From this herd Mr Kidd bred and after a visit from a bull I got to know and like the individual calves, and as in life some of the mothers were more maternal than others. When they were separated for sale the mothers would be bereft, and I felt sorry for them.
Mr Kidd kept a lot of hens, probably around a 100 or more, that were real free range being around the perimeter of the farm in groups of ten or so, each with a cockerel, and in sheltered spots where they could run free during the day. But they didn’t run far from their cabins where they could lay and at night retire to. I was given total responsibility for them. Each morning I harnessed up one of the horses to a cart and went around to every cabin. I would let the hens out, put feed and grit into the feeder, see they had fresh water, collect the eggs, and every other day clean out the droppings. These I put into the cart and when I had a load, I would pile it in a field, going back later to spread it. After seeing to all the cabins I returned to the farm to unload the eggs in the dairy where I washed and cleaned them, packing them in cartons for collection every other day. At night I would again visit the cabins and shut the birds up, often finding they were already inside and comfortable.
Near to the farm we kept the broody hens, pullets and chicks in their arks, little wooden peaked roof cabins that also needed daily attention. The breeds were White Wyandottes and Rhode Island reds, handsome birds and very healthy with fine red combs. Hearing the contented cluckings from the hens out about dawn with a keen fresh wind and the dew on the grass was beautiful. Sometimes bitterly cold, in the worst of winter we did bring them into one of the barns. Having all these hens meant we were never short of eggs.
The money from the sale of the eggs and milk was the principal income of the farm together with a little from the sheep, and any from the sale of livestock. It was not a princely income and Mr and Mrs Kidd worked very long hours to earn it. For obvious economic reasons and the changes brought by mechanization such farms no longer exist.