Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chicken Farming Then and Now

It's another cloudy morning here in the Bay Area, made a little brighter by thanks to yard-fresh eggs with my pancakes this morning.

The girls produced an even dozen eggs this week, and the eggs themselves are getting bigger with each week's passing. If I had to guess, I'd say they're laying eggs sized somewhere between "small" and "medium." This increase in size coincides with the growth of their wattles and combs. Not full grown, but definitely more pronounced than ever. I have to wait for the sun to come out today before taking pictures of Sophia and ZsuZsu, but I plan to post new pictures before midnight.

In the meantime, I discovered a cool online exhibit by The Food Museum called Chicken Farming Then and Now.

The TFM's online exhibit is the source of this picture of Joel M Foster (seen to the right), the founder of The Million Egg Farm, as Rancocas Poultry Farm was known. From the site, "Foster was a pioneer promoter of humane and environmentally responsible mass production of eggs and birds. Besides writing a how-to book on the subject (1910), he developed and marketed a line of products that included industrial incubators, sanitizers and feeders."

The TFM exhibit includes lots more chicken-industry photos from the beginning of the last century, and it's a good reminder of where things have come from, especially as I gaze across the yard at our futuristic-looking Eglu with our own urban chickens inside.

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