P is for Poultry – Sepia Saturday #173

a-to-z-letters-pThis is the sixteenth post for the April A-Z Challenge. Today I am going to combine A-Z with the Sepia Saturday prompt, which shows a young man holding up two fowl.  I do not have anybody holding dead poultry, but I do have several photographs of family members with living chickens.

In 1975, we moved to Simpson County, Mississippi and got some chickens and goats. We did kill the chickens for food, as well as keep some for eggs. If I had known about this prompt, I would have taken a few photos of the headless chickens.

Jilo with a hen. 1973, Mississippi.
Jilo with a hen. Simpson County, Mississippi – 1976.
My grandfather, Poppy, in Detroit, 1919. On the photo my grandmother wrote “Shell with his pets. Jeans.”

My Graham grandparents married in 1919 in Montgomery Alabama and immediately came to Detroit, where my grandfather had been living and working for a while. They roomed with friends from home, Aunt Jean and Uncle Mose, until they could afford to buy their own house.   This is their backyard. Not sure who owned the chickens. When they got their own home, my grandfather kept chickens and raised a big garden. By the time we grandchildren came along, the chicken house had been cleaned out and was a storage shed for tools and our outside toys.

 For other stories about my life in the rural, try these posts.


To see other fowl posts, CLICK.

31 thoughts on “P is for Poultry – Sepia Saturday #173

  1. I remember when I was a little girl, we had free range hens, we always had fresh eggs in the morning, yum yum!

  2. As a child my job in the kitchen included cleaning the chickens. Ugh. I very appreciate buying them all cleaned and nicely wrapped in plastic. The sepia photo of Poppy is lovely.

  3. After the sweet photo of Jilo and hens, I remembered about photos of my Mum with her pet bantams at about the same age and equally cute, and I wished I had used them this week. For her entire life Mum never went a week without mentioning those bantams !

  4. I have never kept Chickens myself .Did they wander in the house?Were they given names? (a friend of mine has just bought 6 & lets them do both!)That is a rather striking photo of your grandfather.I want one of those hats! Very fashionable still!

    1. One of the roosters had a name, Sparkle. He joined the flock by wandering into the yard one day from who knows where. The rest didn’t have names because they all looked alike and we were going to eat them.

      They never came into the house, although the goats came in once when somebody came in and stole our very small black and white tv and left the door open. We came home to find them standing around the living room, eating my house plants.

  5. Having done both broiler and layer chickens on a semi-commercial basis in the past, I can assure you that there’s not much of the process that’s particularly fun. Perhaps the first few days after the boxes of day-old chicks arrive … once feathers start to grow and replace the down, it becomes a chore. As for the slaughtering, I have to confess that I never did that job.

    1. I’m thinking that a small backyard flock is more enjoyable than any sort of commercial one. I’ve participated in lots of feather plucking and cleaning and cutting up and cooking but only one actual hands on slaughter.

    1. I inherited from both sides of my family photos and in the last few years, I’ve been exchanging photos with cousins and also getting some identifications for those I don’t know. There are still mystery photos but, I think, that only a few of those are related.

      I am worried about Pepper. Looking forward to today’s episode.

  6. I wonder what happened to the chicken pen. Why was it turned into a storage shed? Were the chickens just too much trouble? Easier to pick up chicken and eggs at the grocery store?

  7. I laughed at your “I’d have taken photos” comment Kristin! I love the photo of your grandfather as well as the one of Jilo. Chickens make me laugh, especially the fancy ones with fluffy legs.

    1. There are so many photos I would have taken if I had suspected I would be involved in challenges. But I really like the photos holding live chickens better anyway. I like those fancy chickens too. And glad you made it over here.

  8. Ah, brings back many memories, all of which I shall not recount at this time, but as Bob Hope used to sing, “Thanks for the memories”. :). On the farm, holding the baby chicks was one of my favorite things. Eating chicken and dumplings, yum! Best regards to you, my friend. Ruby.

  9. Thank you for calling by my blog earlier 🙂

    I’m pleased to find another blogger interested in genealogy, too! (you are going on my blog-roll!)

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the A-Z blog-hop – I’ll be back to explore your pages here!

    SueH I refuse to go quietly!

    Twitter – @Librarymaid

  10. Urban chicken coops seem to be all the rage. There is a chicken coop tour in our town every year now. I hear some of them are really something, although I’ve never been. I find myself wishing I’d known to take pictures years ago too!

    1. I’m pretty sure that anybody could keep chickens in Detroit today with no problem, even if it is against the law, but not so much back in the 1950s. My grandfather was pretty law abiding. There are chickens in Altanta now too.

  11. I am not sorry you don’t have a headless chicken. But leave it to Sepia Saturday to point out all the photos we WISHED we had taken!!

  12. Oh what fun it would have been to grow up with these. Or so I think, my friends that did always said if you had you wouldn’t want them…but I always loved catching what time I could when visiting!

  13. My grandparents had a farm for many years in southern Illinois. They mostly had pigs and cows, but they did have a few chickens and the chickens scared me to death for some reason. When I was a little girl visiting them, my grandmother would tell me to stick my hand under the chicken to get the egg, but the chicken would look at me with those beady eyes and there was no way I was sticking my little hand under there!

  14. Urban chickens are now popular here in Asheville and a few of our local elementary schools have both a garden and chickens to teach the children traditional skills. Recently a home in the neighborhood has added goats. Pigs or cows may be next.

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