About "Frost on Chickens"
I kept farm, so to speak for nearly ten years, but less as a farmer than as a fugitive from the world that seemed to me to 'disallow' me. It was all instinctive, but I can see now that I went away to save myself and fix myself before I measured myself against all creation.
From a letter to the literary editor of the Boston Evening Transcript, March 22, 1915. Quoted in Sheehy, D. G., Richardson, M., & Faggen, R. (eds.) The Letters of Robert Frost: Volume 1, 1886 - 1921 (2014), page 12.
The poet Robert Frost lived and worked as a poultry farmer in Derry, New Hampshire from 1900 to 1909. During that period he published a dozen articles for two trade journals: The Eastern Poultryman and The Farm-Poultry. The National Agricultural Library (NAL) holds copies of these publications and other relevant materials on poultry farming which give context to Frost's articles.
Robert Frost, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing front
circa 1910 - 1920
Library of Congress
Prints & Photographs Division
"Frost on Chickens" is made of nine smaller topical exhibits that relate directly to the subjects contained in Frost's pieces. Each exhibit presents relevant excerpts from Frost's articles, an overview of the topic, and links to full-text, digital NAL and USDA materials. The structure of the site follows the general subjects addressed by Frost's stories. There are nine focused exhibits: Hen Houses, Backyard Chickens, Chicken Feed, Fancy Chickens, Poultry Breeds, Poultry Farming, Egg Production, the Poultry Marketplace, and the Poultry Press. There is also an overview of Robert Frost's time in Derry, New Hampshire in the early 1900s and the Frost Farm.
NAL has created many digital materials relevant to all of these topics. Providing an alternate means of access to these full-text books, articles, and reports is one of the reasons "Frost on Chickens" was created.
"Frost on Chickens" contains records for over 200 selected full-text digital books, reports, and images from the late the 1800s and the 1900s on poultry farming, chicken breeding, and competitive chicken exhibitions, referred to commonly as "The Fancy."
The exhibit also includes records for over 100 selected full-text articles and reports documenting the current work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service related to poultry including research into poultry health, nutrition, and housing, egg and meat safety and quality, and poultry production efficiency.
Many of the items featured here were published a century ago. Therefore, please do not assume that the content reflects current scientific knowledge, policies, or practices. All views expressed in these items are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the National Agricultural Library.
The Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire: Present Day
Unless otherwise indicated, all materials contained in "Frost on Chickens" are either in the public domain due to copyright expiration or because they are works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties and thus are not copyrighted within the United States.
This exhibit was created by Emily Marsh, Ph.D., MLS.