Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Raising Chickens: Farming in the Great Depression

12/28/2012 1:00:51 PM

Tags: Raising Chickens, Farming During the Great Depression, Brooder House, Baby Chickens, The Great Depression

ChickensThis story is from J.M. Jones and submitted as part of our Wisdom From Our Elders collection of self-sufficient tales from yesteryear. 

I would like to share my father's method of raising chickens when times were tough during the Great Depression in the 1930s. I remember it well, having been born in 1929, but I didn’t really appreciate Dad's efforts until much later. People could order baby chicks by mail back then and pay COD. When the chicks came in, chirping through the air holes in their cardboard containers, the rural mail carrier delivered them to the customer and collected the charges. If the customer wasn’t home or didn’t have the money, the mail carrier left a note saying they had two or three days to pick them up at the post office. Any remaining chicks would be sold for postage due and Dad would buy them.

Dad built a brooder house, about 12-by-12 feet, with a low shed-like roof. It had a hard-packed clay floor which he covered with sawdust. The front of the house faced the south and had large ventilating windows which had hinged covers that could be opened for summer ventilation or closed to retain winter heat. The door had a 12-inch threshold to step over so that small chicks couldn’t escape when entering. Winter heating was accomplished with a brick heater dad had built, it extended into the front of the building with an old cast iron stove door opening to the outside. At the back of the heater, a stove pipe rose up to the ceiling and out the side of the brooder house for ventilation. This brick heater gave off plenty of heat during cold winters.

Many batches of chicks went through dad’s brooder house; they furnished fried chicken for our family or were added to our flock of free-range chickens. The rear of our chicken house opened into the only place on our 8-acre homestead that was off limits to our 25 or 30 chickens, the 1-acre garden. A removable panel let Dad get to the chicken manure underneath the roost poles, which made excellent garden fertilizer. We kept the chickens out by clipping the wing feathers on one side so they couldn’t fly into the garden.

Photo by Fotolia /Xalanx 


Please send email submissions to Letters@MotherEarthNews.com with the subject line "Elder Wisdom" or send mail to attn: Heidi Hunt, Re: Elder Wisdom, MOTHER EARTH NEWS, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609 



Related Content

Hey Chickie, Wanna Buy Some Scratch?

Is there such thing as a poultry pop star? If so, then I think I am one.

The Crappiest Easter Present Ever

How I got the chickens I wanted, but didn't know I was getting.

How Do You Raise Your Flock?

Chickens who begin life as housepets don't take kindly to being banished to the outdoors. What is th...

Which Is Your Favorite Hatchery And Why?

Which is your favorite hatchery and why? If you need help finding a poultry hatchery or baby chicks,...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

casper
4/29/2014 4:17:25 AM
As a result of massive usage of cheicken for flesh and the spread of deadly diseases has lead to avery drastic reduction in the number of poultry farms. I just read the more innovative and traditional method that you have given here on how to do chicken farming. I think is one of the best ideas that I had come across in the recent pass related to this topic. http://allourparents.com/miscarriage/things-to-know-about-miscarriage/

roter
1/16/2014 5:03:01 AM
The front of the house faced the http://www.exam-collections.com/HP0-Y46-vce.html south and had large ventilating windows which had hinged covers that could be opened for summer ventilation or closed to retain winter heat. The door had a 12-inch threshold to step over so that small chicks couldn’t escape when entering. Winter heating was accomplished with a brick heater dad had built, it extended into the front of the building with an old cast iron stove door opening to the outside. At the back of the heater, a stove pipe rose up to the ceiling and out the side of the brooder http://www.exam-collections.com/C_TERP10_65-vce.html house for ventilation. This brick heater gave off plenty of heat during cold winters.







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.