Friday, July 15, 2011

IT'S FUN TO RAISE CHICKENS; part 1; by Clara M. Sutter; Nebraska; circa 1935

"It's fun to raise chickens when you do it right and make some money doing it. It's fun to watch your settings of eggs bring forth fluffy young chicks; it's fun to help those chicks grow. And then when they bring the family some hundreds of dollars extra each year, they make possible a lot of comfort and satisfaction.

This is the way Mrs. W. J. Joyce, who has one of the best record flocks in her state, doesn't think about it that way. She finds in her poultry yard a change from household routine, a pleasure in dealing with live things, and a satisfaction in mastering the problems of poultry growing and of making some money. Besides, her family is enjoying a more modern, more comfortable home which was made possible largely by the flock earnings. "We haven't always had a furnace, electric lights, running water and a telephone," she says, "but the chickens helped us to get them.

"The chickens add many hundreds of dollars to our farm income each year, besides furnishing all the chickens and eggs we care to eat. There is no other way I could add so much to the family income. Although poultry growing is a sideline, it is one of the most reliable sources of income on our farm and it gives pleasure as well as profit."

Mrs. Joyce's poultry business had very humble beginnings about thirty years ago, when she and her husband set up homemaking on their Clay County farm as bride and groom. She brought with her a few hens that were a wedding present. A high shed was the only place for them to roost, and they had to hop painfully up a ladder to the roosts that rested on the plates of the 10x16 foot shed. "It makes me laugh even now when I think of them perched way up under the roof," Mrs. Joyce says. "When I went in after roosting time, the hens looked down on me and made a great fuss.

"That first year those wedding gift hens didn't lay an egg from fall to winter, but winter laying wasn't the fashion among Nebraska hens then.