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Check Out the Chicks!

As long as Eileen Johnson can remember, she liked chickens. When she was probably five or six she went along with her parents to the hatchery in east Iowa Falls to purchase baby chicks.
Check Out the Chicks!

Eileen Johnson holding one of the chickens from her chicken collection

At the hatchery there were many different colored chicks.  Eileen says she talked to the hatchery
man, asking him lots of questions. She also wondered why her parents weren't purchasing some of the other color chicks.  The hatchery man saw her interest and gave her a few chicks of different colors.  She found out later these were chicks he didn’t expect to live.  Well, as soon as she arrived home she brought the chicks into the house and put them in a cardboard box along with a light bulb to keep the chicks warm.  They received her loving care and most survived.  In the fall when they were grown, she kept the hens and sold the roosters. Eileen was allowed to keep the money from the roosters.

This repeated the next year or two until Eileen was eight years old.  Then her mother, who didn’t like to care for baby chicks anyway, offered her a deal.  If she would give the baby chicks all their care when she was home, she could have all the money from the sales of the roosters that weren't butchered.  Immediately she accepted her offer.  Eileen kept her part of the bargain and saved most of the money she received.

Hence, Eileen became well known for her chicken adventures.  In her high school senior annual it was predicted that she would write a book, “The Chicken and Myself”.  Hasn’t happened!  But the $900 she saved paid for her first year of college at Ellsworth College in Iowa Falls.  In 1949-50 that included room and board as well as tuition, books. etc.

Eileen says, "I did raise chickens all the time when I lived on the farm, until 1965, when they were no longer profitable." Thus she began her chicken collection.  So please stop by the library during the month of March to "check out the chicks" in her collection.  Thanks, Eileen, for sharing them with the library.