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Keeping chickens in cities is not a new phenomenon. It was only recently, though, that Milwaukee legalized the right for urbanites to keep chickens in their backyards, joining a growing trend of urban areas allowing residents to raise fowl at home. Chickens, which require only a modest amount of time, space and food, offer benefits to those interested in cultivating them for eggs or meat or simply enjoying them as pets. Author Susan Troller’s clever Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to City Chicks celebrates the hen and the art of nurturing chickens in an urban environment.

Cluck is filled with stories about various aspects of raising and appreciating chickens, told through witty essays and humorous musings from esteemed Wisconsin authors Ben Logan, Michael Perry and Jane Hamilton. Essays are enhanced by beautiful, colorful art from illustrator S.V. Medaris. While this book is primarily intended as entertainment rather than agricultural know-how, Cluck is an anthology of true stories. Tales include how to protect chickens from disease and predation, how to care for chicks from birth and even how to hypnotize a chicken. Anyone who has ever kept a chicken or is contemplating doing so in today’s urban landscape will enjoy reading Cluck from cover to cover.

Troller is an award-winning newspaper reporter for The Capital Times in Madison, where she has written about the local food movement and currently covers K-12 education. Troller will appear at Boswell Book Co. on April 4 at 7 p.m.

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