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Chickens circa 1918 ..... my how thing have changed

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by tacmotusn, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    Uncle Sam Wants You to Raise Chickens

    11/18/2011 3:37:51 PM
    By Robin Mather

    … Or he did, back in 1918, as this poster illustrates.
    [​IMG]Funny how things change, isn’t it? These days, people have to fight and petition and beg and plead in many municipalities to get their government to let them keep a few backyard hens. And even when city leaders permit it, they lay out complicated rules about how many, where and how the birds must be housed. And please! No roosters!
    As the poster so rightly points out, two hens per person will keep a family in eggs. The flock will take minimal effort, cost little and provide plenty of enjoyment, because chickens are fun to watch.
    City life, with its sirens, alarms, cars with stereos blaring heart-stopping bass throbbing, could do with a little of the natural beauty of a rooster’s sunrise crowing. Suburbs could also benefit.
    But a few hens don’t make much noise anyway. So I can’t understand the objections.
    If this was sound advice from our national government in 1918, it’s surely good advice today.
    This poster might be just the tool you need if you’re trying to persuade your local council or city leaders that you have the right to keep a few hens in your backyard.
    strunk, Cephus, STANGF150 and 7 others like this.
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    While I agree in theory, some places are more appropriate for housing poultry than others. Perfect for the suburban or country dwelling but I picture roosts in the city and the resulting sanitation issues - ever smell a pile of chicken manure? Cow manure is sweet but poultry manure is not - I wouldn't want to have my neighbors chicken litter under my window on a hot summer morning.
  3. DKR

    DKR Interesting ideas, interesting stories

    I guess I was lucky as a kid

    We had a pretty large lot on our home in Tucson (back in the day)

    Big garden, grapes, even had banty chickens, and homing pigeons. Ate everything.

    That ended when a nasty neighbor kept bitching about the roster crowing (well, it did crow almost the entire day) and the city put the hammer down.

    chicken manure was mixed with leaves and scrap - then into the compost heap for next seasons garden...

    Now that most city lots are the size of a postage stamp, kids will never know where those chicken nuggets really come from. Or corn, or tomatoes, or...
    STANGF150 and beast like this.
  4. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    When I was visiting Scotland this year for a family wedding, I went out for the day to my nephew's house, in a small village near Edinburgh, on the east coast. We were sitting in their little summerhouse when my niece said "Listen, did you hear that" - I listened, and heard the lovely sound of hens clucking and fussing. Their neighbour two doors down has a small flock of hens. I was so surprised to hear them (in a village) as most places do prohibit them. I had not heard that beautiful sound for many years, in spite of living in the country - no one keeps hens in my part of Canada. I would like to but feel that I might not be able to manage it in the six months of bad weather we get here. Turns out the neighbour lady gives away her surplus eggs to her NEIGHBOURS, which no doubt at least partly explains why they are happy to allow her to continue with her little flock! Or maybe Scotland being more backward than other nations (haha!) have not yet realized that we are not supposed to do stuff like that any more. My goodness, we might offend or disturb someone.
  5. Redneck Rebel

    Redneck Rebel Monkey++

    Haha Two hens won't keep one person in eggs, let alone a family.
  6. Pyrrhus

    Pyrrhus Monkey++

    Two hens per person. And I guess it depends on how many eggs you eat.
    tacmotusn and tulianr like this.
  7. Redneck Rebel

    Redneck Rebel Monkey++

    I eat 5 large eggs at a time myself, another 4 for the kids, 3 or so for the woman. Then factor in eggs for other needs like baking. Believe me 2 hens per person is OK so long as you've still got the local wally world, but if you're talking 1918 and making much of your food stuffs from scratch there's not a chance 2 hens for each family member will suffice.
    BackwoodsmanUSA likes this.
  8. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    I eat 3 a day and keep up my stature.

    No point in only keeping 3 hens when they are so good for bartering.
  9. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    When I visited China the "Fancy" resturants alaways had chicken in cages in front as you walk in, fresh meat.
    In third world countries chickens are everywhere, I never can figure how they know what chicken belongs to whom. Petty theft is common but for some unknown reason they dont steal each others chickens.
  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Some areas of Asia are big on "fresh." Some Viet restaurants had fish in tanks; they aren't any fresher. ;)
  11. TnAndy

    TnAndy Senior Member Founding Member

    Well, you know the expression "close enough for govt work" ?......it hasn't changed over time.

    Sometimes ( when they are young and laying good ) two per person would work for most folks ( ya'll simply eat a LOT of eggs ), but as they age, or molt, or winter sets in, it would take a lot more. Right now, we only get about 2-3/day out of 9 hens.....several of which need to go to the stew pot.
  12. Sapper John

    Sapper John Analog Monkey in a Digital World

    That's why I prefer Ducks. My ducks lay 1 egg per day per duck. The good part is that duck eggs are almost twice the size of chicken eggs and taste much better!
  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Shouldn't this thread be in the Clucking Chickens Forum???

    But seriously, the degree of egg productivity of chickens depends a lot on the breed, state of health (including parasitic load), feeding regime and nutrition, time of year, age, availability of suitable nesting facilities, lighting, and happyness in the social order of the chicken population.

    Light breeds bred for egg production are likely to lay more frequently than heavy breeds bred for meat production. Dual purpose breeds are a compromise between the high meat and high egg ends of the chicken production continuum. Exhibition breeds are probably not going to be prolific layers, egg laying productivity as a breeding characteristic being sacrificed for conformity to exhibition showing traits.

    The following is a weblink to a site that gives a general description of the egg laying capabilities of different chicken breeds.

    Chicken Breeds Chart - Back Yard Chickens
  14. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Hey TnAndy, you can give those chickens to my mother where she will let them live out their lives in greener pastures, scratching and eating bugs until they can no longer stand on their own.

    Then they get relagated to pens and hand fed until they can no longer feed themselves. Then my mother asks us to humanly and quickly "put them out of their misery".

    My point being, if she would let me "humanly and quickly" put them in a pot at the onset, she might not feel as bad about eating her pets. Yes, all two dozen have names- and only she knows which ones are which.

    I was told that old chickens don't taste good.

    My mother has a point about a few things, though- some chickens are really good at laying eggs, but then walk away from them. Some are good sitters, but can't lay, or worse yet- don't protect the chicks.

    Then there are some that are actually good mothers. I guess thet's one of the reasons behind her keeping them until they end up stiff on the floor under the roost one morning.
  15. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn Mosquito Sailor

    I guess It depends on your perspective and preparation. Beef Chuck Roast cut as steaks ain't near the fine piece of meat as say Ribeye, T-bone, Porterhouse, NewYork strip, or even lowly sirloin, ..... but it makes an excellent pot roast or stew. Slower cooking and liquids seem to make the so so excellent table fare.
    Don't believe everything your Mother told you. My Grandmother would have told her otherwise. Some people are a pound smart, and a penny foolish. My Granny could make a penny squeal uncle, but she set a fine table. Old chickens are called stewing hens for a reason, (and an old rooster will do just fine also). It's all in how you use what you have. That goes for whats between your ears as well. Just saying.
    larryinalabama likes this.
  16. weegrannymush

    weegrannymush Monkey+

    Oh gunbunny, I am totally in sympathy with your mother.....one of the reasons I don't keep hens is because I can't face the thought of killing them (or having them killed) when their egg-laying days are over. Your mother is a woman after my own heart, please tell her I respect and admire her for this.....what a lovely, tender-hearted lady she must be! I bet she takes a lot of flak and teasing because she lets them live out their lives naturally. I am encouraged because if I'm not the only one feeling this way, maybe I can get myself a few hens and allow them to "retire" gracefully at the end of their laying, without my feeling stupid about it!
  17. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    She doesn't really get teased by anyone except my father and me. My Aunt is the same exact way as my mother, so they draw upon eachother. My aunt went so far as to blame my mother one time for the death of the flock due to bear attack. We hardend the coop since then and have kept the bears at bay.

    It wasn't her fault, we never figured a bear would rip a window off the coop and get inside.
  18. strunk

    strunk Monkey+

    Only if I get lazy about cleaning out the coop regularly.

    Properly composted, the chicken manure is an almost odorless asset. Don't just pile chicken poop in a pile. Add leaves, dirty straw bedding, shredded newspapers, etc. Turn it over from time to time. The only real odor I get is rich humus.

    I live in city limits and my next door neighbors have remarked that they find it hard to believe I even have chickens, because they never hear them or smell them but they can see them).

    (And they still don't know that I have rabbits).
  19. strunk

    strunk Monkey+

    I was going to say, they must be older hens; my flock has 8 hens, and one of my children just brought in 5 eggs a few minutes ago.
  20. oth47

    oth47 Monkey+

    I'm in the city limits of a small town and have chickens.One man who lives maybe 200 yards from the courthouse sells eggs,baby chicks and laying hens.A block from the courthouse in the other direction is a backyard with a miniature horse.We had a courthouse cock that folks would come to feed till he tried to cross the 4 lane hiway and got hit.He was the unofficial mayor of the town.Thank God for small towns and the more relaxed rules of living.
    oldawg, bountyhunter and tacmotusn like this.
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