Chicken Boy

Chicken Boy

My Life With Hens


Brought to you by Penguin.

A charming portrait of life in the company of hens, by the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Flower Yard

Growing up in an ex-mining town in Nottinghamshire, Arthur Parkinson never wanted a dog, or a cat, or a pony - just hens. As a kid, he was known as 'chicken boy', a taunt Arthur now proudly reclaims with his crested coterie that includes countless hens, from Sheila the white Silkie to Clarissa the champagne-coloured Buff Cochin.

A personal and humorous memoir of Arthur's life amongst his hens, Chicken Boy is illustrated throughout with his own characterful watercolours and candid photography of his 'ladies'. This is an invitation to discover the joy that is only possible in the company of these intriguing creatures: Pekins are friendly, Lavender Leghorns aloof, while Burford Browns have a bad habit of feather-pecking...

Having already earned renown as 'king of the small-space garden', Arthur's appreciation for the natural world is inspiring and relatable. The quiet fulfilment of hen-keeping rituals has rescued his mental health from pervasive depression. His sanctuary is the backyard: nurturing chicks who grow into happy hens and planting hardy, chicken scratch-resistant foliage.

Chicken Boy is a joyful ramble through the hen house - sleeves rolled-up - and a testament to the mutual rewards and delights of keeping hens.

©2023 Arthur Parkinson (P)2023 Penguin Audio


  • Poetic... Parkinson writes with great lyricism... His knowledgeable enthusiasm is infectious
    Bee Wilson, Sunday Times

About the author

Arthur Parkinson

Arthur Parkinson is the author of The Pottery Gardener and The Flower Yard, and the co-host, with Sarah Raven, of the popular Grow, Cook, Eat, Arrange podcast. His writing and photography are regularly featured in the Daily Telegraph, and have appeared in The Times, Country Life and Country Living, among other magazines and newspapers; he has also featured in BBC Two's Gardeners' World.
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