School: Carpenterstown (Templefanum) (roll number 5415)

Carpenterstown, Co. Westmeath
Mary Smyth

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The Farm Fowls

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0722, Page 115

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There are hens, ducks, geese and turkeys reared on our farm. They are kept in a big field beside the yard during the day. The ducks and geese go to the river and sometimes to the lake. They are kept in low houses at night. The chickens and hens are kept in coops at night. These are bedded with straw every night.
We begin to hatch the eggs in the month of February. First we get a good clocking hen and put her to hatch in a box of hay. Then we put a clutch of thirteen eggs under her. The sign of the cross is sometimes put on the eggs. If they are hen eggs they will begin to chip after the third week but duck eggs and turkey eggs take a week longer. When the chickens are a day old they are fed with oatmeal. Young ducks and geese are fed on very thin porridge.
The breed of hens we keep are "Rhode Island Reds". We do not keep many geese because they destroy the pasture land. Some people keep bantams because they eat the worms which cause pip in young fowl.

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Helen Cooney
Carpenterstown, Co. Westmeath