Thunder Butte

July 28, 2005

The Big Drought: Turning Grasshoppers into Profits

While my family couldn’t do anything about the heat and the never ending dust during the drought, we did try to control the grasshoppers. Our screen door was often black with grasshoppers. Before we could enter or exit the house, we would roll up a newspaper and burn the grasshoppers off the screen door. About this time, my mother came up with an ingenious plan. She ordered about a thousand baby chicks from the Sears-Roebuck catalog. They were delivered through the mail and we set about raising them the best we could.

When those chickens were mature, the land all around us was covered with white Leghorn chickens. Those chickens grew and thrived. They spent every moment of daylight devouring grasshoppers. Because we had so many chickens, my parents did a thriving business in eggs for a time. They made a trip about once a week to the Glad Valley store with a lumber wagon load of eggs—it seemed like hundreds of dozens of eggs. They probably got about eight cents per dozen for them, but that was big money back then. As long as the grasshoppers held out the chickens produced.

--John Crowley
Mike Crowley Thursday, July 28, 2005


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