The Hennery On Myles Road

by Clyde Burt

As an eleven or twelve year old, I had, as they say, a love/hate relationship with old hennery on Myles Road. Post WWII, my family owned and operated it for several years.

But, first. a little history; the building which housed our “operation” was one of several which the Atlas Construction Company had built and used during their time in Gander.  This particular building was used by them as some kind of workshop.

My step-father, who was a carpenter with the R.C.A.F. during the war and with the Department of Transport afterwards, renovated one wing of the building to accommodate several hundred laying hens. Wire for the yard in which the hens roamed (free ranging chickens!) was procured from one of the WWII anti-aircraft sites, of which there were several around the airport.  (Large quantities of chicken wire, interlaced with camouflage material were used to cover and thus, hide, strategic parts of those sites.)  We prepared the wire by stripping the material from it (one of my above-mentioned hate relationships!) and then rolling the wire into bundles and trucking it home to use for the yard.

The hens were bought from a poultry farmer on Prince Edward Island, and arrived to us by train as crates of tiny, yellow chicks. The sight of dozens of tiny beaks poking out between the laths which covered the crates was a sight to behold. Little did I realize then how much exercise they would provide for me in just a few weeks!

The eggs were collected daily, washed, graded, packaged and delivered to customers all around the airport. I was involved in all aspects of the operation at some time or another, depending on what needed to be done at any particular time, but my full-time job was delivering all those eggs.

I used my bike for this.  With baskets fastened to the handlebars and the rear mud guard I could carry several dozen eggs on each trip. My delivery route took me from the “barn” on the Ferry Command (old terminal) side, through the Canadian Side, and on to the American Side. If only I had a dollar for every egg delivered!   


Clyde's family moved to Gander from Haystack, Placentia Bay in 1943. He graduated from HMA in 1953. Except for 5 Years with the Weather Service in Frobisher Bay and 4 years in university, he has since lived in Gander. He became an educator in Gander and retired in 1993. He enjoys a number of hobbies but is most passionate about the early history of Gander.




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