chickens 100 years ago

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by roostranaut, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. roostranaut

    roostranaut Hatching

    Nov 13, 2007

    Before Tractor supply and purina made us bags of food to buy what was there.....?

    Does anyone know a good recipie for farm chickens?

    I'm sure Ma on the "Little House on the Prarie" didn't go shopping for their chick food....

    We don't enjoy forking out the cash if not necessary..

    Help thanks....
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    ...they probably lost half their chicks to cocci too.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    My grandpa raised chicks back in the 40's... only bout 70 years ago. But he bought chicken feed by the tons. My mom in china fed rice, hulls, and left over stuff... but they were straggly compared to what we have now and few would ever make it past a few years as they were food and didn't think much of it when a few birds died here and there.

    It would be optimal if you fed them a base ration of layers, and supplemented with other goodies, but for the healthiest long lived birds, proper nutrition is a must.

    If you search the forums for feed forumlations under feeding you can see alternative food mixes, but often they will cost you more in the end.

    Good luck.
  4. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    I hate to say it, but a hundred years ago, people had a lot more horses and cattle. The chickens scrounged the poop. It was their job to keep down the flies. They free ranged more and were fed mostly scratch feeds.

    If you look at old photos of your ancestors, you will probably see some chickens in the background. The photographers went from place to place taking peoples pictures posed in front of their houses. The dogs and chickens just were in the background.

  5. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Welcome roostranaut. I agree with rufus, chickens had to defend for themselves. I remember my grandmother's chickens were not very big. They would free range everyday and grandma would throw leftover fruit and veggie scraps to them.
  6. When searching this site remember a lot of us have chickens as pets and for eggs. In other words, we pamper the heck out of our birds. It's embarrassing:). So if you find a formula on here for feed I doubt it'll save you.

    How many birds do you have? Do they free range? We hardly spend doodle for feed b/c our girls are out eating grass and bugs all day.
  7. debashan

    debashan Songster

    Aug 11, 2007
    Oquawka, IL
    Better living thru technology.
  8. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    First off, roostranaut , Welcome to BYC!

    As to your question,
    Since chickens back them were dual purpose, cocci was probably more of a non issue than the fact that they went into the stew pot once the laying slowed. The hens shown on Little House were probably not a good representation of chickens back then. I am sure hens in those times were leaner, tougher and had to work for their food. The ones you see on TV are fat, well fed and very healthy looking.

    (as an aside, I was watching an episode and a hen in the foreground squatted in the pooping position, but the poop falling was blurred out in the editing LOL)

    Their lifespans were shorter and they ate scraps and foraged more. Our chickens are spoiled in comparison, even our dual purpose ones.

    In the late 1800's and early part of the 20th century, chicken feed came in cotton sacks that were then made into clothing. In about 1925, they started using cotton prints as a way to sell to the farmer's wives who would then use them for clothing and quilts.

    You can find formulas for growing and using your own grains and such for feed, but would the time and outlay be worth it? Storeys Guilde to Raising poultry has some of that info.

    But it seems chicken feed has been around a long time.
  9. palabeco

    palabeco Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    S.W. PA
    I have a quilt made out of chicken feed sacks, not sure who made it but it was from my husbands side of the family.
    They used the feed sacks for the backing. You can see a image of a chicken head.
  10. eggchel

    eggchel Crowing

    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Thanks for the link to the story about feed sacks, Terrie. It was very interesting.


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