Baby Chicks on the Family Farm

A New Jersey woman recalls the delightful sound of baby chicks on her grandparents' family farm in Eastern Kansas

| Good Old Days

Born in 1930 on a family farm in eastern Kansas, I loved to spend time at my grandparents' home three miles north-beautifully nestled below "Crowell Hill." Egg sales from their hens were their livelihood.

I always slept in an upstairs room. At that certain time of year the aroma of the incubators permeated the "west room" near the walk-in attic, which had a secret drawer that fascinated me so.

Once hatched the baby chicks were placed in their brooder-house around a brick oven. What a delightful sight to see them chirping – so happy – in their new home.

Further west was the henhouse with the straw roof. Hens were disappearing due to a opossum. Knowing that if the hens were gone there would be no money for groceries, my grandmother fixed a bed on a cot and slept in the henhouse. She was able to kill Mr. Opossum when he showed up that night for a big fat hen.

Now living in a large city, I haven't forgotten the peacefulness of being gently awakened each morning by the distant crow of a rooster.

Sara Hewitt Riola 
Lakewood, New Jersey

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: October 13-14, 2018
Topeka, KS

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!