Chickens and turkeys and ducks, oh my!

Joan Hart

Joan Hart


That is the major part of the business conducted at Cackle Hatchery on West Commercial every day. Throw in some geese and lots of eggs from all these animals, plus educational materials about them, and even medication for sick chicks, and you have a growing  (no pun intended) and sometimes noisy 24 hour business 7 days a week. You can even feather your own nest with home décor from the in-house store on the premises, or buy unique gifts for your friends who like to collect and decorate with fowl items and themes.

Cackle Hatchery (don’t you just love that name?) recently celebrated its 75th year in business.

The very backbone of small-town America is its family-owned businesses, and Cackle Hatchery epitomizes all the good things about the “mom and pop” operations which dot America’s landscapes, especially in the Midwest, as well as the traditional values and work ethic instilled in them.

Clifford and Lena Smith started the business in 1936. In 1964 their son, Clifton and his wife Nancy took over the business, which is now into its third generation with son, Jeff, who excels in sales and marketing.

Nancy said their children learned very early how valuable and fragile eggs are. She recounts the time their daughter Debbie was doing her chores of gathering goose eggs after school.  Debbie was about ten years old at the time. She hated the geese and apparently the feeling was mutual. (Nancy tells me that geese can sense when you are scared of them and they will come after you.)

For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


The Lebanon Daily Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131