I ended up in the egg business because I couldn’t resist a 25¢ hen.
We were raising our very first batch of chicks, 25 New Hampshire Reds we got from Oregon State University. At the same time, a barn owl was raising its own offspring in our barn. One day, we saw one of the fledgling owls flying around at dusk: a beautiful sight. A little later we discovered the body of our sole rooster, which was probably the owl’s first kill. Oh, no!
So I called up OSU to see if they had a replacement rooster. “Sure,” I was told, “and plenty of hens, too. We’re having a hen sale.” I bought three replacement roosters, then lost my marbles and bought $7.50 worth of White Leghorn hens at 25¢ each. This brought our total flock up above 40 layers.