David Waltner-Toews is a veterinarian, as well as a specialist in the epidemiology of food- and water-borne diseases and zoonoses, infectious diseases transferred from animals to humans. He has written books about chickens and travelled the world to combat bird flu. So when his wife gives him a box of chicks on his birthday to begin raising his own backyard chickens Waltner-Toews is not all that worried about what could go wrong. Soon he finds himself plunged into a wonderful and slightly madcap adventure as he struggles to stay one step ahead of the chickens who are determined to rule the roost.
In this wide-ranging memoir Waltner-Toews shares not only his joys and misadventures with the chickens, but also reflects our history and relationship with chickens, with the urban animals surrounding us and with the ecosystem that contains us all. Funny, wise and thought-provoking, A Conspiracy of Chickens is a book that takes chickens seriously and asks the reader to do the same.