A Conspiracy of Chickens

A Conspiracy of Chickens

David Waltner-Toews
  • $22.00

November 22, 2022
300 pages | ISBN 978-1-989496-61-9

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.


A Conspiracy of Chickens, A Memoir by David Waltner-Toews (Mala Rai, Miramichi Reader, 14/11/2022)
“If ever a self-help or commiseration hobby farming community was needed, this memoir could serve as the highly recommended starting point.”


David Waltner-Toews (David Waltner-Toews, Eden Mills Writers Festival, 15/06/2023)
"Had I 'always wanted”' chickens? No. Did I know anything at all about raising them? No. Was it legal to keep seven chickens in the city? No. Did I have any idea what lay ahead? No."

Could Backyard Chickens Cause the Next Pandemic? (Shaye Ganam, Shaye Ganam podcast, 17/03/2023)
Shaye Ganam and David Waltner-Toews talk about raising backyard chickens.

A Conspiracy of Chickens (Jason Allen, Environmental Urbanist, 20/12/2022)
Veterinary epidemiologist David Waltner-Toews joins Jason Allen to talk about his new book, A Conspiracy of Chickens and the year of his life in lockdown learning the ins and out of raising urban hens.

David Waltner-Toews Pens His Memoir on Chickens (Gill Deacon, Here and Now Toronto with Gill Deacon, 22/11/2022)
Ontario author David Waltner-Toews talks about his new book, A Conspiracy of Chickens. It's a memoir of David’s own adventures keeping backyard chickens.


Could my backyard chickens cause the next pandemic? (David Waltner-Toews, Globe and Mail, 11/03/2023)
A great piece from David Waltner-Toews.

Read a Funny, Gentle Excerpt from Veterinarian David Waltner-Toews's Memoir of Backyard Chickens (Open Book, 10/01/2023)
David shares an excerpt from A Conspiracy of Chickens.

Canada: A Conspiracy of Chickens (Michael Levenston, City Farmer News, 27/06/2022)
City Farmer News highlights David's forthcoming book!

About the Author

David Waltner-Toews is a veterinary epidemiologist and university professor emeritus at the University of Guelph. He was founding president of Veterinarians without Borders/Vétérinaires sans Frontières – Canada and a founding member of Communities of Practice for Ecosystem Approaches to Health in Canada. In 2010 the International Association for Ecology and Health presented him with the inaugural award for contributions to ecosystem approaches to health, and in 2019 he received an award from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.

Besides being an author of many scholarly books and articles, he has published six books of poetry, a collection of recipes and dramatic monologues, a collection of short stories, two novels and various books of popular science including On Pandemics: Deadly Diseases from Bubonic Plague to Coronavirus; The Origin of Feces: What Excrement Tells Us About Evolution, Ecology and a Sustainable Society; Eat the Beetles: An Exploration into our Conflicted Relationship with Insects and Food, Sex and Salmonella: Why Our Food Is Making Us Sick. His nonfiction books have won awards in the US and Canada, and have been published in Japanese, French, Chinese and Arabic.

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