Saturday, February 22, 2014

This is Home, Part 34 - Mom's 500 chickens, Katie Jane, Mary Ellen and the rooster

This is part 34 of my mother's book about her life, written in 2004.

Mom's 500 chickens

Mom not only raised chickens to use the eggs or have as food. She wanted spending money of her own -- that she had made. She had a checkbook or checkbooks that she could use for anything she wanted and no one ever objected to any money she spent, but this was different.

We used to have a couple of large crates made of thin light wood with wood through the center to form two divisions. Each division had a bunch of square gray division papers with egg depressions. The paper was similar in thickness and color to gray egg boxes we buy at grocery stores today. The crates were kept in the cellar and filled with eggs as they became available.

When both crates were full, Uncle Doc drove us to Stampers Feed in Moberly. Stampers candled the eggs, which was a very interesting process. They held each egg in front of a light to be sure it was good and didn't have a baby chicken in it. I'm assuming they candled each one. I watched a lady do a few, while Mom was getting paid.

Mom also sold extra roosters.

Katie Jane

Katie Jane didn't come to our house to stay, because she had a bad heart and nose bleeds that were so severe that a doctor had to be called.

Mary Ellen and the rooster

Mary Ellen didn't come to visit much that I remember. She came with Bea when they were children.

When Mary Ellen came later, she always helped Mom. I remember her ironing. She didn't do what I thought of as fun things like Bea did.

One time when she came, she was going to kill a rooster and fix fried chicken. She didn't know how to kill it. She twisted the chicken's neck. It not only didn't die, its eye kept looking at her. Mary Ellen jerked her hands away and the rooster walked off shaking his head.

Mom killed a different rooster. Mary Ellen helped fix it.

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