Monday, October 5, 2009

Chickens, Chickens, Chickens, Pigeons

 Although I have grown up in suburbia, I am a fan of chickens.

When I was browsing at a local church thrift shop, this book popped out and was interesting to me.

This manual, Judging Poultry for Production,  was written in 1930 by  James E. Rice, Goldan O. Hall, and Dean R. Marble.

There are comparisons of beaks, 




and other attributes that make for excellent chickens.

My own dad was a pigeon fancier.   He had many journals that  described the best qualities of racing pigeons.   He came from the Bronx and Queens, and this was a very urban hobby for men of that era.   I would go with my dad to Maspeth, Queens with wicker baskets of racing birds.  We would load them onto a special truck which would take them hundreds of miles away.  The birds would race home and be "clocked" with an oak racing clock.  Bands would be put into capsules and inserted into the clock.

The time that the bird came home to its coop was registered inside the clock.  Later the miles per hour were calculated and the winner determined per club.  Pigeon chicks were given racing bands which were slipped over their feet and onto their legs.  As the bird grew the band would be secured until it was removed after a race and put into the capsules. 
When I saw this book, it reminded me of the information that my father had mastered regarding pigeons.  He knew each bird individually.  He kept records about their lineage,breeding and their accomplishments.  He knew if one had been lost and sometimes returned to the coop after many years!
He knew how  to pick a winner.  If anyone is interested in this book, please contact me.


Elizabeth said...

Lovely how you have tied in this post with memories of your father.
The chicken book looks a delight.We tend to forget that lots of cool books were written ages ago.....

willow said...

What a lovely post. I always dreamed of having chickens here at the manor, but in the busyness of raising three kids, never actually did.

JC said...

Wow ... you got me with this one. Very interesting. How cool to have done that with your Dad. I think I will put you on my blog for today ...

this is my patch said...

What a co-incidence. All through my childhood and teenage years my Dad was a pigeon fancier! He did well in many races, won prizes and trophies. Not racing anymore, he now breeds pigeons. I was most interested to read your post, and what you have described has brought back many memories for me.

We kept a small amount of chickens too. I love the illustrations of the feet. I didn't know they held such importance! x