Hertford County, NC Farm Map of Maple Lawn
Mama said that when she came to Maple Lawn, the chickens were roosting in the trees and hiding their eggs all over the place. Her parents had their chickens housed properly. She quickly convinced my father to build a proper home for the chickens including nests and roosts under a roof. The front of the building is of chicken wire and open to the air. There were troughs for the laying mash and crushed oyster shells. And a couple of waterers. We toted Fresh water every day. In the morning, We spread corn and opened the little doors to allow the chickens to forage in their pasture. These we closed at the chicken’s evening meal of Indian corn.
Sally picking grapes. Directly behind me is that first chicken house.
In Each of the nests, we placed one decoy egg. Our cousins helping out often collected them when we gathered eggs.
One spring night in the mid-thirties, the brooder house caught fire from the flame in the brooder. (We did not have electricity until the fifties, so this was a kerosene unit.) Mama understandably was very upset, my older sisters Julia and Jane say it was the only time they saw her cry as she collected the baby chicks into her apron. My father decided that the thing to do was to have a furnace, such as the ones he built into his tobacco barns, as the brooder. So about fifty feet left of the chicken house, they constructed a rat-proof house with concrete floor and tongue and groove walls. With the brick furnace in the middle say six feet by two feet and three feet high. A flue conducted the smoke through the roof. An iron door was included at the front end of the furnace to introduce the wood. There was an enclosed runway Built of wire for the babies on sunny days. The brooder house served us well for the next twenty or so years.
Every year Mama raised 300 white Leghorn chicks with proper mash, etc. The hens replenished the hen houses and the young cockerels – we ate as fried chicken or later in the season as smothered chicken.
A much larger hen-house was built about fifty feet behind the little one in a pasture of rye grass. Included in the chicken yard were the pomegranates and crape myrtle bushes of my great grandparents garden. The large chicken house was later expanded.
The eggs were collected twice each day and placed in a couple of willow baskets. On Saturday morning, I inherited the job of preparing the eggs for market. We all had our turn at this.
We placed the eggs in crates, cleaning any that happened to be soiled. I remember invariable as I was working my father would yell, “Careful how you hold that egg!” and startled me dropped the egg.
After dinner, the middle of the day meal, my father would deliver the eggs to his regular customers.
Picking Peanuts 1919 at Maple Lawn:
“State of the art” equipment
other peanut sites: