Eggs-perimenting with fowl participants!

From our October 2012 issue

By Franklin Vick – Prince Albert, Sask.

I was born in 1929, the sixth son of Henry Vick III and Lydian Groff on the family homestead near St. Walburg, Sask. The attending midwife wanted to name me “Winston” after Sir Winston Churchill. At the time, mother was reading the life history of Benjamin Franklin, so the name Franklin prevailed.

I entered into this world a few months prior to the Wall Street stock market crash of October 1929 and lived my childhood days through the Great Depression of the 1930s. At the time, I was completely unaware of the significance of these now-historic events.

As a child growing up on a backwoods farm in the Deer Valley district, life offered many areas of adventure, limited only by the imagination. That was a commodity that I was never short on. The result was that it occasionally got me into problem areas.

Mother raised chickens for egg production. The young chicks hatched in an incubator were purebred white leghorn stock. They all came in the same golden yellow colour. Some of our neighbours had mixed breed chickens and let the mother hens do all the work, rather than an incubator.

Experiments gone wrong

This natural process and the variety in colour appealed to me, so on one occasion I brought home a few brown eggs. I went to the henhouse to find a suitable mother hen to sit on these eggs, plus a dozen of our own.

I placed the eggs in a nice nest and put the prospective mother on top, but when she failed to remain at her designated post, I selected another. When that also failed, I tried dunking the hens in a tub of water and forcing them to sit.

The result of this experiment was a failure. Mother arrived on the scene and found a fair number of wet hens covered with broken eggs. I beat a fast retreat!

On another occasion, I placed hen’s eggs in a wild duck’s nest, thinking that she would hatch and raise them in the wild. I could come out in the bush later and find wild chickens was my thinking. That, of course, also failed. The ducks hatched long before the chicks were due.

That ended two of my unsuccessful preschool ventures!