Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Own Project, Mary Starnes, 1940

My Own Project, Mrs. Oscar Starnes, Union County
Last spring at chick buying time my husband, as usual, went to the hatchery and bought his chicks. Of course, as any good wife would, I helped care for them. When the chicks were a week old, I said, “Oscar, I am going to get me some chicks that I can call my own and spend the money as I see fit.”
Like any good husband, he replied, “Mary, I feel like I have all I can finance now. I wish I could get them for you, but I can’t this year.”
I realized all this, but I had decided to do something of my own.
The feed truck was passing once a week, so I stopped it and asked the salesman if he would let me have feed for 400 chicks on the number of roosters I would have from this number. “Yes,” he replied. Then I went home to Dad (but not to stay). I borrowed enough money to buy my own baby chicks.
Project Makes Money
I bought good blood tested chicks from a reliable hatchery. When I sold the roosters, I paid the feed man and bought 200 pullets as profit. Then I bought 400 cockerels for broilers. Now I have 195 hens in the laying house. My Dad has been paid in full, and with the money I received as profit from the whole venture, I made my kitchen into a convenient workshop. I spent $35 of my chicken money to build cabinets across one entire side of the kitchen. A sink was put in, curtains were hung, and a number of other smaller things were added to make the room more attractive.
I value my five months’ work, 1 ½ hours a day, at $300. I have gotten more pleasure and thrill out of my summer’s work than I can express in words. Now my dreams are big. With 195 hens in my laying house and no debt against them, I am getting enough eggs to pay for my feed. My first dream has come true. My second dream is for the 195 white hens laying white eggs to enable us to paint our house white.
Reported by Ruth Current, State Home Agent, North Carolina, in “Miss Current’s Column” in The Southern Planter, April 1940
A cockerel is a young male rooster, one that is less than a year old.

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