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Uncle Jack Fultz’s Memories of Carter County: Chickens, cows, and big potatoes

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

It’s that time of year again. Time to start planting gardens and, if you want to add chickens to your menagerie, it’s time to start getting ready for new baby chicks. 

I noticed last week that the familiar peeping sound had returned to the backrooms of our local Grayson and Olive Hill post offices as I walked past boxes of baby chicks to drop off newspapers for delivery. It reminds me that I have some repairs to make to the hen house on our property so I can finally add some laying hens to our little homestead this year. 

Luckily, we’re far enough out that our chickens won’t bother anyone, except maybe our dogs and cats. But that wasn’t the case for folks in Olive Hill during the spring of 1922. While the editor clearly states that he’d had no trouble with his neighbors, someone he knows had obviously had enough trouble with chickens tearing up their yard and garden to prompt a column. 

As if bugs and rabbits and squirrels aren’t enough to deal with, seeing your neighbor’s flock of chickens wreak havoc in your garden might be enough to cause a rift in the neighborhood – or at the very least to cool relations. 

I suppose it could always be worse. It could be cattle trampling your garden instead. That would have to be much more devastating than any of the damage a chicken could do. It’s a good thing that problem has been addressed over the last century at least. 

Of course, even if you do manage to grow a garden safe from bands of roving livestock, you’re still probably not going to be as good as Taylor Enix was. Not everyone is meant to grow apples that weigh a pound and beets that tip the scale at over seven pounds though. Maybe that’s a good thing. I like pickled beets as much as, if not better than, the next guy. Still, seven and a quarter pounds is a whole lot of beet to eat. 

Editor’s Note: This is the 36th in a series of articles drawn from historical newspaper clippings in the collection of the late Jack Fultz.

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