Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Chicken Coop

We had a number of old buildings on our farm. We had an old chicken coop and a little brooder house. The brooder house was a place where the cute little fluffy yellow chicks went to stay warm and dry under the lights until the weather warmed up enough for them to be outside. We used to clean out the brooder house and use it as a playhouse after the chicks were outside.

The laying hens were in the chicken coop, it was a small building with laying boxes on the walls and ramps that made their way up to the boxes. The ramps were made out of lumber, and each ramp had small lengths of wood tacked horizontally onto the surface, so the chickens wouldn't slip. These ramps were brushed off with a wire brush occasionally, sometimes we would take them out and hose them off in the summertime. Our chicken coop had a fenced yard, there were little doors that we opened in the morning and closed at night, little chicken sized doors. The chickens could come and go as they pleased during the day. I hated cleaning out the water was a strange two part galvanized waterer one part fit over the part with the water in it, you had to carry it outside and clean it all out because chickens are messy and then fill it with water. My Mom was in charge of feeding them.

I was in charge of gathering eggs, you had to be quick..and learn not to hesitate or they would peck you in the arm. One small hesitation and those hens would nail ya. I helped with the cleaning of the eggs, we used soft white rags made out of diapers to wash them. It was a job that you wanted to stay on top of, because the longer that chicken poop stayed on the eggs the harder you had to scrub...and if you scrubbed too broke the doggone egg. We put the eggs in a funny colored purple tray, I think it held about 36 eggs.

We sold eggs to the neighbors. I do not remember exactly how much they were for a dozen, (35 cents a dozen rings a bell.) The little old ladies would drive into the yard, hop out of the car with their egg cartons in their hand, we would fill them up, collect the money and carry the eggs to their car. It was on one of these days back in about 1965 that I first met Far Guys Grandparents H. I grew up kitty corner from his Grandparents A. so I had known them forever. Grandpa H. always drove Grandma H. and she always wore a dress. Grandpa H. never got out of the car.

My Grandparents D (My Moms parents) had a real egg operation going on at their place, I can still see my Grandfather, dressed in his bib overhauls with his blue and white train engineers cap on, sitting on the enclosed porch in a chair, washing eggs and putting them into crates, often times I would help him. He would tell me stories, some I remember... some I wish I had written down.

Our chickens weren't the fancy kind, they were just plain old white chickens. Some of them laid brown favorite. What I didn't like about had to constantly watch where you walked, especially in the summertime when I was barefooted.

The first time I sent Far Guy to the chicken coop to get the eggs, he got them just fine, and reported back to me that he had picked up all the eggs. I had to laugh at him, and explained to the "City Boy" that it was called "Gathering." He replied "Whatever you call it, It is done."

Who was the first person to say "See that chicken... I am gonna eat the next thing that comes out of it's butt?" :)


Roxane B. Salonen said...

Hi there. Nice to see you here as well! I will look into the photo challenges and thank you for the thought. I think it would be fun to chat "off blog." You can find me at Give me a "holler" sometime soon.

flydragon said...

Loved this story. We too had chickens while growing up. We didn't have little chicken doors though:) One of the things I remember about our chickens is the time my sister put a little rope around one chickens leg and took it for a walk down the street. Neighbors thought that was a little weird. We thought it was normal, lol

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this story. I want to start raising a few chickens myself so I'm glad to know I'll be gathering eggs and not picking them up! LOL

Jewel said...

We had a few chickens when I was kid, but my Aunt and Uncle in MtVeron WA had a huge egg farm/ranch. Not sure what you call I do remember several large red building full of chickens. I thought it was great fun to help out when we came to visit. My cousins still hate eggs.

Lattice said...

Okay--here you are! Yes, I'd like to link blogspots. I might have to pick your brain about posting photos--haven't worked on that aspect yet...

Btw, happy belated birthday, and WOW!--Chance is one cool gift-giver! ;~)

Dog_geek said...

Hi - I followed you here from flydragon's blog. Your post brings back lots of memories of being a child on my grandparents' farm. Gathering the eggs and feeding the chickens was always one of my favorite things (and they had the little chicken doors, too!) We keep talking about getting a few chickens on our little farm - maybe someday!

Roses and Lilacs said...

I saw your comment on Flydragon's blog site. Wanted to stop by and visit.

I've thought often about getting a few chickens. Perhaps I will someday.

BTW, I love the photo in the previous post. Lovely colors.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

haha! This was such a fantastic post filled with such wonderful memories and stories and even humor!

My husband is alot like Far Guy. He really doesn't much care for the chickens. He avoids gatehring the eggs at all. He'll close and open the hen house doors in the am and pm and toos a bit of food out, but that's about it...and he grumbles about it, too. haha

.35 cents a dozen, eh? Wow. If I sold my eggs for that now, I'd wouldn't be able to afford to feed them anymore.
We sell ours for $2.00 a dozen.

With 15 hens we get about 5-7 dozen eggs a week.