Chicken Coups

     Many years ago when my mother first started to learn about the better ways of healthful living, she wanted to put these principles into practice in her own life.  So the family bought a piece of land in the country that had an orchard of 60 walnut trees and built a house and planted fruit trees and raised their own chickens and enjoyed a menagerie of animals and birds.

     The reason for having so many chickens was to make sure they were fed properly and we did not have to buy someone else’s eggs that were fed garbage, etc.  Mother would buy the chicken feed that was just grains and good things for the chickens.  We knew, even all those years ago that they were feeding the chickens things we did not want to have anything to do with.  Mother would go right to the dairy as much as possible to get the milk fresh from good, healthy cows.  I am so thankful my mother was particular about these things and wanted her family to be healthy.

     The area where we lived had fields of different kinds of crops like strawberries, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, corn and roses with so many other wonderful things around us.

    But this write up is basically to talk about the chicken ranch.  I’m not much of a talker but this part of my life I will always remember as very important to keep in mind and finally have decided to put it into writing.

     At the age of about 16, I along with one of my sisters and one of my brothers started working at a chicken ranch just to the right of us across the street from our house.  Two houses down to the right on our side of the road was another chicken ranch.  Just across the street to the left of us was another big chicken ranch.  Who knows how many more there were in that area.  Yes, you guessed it right, the flies were numerous to say the least, and very disgusting with fly specks all over the place.  I am amazed how well my mother kept them out of the house.  But she was a very clean person and it was pleasant in the house.

     My job was to gather the eggs so we rode electric carts up and down the many rows of chickens taking the eggs off the wires where the eggs would roll down on and place them on cardboard flats with the holes to hold each individual egg.  There would be several stacks layered high.  Some times I wondered if they were going to go flying when hitting a bump.  In this process of going through these aisles of chickens one can see chickens pecking at each other and combs bleeding and some dead ones and some gangrene.  The manure is stacked up about a couple of feet underneath the cages and the smell is a loud stink.  My brother was the one who fed the chickens.  There was a trough above the wire that caught the eggs and the chicken feed was put in the trough.  The cart he drove had a bin full of feed and he used a scoop to fill it up as he drove through the lane.  One day as he was feeding the chickens a bird came and sat on the bin.  He was pretty excited and he caught this beautiful little bird.  He brought it home and for a while we enjoyed this fun little pet. It was a gray cockatiel with a crest.

     After the eggs were gathered from their wires they were brought to the egg house where there was a cooler for storage and a place for candling and grading the eggs.  We  would candle the eggs by holding them over a special light and it revealed to us if there was any blood or cancer spots in the eggs.  These spotted and bloody eggs along with the cracked and soft-shelled eggs were cracked open and my sister would use the eggbeaters to mix them all together and put them into big metal containers and put them in the cooler to sell to the bakeries and food factories.  Many foods have eggs added to them to make a more stable and nice texture for their product and this is a fast and ready to use ingredient for any bakery or food business.  Also these metal containers of eggs could be frozen for extended storage.  Salad dressings, pastries, pies and pancakes are some of the items they are used in.  They use these diseased eggs and feed them to the people and they know that they will get sick from them. 

     The tiny baby chicks are shipped to the poultry farms in big cartons.  It’s so cute to see all these freshly hatched chicks scurrying around in these big crates, tripping over each other and pecking at whatever they see around them.  They look healthy and energetic at this moment of the proceedings of life.  But the fact is known that these little darling creatures are prone to die in a very short time so they are lined up for a series of vaccinations as soon as they reach their destination.  My sister stuck needles into all those baby chicks.  They are given a shot for this disease and a shot for that disease and for the other disease and so forth when they are so tiny.  They become full of these things from the shots so how can they be healthy?  One of the things that happens to these poor chickens in the progress of their treatments is to have the tip of their beak cut off.  It not only does not look nice but it can interfere with their normal pecking of their food.  How cruel can man get to be.

     The chickens that live through this beginning of events will sooner or later be victims as well because they all are diseased to one degree or another.  Some will produce many eggs to make money for their owners.  But it is a vicious cycle.  They die and guess where they go.  Into large metal barrels sitting by the driveway where they put the dead gangrene and diseased, cancerous chickens to be taken to the chicken feed companies to be ground up and put right back into the chicken feed.  What a horrible way to treat your neighbor by selling him diseased eggs and chicken feed.

     I did not wonder why my mother was so determined to know what was in the chicken feed she was feeding her chickens.  Perhaps the next jar of salad dressing you buy will not taste as delicious as the one before.  Now you know what that fried egg has in it.  Just try some of the oat pancakes without eggs and see how delicious they really are.  As for all the sweets with eggs try a fresh mango or juicy strawberry instead.  Your mind will rest so much better.  This is said with love to bring you to the better way and come home to health.




 My sister in front of the egg house.