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Source: April 1980 Volume 18 Number 2, Pages 53–54

Some Advice on Poultry Raising from the Manager of Chesterbrook Farm

Page 53

The following correspondence was found in an old barn of the Chesterbrook Farm. While the correspondence is obviously not complete, what remains is self-explanatory.

On March 11, 1911, Walter Dawson, of 401 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, wrote to Mr. R. A. Colgan, Manager, Chesterbrook Farm, Berwyn, Pa.:

"Dear Sir:

"I have your letter of the 8th and have noted contents. I agree with you that the White Leghorn is the best layer, but while I want a good layer I would like to have a larger chicken than the Leghorn and one that I can keep in a yard without chaining down, so to speak. I am not going in the chicken business to make a business of it, at least not just at present, but I want a few for pleasure and at the same time have fresh eggs and a chicken to eat once in awhile, at the same time I want some good blooded stock. Will you tell me a little more about the Rhode Island Red? Have been somewhat impressed with them of late. Do they lay well? Any information will be appreciated. 1 don't want to put you to a lot of trouble because if I buy I will probably not be a very heavy buyer at present. Will probably take about 25 chicks to start with. Thanking you in advance I beg to remain,

Very truly yours,
/s/ Walter Dawson"

Page 54

Mr. Colgan replied to Mr. Dawson on the same day, from Chesterbrook Farm:

"Dear Sir:

"Yours of the 11th. to hand. I was advised several years ago to get Rhode Island Reds, and I have not regretted it; of course they are like other breeds, some good and some not so good. The best way to do is to have trap nests and find out the workers and non-workers, you will find drones in every hive, and you will find drones in every breed of chickens.

"I do not think the egg production lies so much in the breed as in the treatment of the hens; it is something like fishing, some people will set on the bank of a stream all day and never get a bite, but let the real fisherman come along, and they fall all over themselves to get to his hook; the same way with the hen, if you bait her right she'll lay, if you don't she won't.

Yours truly
/s/ R. A. Colgan


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