CHICKENS AND THEIR WILD RELATIVES by Alice L. Hopf

CHICKENS AND THEIR WILD RELATIVES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The chicken comes first here, and is traced from its origin in India and first domestication there some 5000 years ago--for cock fighting, not for food--to its blandly described scientific handling on today's mechanized poultry farms. The rest of the book surveys the characteristics and habits of chicken relatives in the wild: various subspecies of grouse; the smaller quaff; the pheasant, native to Asia but common now in South Dakota--and in Illinois where it is wiping out the native prairie chicken; and the ""incubator birds,"" who anticipated the human invention by building mounds for hatching their young. In a way this seems like two separate reports: the chicken story one of human determination, and the natural-history description of the relatives. But the chicken-human history is diverting enough, and the natural history, complete with references to naturalists' observations, is smoothly presented.

Pub Date: Nov. 22nd, 1982
Publisher: Dodd, Mead