By Scott Cernek
Whenever I drive by an old farm where the barns are now sitting empty, I can’t help but imagine that not so many years ago that particular place was undoubtedly alive with a family of people and the sounds many different kinds of farm animals filling the buildings and providing income and food for their owner.
The smallest animal that roamed most every farm back in the day was a flock of chickens. Chickens were great to have on the farm as they didn’t cost much to raise, and they provided the family with eggs and meat for big hearty breakfasts and southern fried chicken on Sunday afternoons.
We always had about twenty-five hens for laying and a few roosters to butcher throughout the year. We replenished our supply every spring with a new batch of chicks. It was always fun to watch the chickens roaming around the farm scratching in the dirt and chasing each other around when one of them found a juicy worm.
Along with chickens most farmers had a few ducks. When we gathered up the eggs each day we could tell the difference between duck and chicken eggs because the duck eggs were a little larger. There was no difference in the taste of the eggs, just the size.
The building that housed arguably the cutest farm animal was the farthest from the house because of the smell. Most farm families raised a few sows to keep a supply of pigs throughout the year as well.
There’s nothing like a freezer full of pig roasts, pork chops, side pork and smoked bacon to enjoy. A batch of feeder pigs to sell every few months was also very important for the cash flow on most small farms. It helped to sup-plement the milk check each month.
Along with hogs, most of our neighbors had a small

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