Comment 74225

By D. Shields (registered) | Posted February 11, 2012 at 16:53:51

I was also raised on a hobby farm, & really enjoyed reading your article!

We had chickens, & at times ducks, geese, & once & ONLY once, turkeys. (Turkeys are not easy to keep, & are very stupid.)

Many of our fowl came from the railroad station that wasn't open or heated on Sundays. If a shipment of eggs or hatchlings was not claimed near closing time during cold weather, the station master would alert my grandfather to come in after the station was closed to get the doomed babies as unclaimed freight.

My grandmother made makeshift incubators from cardboard boxes, & corrugated cardboard with some light bulbs hanging for heat. (you had to have more than 1 light bulb, or the chicks would smother each other crowding under it in a heap.)

We dug ponds to accommodate the ducks & geese, & filled in the ponds when they had been sold.

Our dog took a keen interest in protecting the birds by night, & watching over them during the day, making sure that they didn't roam far away. His herding instinct from his Mom, a Border Collie worked just as well for birds as for sheep.

We one got a group of Polish chicks. I'm not sure where they were purchased, but they had 'hats' of wild feather on their heads,& blue coloured beaks & feet. The best surprise of all was when they laid beautiful multi-coloured eggs of pale blue or green with rusty speckled. Instant Easter Eggs!

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