clucked and squawked to her in a way which she came to recognise as chicken language. They had separate alarm calls for danger on the ground or danger from the air, they had a greeting and a goodnight, and they even adapted a call to be the lady's name.

As well as behaviour of a free range flock, we get som
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
It looks like the end of the year is almost nothing but five star books for me. WooHoo!!

This book is no different. It was a really sweet and informative book about, of all things, chickens. I loved it.

This is what "Esther the Wonder Pig" SHOULD have been like. That book was a vegan screed that put my back up. THIS was a warm and loving look at chickens, how they all have their own personalities, how smart they are and the sociology of the flock, with and without roosters.

Not ONCE did the autho
Alisa Kester
Little lighter on actual information than I wanted, but charming. And who doesn't love a book with chickens in it?
Angela Hunt
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Delightful look into life with chickens

I have chickens, and while I knew much of the information in this book, it was refreshing to find someone who loves and appreciates them as I do. If you can’t understand why people love chickens, you must read this book!
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun short book about chickens written by a woman whose heart belongs to her feathered flock. Anyone who keeps a flock or longs to will get a kick out of this and the lovely photographs are an added bonus.
Mark Rosekelly
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
People really like this book. It was given to me as a gift because we are getting chickens in the spring. This book is not much better than a coffee table book. It has cute stories and colorful pictures but little information on actually raising a flock of chickens. If you want a light book that has lots of pretty pictures you may enjoy this book but if you are looking for real information, look elsewhere. Sorry for the poor rating.
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I just love this book—it’s delightful and each page is a new source of fun. Gorgeous pictures, practical advice, sweet & personal stories, and interesting information without bogging me down with facts. This is a book I’m sure to revisit time and again. ...more
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Quick, easy read shared with me from @lauraruss_gh as I prepare to become a chicken mom! Turns out I did not know a lot about chicken and though I know more now, still feel like I am unprepared.
Scott Colan
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute book! The author does a great job helping me understand some of the things my girls do and that I'm not crazy.
Addison Pagano-Hopkins
Aug 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love it! It shows how to keep your hens happy and healthy!
Janis Hill
Disclaimer due to Amazon rules: I was gifted a free electronic copy of this book, via Netgalley, by the publisher. I am not obligated, nor being forced, to post a review – I am doing it of my own free will as I enjoy reviewing.

On advice from Amazon, and based on their emailed reply I can say – “My review is given voluntarily and the Author/publisher does not require a review in exchange for the book, or attempt to influence my review.”

I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with
Do you have backyard chickens?

If you have had backyard chickens for more than, oh, six months, most of the things in this book you have already discovered. It might have been a hard row to get there, but if you have spent at least six months with your backyard flock you know about all the different noises they make. You know the call of danger, just as you know the call of "there is some book food here. Really, come and eat it, I'll show you". Unless you just dumped the chickens in a run, and n
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of How to Speak Chicken through NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you to Storey Publishing and Melissa Caughey for the opportunity.

I have been a backyard chicken owner for over three years. Our family has five of them. They have become our beloved pets and each one of them is unique in personality and behavior. I have learned a lot about chickens and raising them.

This book is a detailed, in depth look at the behavior and language of chickens but written in a way that is eas
Amy Softa
May 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-review
What an incredibly sweet book! I have been an owner of chickens since we moved to the country more than ten years ago and when I stumbled across this book up for review I didn’t hesitate to put in a request. Especially since I am starting over with my flock after a series of raccoon attacks. The title jumped out at me and I thought it might be an interesting read and perhaps give me some tips on how to communicate and bond with my new flock. It provided that and so much more!

The book is broken d
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolute gem of a book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn’t tear myself away from reading it. I am a relatively new backyard chicken keeper and, as this book point out, chickens really do provide comfort and are indeed a joy to watch! ‘How to Speak Chicken’ confirms so many of my own observations but it does so much more, it provides explanations and so many fascinating details (did you know hens have been known to induce their own sex change into a Rooster? Did you know that chickens are th ...more
Elizabeth Cole
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Original post can be found at:

**A copy of this book was provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Most everyone loves chickens. They are cute and fuzzy. They are excellent bug control for your yard and are great for reducing your waste when it comes to food leftovers I saw this book available for request and decided I needed to expand my chicken knowledge. We currently have 100+ chickens in our flock so it was the perfect opp
Chloe (aka Crystal)
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: New chicken owners
Recommended to Chloe (aka Crystal) by: Library
This book made me miss my chickens. They've been gone for a year now, ever since I've moved from California to Wisconsin. However I feel like the title was a little misleading, considering there were only a few pages about what the chickens would say as well as a few on body language. I've seen a better book on the matter once at Tractor Supply.

Although I wasn't expecting some huge book on everything that chickens say, I was not expected to be thrown scientific facts in my face. I'm not a scien
Catherine Jett
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great nonfiction book that specializes in chickens! It explains some of the behavior we have observed in our own chickens. We've seen some hens squat and spread their wings as we approach - a behavior explained in the book as agreeing to a rooster OR a human who wants to pet or pick them up. The book covers just about all topics of chickens in an easy to read form. It does not go into any detail on breeds, much anatomy, how to raise them or their requirements. That can be found in just about any ...more
Misfits farm
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This would make a perfect gift for anyone with hens or an interest in them. The pages are wonderfully colourful, each one having a background of either feathers or claw prints. The photographs are a treasure and the narrative interesting (I speak as a long time OCD= obsessive chicken disorder). I knew hens had a language but not quite what. I may even have my own name my flock have given me! I think that this book would also be suitable for children who have hens at home and so can learn more ab ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I was expecting more then what I got, I wanted to read more about chicken language, instead it was briefly touched upon, and the author mentioned she had this roster, Chocolate, was his name, she got rid of him because he wasn't nice to her kid or something, but anyway this roster really liked her hen, I think her name was Dolly, Chocolate and Dolly were inseparable and the other hens in flock were jealous and when they got rid of Chocolate the hens were mean to Dolly who was out of the protecti ...more
This book was so fun! I was excited to read it, because we hope to get chickens soon and I want to know as much as I can about them.

Once I started reading I almost couldn't put it down, which is really strange considering that this is a book about...chickens! The pictures were so cute and I found myself smiling over the crazy antics of these birds.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is looking into getting chickens or wants to understand more about their funny chatter.

* Thank you to Mel
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chicken lovers everywhere
I fell in love with chickens many years ago when I was fortunate enough to have a farm and a small flock. Since then I have often amused my friends by "speaking chicken" at petting zoos or educational farms or even the flock that wanders around the fabulous Magnolia Gardens in Charleston, SC. The chickens always respond enthusiastically. So I just had to love this little book with its wealth of chicken 'facts," gorgeous pictures, and great stories as well as some interesting chicken research. I ...more
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shorter than I spected

Being a follower of the Tilly's nest page and having learnt a lot from there, I thought this book will be a summary of the topics in the web page. But literally this book is about how to speak chicken and how to try to understand chicken language. What I didn't like was the inserts where other people who keep chickens talks about their experience. I want to read what Melissa has to say about her chickens, and it's already a short book to include interviews with other people
Calla Felicity
Jul 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Got chickens, new and want to chat?

Definitively the most fun chicken advice I've read, and I've read many. Read this first, or within a week or two of your little peeps coming home. Thanks to the advice , I've identified a cockerel and his likely best henmate, and the leader hen. I heard the first cluck today, in my young flock of 5 Easter eggers and 4 pied guinea keets. I hold each little bird for a few seconds and scratch at the place their necks join their shoulders, and they now calm right d
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I am taking everything I read with a grain of salt.

Interesting yes, scientific maybe. As a chicken owner I could relate somewhat to some of what she wrote, but a lot of it, to me, seems wishful. By that I mean she studied actions, listened to sounds and wished for the outcome. I looked, saw and heard the same things she described and came to a different conclusion...oh well...decent read.
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is extremely short, otherwise I'd probably rate it higher. I enjoyed the authors chatty style--this is really a book of personal anecdotes interspersed with research. I learned a ton about interacting with chickens and things to look for in behavior (related to "speech") -- a very different take than most chicken books that are just focused on care. If you don't mind how short it is, it is worth a quick read.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Chicken Chick's Guide to Backyard Chickens: Simple Steps for Healthy, Happy Hens
  • The Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens: How to Raise a Happy Backyard Flock
  • Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens: Care / Feeding / Facilities
  • The Backyard Chicken Book: A Beginner's Guide
  • 101 Chicken Keeping Hacks from Fresh Eggs Daily: Tips, Tricks, and Ideas for You and your Hens
  • Free-Range Chicken Gardens: How to Create a Beautiful, Chicken-Friendly Yard
  • Fresh Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Chickens...Naturally
  • Right Back Where (Welcome to Alvarado Book 1)
  • The Kalevala: Tales of Magic and Adventure
  • The Backyard Chicken Bible: The Complete Guide to Raising Chickens
  • Mr. Winterbourne's Christmas (Winterbourne, #2)
  • Except the Dying (Detective Murdoch, #1)
  • Winter Trials (Northern Witch, #1)
  • Serial Killers: 101 Interesting Facts and Trivia about Serial Killers
  • Check, Please!
  • Ayoade on Top
  • A Chicken in Every Yard: The Urban Farm Store's Guide to Chicken Keeping
  • Weird Parenting Wins: Bathtub Dining, Family Screams, and Other Hacks from the Parenting Trenches
See similar books…

Related Articles

In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
57 likes · 39 comments
“The rooster serves as the leader and protector and is outside the order, though if there are several roosters in a large flock, they will establish their own hierarchy.” 0 likes
More quotes…