Growing up in an ex-mining town in Nottinghamshire, Arthur Parkinson never wanted a dog, or a cat, or a pony – it was always hens. In the playground, he was known as ‘chicken boy’, a taunt Arthur now proudly reclaims with his crested coterie that includes countless breeds, 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 – nurturing chicks who grow into happy hens and planting hardy, chicken scratch-resistant foliage – is his sanctuary, a tonic for both mental and physical health.
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.