Fowl Stories From 1954

In 1954, The Jackson Times ran two short articles about unusual events involving Breathitt County fowl. The young-in-cheek news was featured on the front page of a very slow news week in March. The tales from our feathered friends, although a little strange for the front page of the newspaper, were true events and were clipped and saved by members of the family.

The two articles appeared with the headline: “Fowl Stories Make Eggciting Nooze.” The article included:


Richard Wilson, a student at Rosenwald School in Jackson, had quite a surprise Wednesday morning at breakfast time when he discovered a pretty red bead in the yolk of an egg he was preparing to eat.

Parrott (Neace) Landrum feeding her hogs and chickens inthe front yard of the family home she shared with her husband, Luther Landrum near Lost Creek.

The bead was made of some type of plastic and was approximately ¼-inch in diameter.

Richard’s only problem now seems to be discovering which hen produced the unusual egg, in order to secure enough beads for a necklace … and maybe to find if this chicken is any relation to the goose that laid the golden egg.


C. D. Strong, a resident of Little, Ky. has posed a serious question to Times readers.

“Eggs are much higher at Sollie Noble’s place than any. where else in our community, but not financially speaking. It seems that two altitude-loving hens selected a nest high up in a tree in which to lay their eggs. The problem is how to retrieve the eggs without breaking them. Cutting down the tree, use of a ladder, basket on a pole have all been suggested and dismissed as impractical.

Mr. Noble is open to any constructive suggestions.

The Jackson Times, Thursday, March 4, 1954, page 1

We forget that chickens were a very important part of life in Breathitt County. Every farm had some, and it was a constant struggle to protect them from predators and the occasional neighbor who needed a meal. The sight of free-ranging chickens in the yard of the home or around the barn was once a common site but now is rarely found. Chicken and eggs now usually come from plastic-wrapped styrofoam at the grocery store. The ceremonial wringing of the necks on Saturday is no longer a tradition for the Sunday meal. The smell of singed pinfeathers is unknown to the younger generations who have never experienced life on the farm.

There was never an update as to whether Richard Wilson ever finished his necklace. We are certain that the high-nesting flappers of the Solomon Noble farm did finally come back down to Earth.

© 2023 Stephen D. Bowling


About sdbowling

Director of the Breathitt County Public Library and Heritage Center in Jackson, Kentucky.
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