FYI like grandpa used to do.....

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by A.J.'s, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. A.J.'s

    A.J.'s Songster

    Nov 11, 2008
    When I was 10 years old, back in the olden days as my grandsons call it, 1955 to be more precise, I signed up for the 4-H chicken program.
    We were given 100 chicks straight from the hatchery and we had to raise them and then put them in the county fair.
    My wonderful late Uncle John came to my aid and built a place for me to keep them until spring. We had no electricity at that time and he was quite ingenious in his idea and Id like to share this experience with you.
    He built a square with lumber about 18 inches high and used metal roofing for the bottom. It was on legs about table high and it had a top built of ply board with a door about 18 inches square. It was about 6 feet square or there about.
    He put creek sand, coarse and dry about 2 inches deep in the bottom.
    Under it he put two kerosene lamps placed where the flu came to about an inch or so from the underside of the metal roofing. This was adjustable to regulate the amount of heat that was needed to keep the brooder to the desired temperature.
    This was housed in a good quality out building that protected it from wind and rain and such.
    I dont remember if anyone had to get up in the night to refill the lamps. I just know I didnt.
    The chicks did fine. I remember how good and warm the air felt that came out of it when Id open it to feed them and to add water to their waterers.
    By the way, I won 1st prize at the local fair and then the 4-H man took them to Nashville to the state fair and I won 10 dollars there. It was the begiinning of a life time of interest in chickens and I waited til I got thru raising kids and then took on my chickens love again in my "golden age".
    The intent was to enjoy the chickens and to make a little money selling the eggs. Its been 5 years now and I try hard not to think about what the chicken feed and utilities cost me compared to the amount of money Ive collected selling my eggs.
    Maybe I could take advise from the notorious "little moron" who sold his watermelons at the same price he paid for them and when he figured out he was not making any money decided to remedy this he had to buy more trucks so he could sell more watermelons. Maybe I need more chickens?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2008
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Love your post! [​IMG]

    I'm not into chickens for money, they help me keep my sanity! [​IMG] Since we have Banties, I don't even bother trying to sell our extra eggs as I get much more enjoyment out of freaking people out that our gals (EE's and EE mixes) lay greeen-shelled eggs. 1 out of 8 have no problem with the shell color and we all sit back and laugh at the 2% that are freaked out since an egg is an egg, and ours taste and look better than most of what you'll get from the grocery store. [​IMG]


    P.S. We ALL need more chickens and don't let anyone tell you any different! [​IMG] I swore to Skip that I wouldn't be hatching any in '09....I lied to him and myself! [​IMG]
  3. A.J.'s

    A.J.'s Songster

    Nov 11, 2008
    Thanks Dawn for the response. Ive made exactly 14 dollars on my eggs in the last 2 weeks and before that I made 3 dollars a week from 2 elder women who enjoy my eggs, so my intent is not to get rich just yet.
    After I added a timer and a light in my hen house I found myself with 12 dozen eggs in my refrigerator just suddenly. I loaded them up and went door to door in my rural area and sold them for 3 dollars for 2 dozen. DH was not in approval of this and said I was wasting my time. I was sold out before I got to walmart.
    walmart is the place that indicates the length of time, milage distance ets for every thing around here. its the place that everone knows where it is, how long it takes to get there and so on..
    I had a jar full of dollar bills. Grandson number one came in and saw my display of dollar bills and his eyes got so big. Now hes getting ideas of raising some chickens. Maybe he will be the one who gets rich selling eggs. lol.. hahahaha
    I discovered that stopping at the new homes, the ones that have citizens who moved from the city to the country was my best bet.
    for some unknown reason the long time residents prefer the store bought eggs. go figure.

    Im in southern tennesee about as south as you can get and I figure central tennessee is about in nashville... ??? In nashville I could get 3 dollars a dozen or more. Here in the rural area I moved to when we retired..getting a dollar a dozen is considered good.
    IN fact..some residents wouldnt want a home grown egg. Thinking the prestine walmart eggs the better.
    Today at walmart i saw they had 18 eggs for 1.38 cents. i told the stocker there that it was not worth the wear and tear on the hens ah er rear.
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Hey A.J.,

    We're in White County. It's about an hour and a half/2 hours south east of Nashville. Skip and I have a small fish/aquarium maintenance biz and could make better money if we lived near there but I wouldn't trade our little rented-rural acrage for the world.

    Our land-lady tries to sell her eggs ( 5 acre mini-farm behind our 2 acre one) so I don't even bother advertising, althought I have been tossing around the idea of seeing if I can sell naturally colored green eggs for Easter.

    WalMart is "the world" around here, too! [​IMG] I tease anyone who goes there with me about "we need to pick up eggs while we're here", just to see the confused look on their faces. [​IMG] Mean, huh? LOL

  5. BJ

    BJ Songster

    Mar 20, 2007
    Tell us more stories! I love to hear about the simpler life (in the 50's and 60's). I'm hoping that some of this financial crisis our country is in will be a good thing (in the long run) for my children as they go out into the world...less "stuff" hopefully and using what's on hand vs. "brand new" as the kids seem to demand now.

    Thanks for sharing about your 1950's chicken house!
  6. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Songster

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    Great post AJ.

    Recently while speaking to my 70 year old mother I told her we were getting chickens in the spring. For the first time she told me she and her sisters were responsible for (hand) collecting and cleaning eggs from 3,000 leghorns every day. She said they were cage free, kept in a large barn and allowed to roam in a run outside. They had a long double row of nest boxes to lay in. So Mom and her sisters would have to go in with the chickens every day and collect eggs. Of course it was common to have roosters in with the hens so they suffered frequent floggings from, in her words "those darn nasty cocks" and pecking form laying hens. Even in summer they wore heavy coats two pair of loose pants and heavy gloves. We talks for some time about how mean leghorns are. I never new her family had chickens.
  7. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

    Nov 14, 2007
    Very practical your grandpa. Amazing what you can do if you can stay home more. Your eggs a Walmart are lot less than the ones here. With the cost of feed, I don't think you could make a profit on selling eggs unless you could grow your own feed and freerange your birds. I always have more people wanting eggs for eating than I have available. I usually get 2 dollars a doz. It has been a long time since I sold any since I let my RIR go.
    Now I just sell hatching eggs which helps pay for feed. Sell chicks too.
    Thanks for sharing your story. If you live in Southern part of Tn you must live near the Al. border. We have a few other members in that area.
  8. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    Our feedstore ladies sell theirs for 3$ a dozen. A number of the people who work with Laura go there for eggs but want to buy from us when the girls begin to lay.

    Since I'll have a dozen or more pullets we'll do all right, even with our own consumption, we should eventually cover feed costs.

    My Great Grandmother's flock of barred rocks certainly never had heat. Her chickens raised her chickens. And I remember pretty clearly the gaps in their coop in northern Texas. Dry but not what I'd ever believe was draft free.

    In time I'm hoping a line of heritage PR's sells pretty good, as chicks or hatching eggs. I've got people trying to buy some of my base flock already. That's not happening. I've got at least four generations before I'm selling anything other than extra cocks. And with eight dogs... mostly I'm just not selling no matter how many I raise.

    I'm interested in doing it as my Great Grandmother did for the most part. Chickens who make and RAISE their own chickens, who range on pasture and have the sense to hide when they should and defend each other.

    I will be bringing other lines so brooding is an issue, and your Grandpa's set up sounds great. Sand makes a terrific heat sink. I like my brooder actually in the coop. I will still start them out in the house, mostly to gage how each grows. I find there is a lot of information in how a chick feathers, it's individual nature, how it gets along with others, even early.

    I find it's an important part of picking who stays and who goes from the new lines. Three weeks in however, is about all I can stand.
  9. Cason

    Cason Songster

    I enjoyed your tale AJ. I do so miss my Grandmother. She had a dog named Trixie.. and a flock of Heaven knows how many chickens. She would POINT out a chicken and Trixie would ease into the bunch and grab THAT chicken.. then Grandma would fix it for supper. Trixie was a heeler of some sort.
  10. Rufflemyfeathers

    Rufflemyfeathers Songster

    Nov 20, 2008
    Astatula Florida

    More stories huh..I am 60 now and I remember when I grew up in southern Georgia on the farm..we had chickens dogs pigs cows and goats...I always felt hungry with a family of 6 and hardly any money we lived off the the fruit of the land..ate our animals and grew our vegs..had an out door toilet and sears roebuck catalog...I would get hungry and couldn't get anything extra to eat as mom wouldn't let me so I would go down to my dads pig barn and he had big sacks of pig pellets and I feasted on them to quinch my hunger..
    Thinking times like that makes me appreciate what I got today and my having chicks sorta takes me back to those good old days.

    I know was a corny story but the truth..

    Happy Holidays



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