CATALOG CHICKS

Grumpa Joe loves chickin’. He likes it roasted, broasted, grilled, fried, cooked in soup, and diced into a salad. All his life he had chickens to eat. His mom raised chickens for many years in the backyard coop.  She stopped when she finally discovered that it was cheaper, and easier, to buy a fresh chicken from the chicken store.  Until then, she raised chickens for our consumption.

Every spring, in March, the mail man arrived with a large, flat, box with holes all around the sides. The box made noise because inside there were two dozen newly hatched chicks ordered from the Sears catalog.

 

The chicks, squeezed into the box, were yellow, and furry. They hatched just a few days earlier. The cute fuzzy cheepers were fun to watch.  Outside, the temperature was still too cold to put the chicks into the coop, so Mom kept them in the house.

She got a large cardboard box with tall sides from the store, lined it with newspaper, then took it upstairs to my brother Will’s bedroom. The chick’s new home was near the window, and next to the heat vent.  Mom put a watering dish into the box with a feed tray.  She fed them finely chopped, boiled eggs. Figure that one out, which came first?

To keep them warm, she placed a light bulb over the box to give them more heat and light. As the chicks grew, she switched their diet to chicken feed. In a couple of weeks, the chicks doubled in size, and began to get their feathers.

When the weather got warmer, Mom moved them outside to the coop. There, they grew up to provide us with eggs. Eventually, they made it to our Sunday dinner table; yum, yum, yum.