The Chicken
A Natural History
Joseph Barber


A comprehensive, richly illustrated celebration of the natural history of the chicken

Inherently social creatures, chickens are enjoying a renaissance as prized members of many households and small farms. From feathers and flock formation to imprinting and incubating, The Chicken provides a comprehensive, richly illustrated guide to understanding how chickens live, think, and act both alongside people and independently.

Starting with the evolution of chickens nearly 10,000 years ago and their adaptations to life with humans, The Chicken also analyzes the anatomy and behavior of modern domesticated chickens and provides practical tips for helping these amazing birds thrive. Featuring a stunning gallery of breeds with detailed profiles, the book also includes a directory of the most striking examples of chickens that have elevated this species from backyard egg producers to prize-winning poultry.

  • Provides an accessible, comprehensive, and richly illustrated look at the chicken
  • Features a finely illustrated directory of forty popular breeds and their characteristics and care requirements
  • Covers the anatomy, physiology, and behavior of chickens
  • Offers insights into the intelligence and distinctive thought processes of chickens
  • Includes “theory into practice” panels to help chicken keepers better understand their birds

Joseph Barber is an associate director at the University of Pennsylvania, an adjunct assistant professor at Hunter College of the City University of New York, and coeditor of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.