to keep chickens from being a nuisancePosted: July 27, 2009
“‘Farmers, in general, who keep hens, are more troubled with them than with any other one thing upon their farms, considering the amount of work which they do. They are always scratching in the garden, digging up corn, or committing other depredations which keep the farmer and his girls running to keep them out of mischief.’
Of course they are, because they must scratch for a living. If you don’t want hens in mischief, feed them; and at times when it is really necessary, shut them in a poultry-yard and feed them, and adopt this simple rule for feeding fowls, known to most housewives in the country who have charge of the poultry, but it may be useful to amateurs, and as it is very short, we print it. Here it is: Don’t feed too much. That is all; though we may add that food should never be given to fowls unless they are hungry enough to “run crazy” after it; and just as soon as they stop running crazy, you stop throwing feed, and neverâ€”no, neverâ€”leave feed lying by your fowls “for them to eat at leisure.” This same rule does pretty well for all other domestic animalsâ€”children included.”
Solon Robinson, Facts for Farmers (New York: Johnson and Ward, 1865), 142.