Sunday, March 31, 2013

Current Exhibit on Cobb's Pedigreed Chicks

Cobb's Pedigreed Chicks

Did you know that the world's oldest poultry breeder, Cobb's Pedigreed Chicks,  had its beginnings right here in Littleton?  In 1916 Robert Cobb, Sr purchased the Old Pickard Farm off Route 2A and immediately converted it from a dairy operation to poultry starting with two Barred Rock hens- Lydia and Emily.  Within four years, he had capacity to hatch 1,400 eggs and within ten years, he was the largest breeder of Barred Plymouth Rocks in New England.  In 1947, he began breeding a line of all white birds called White Rocks which provided the foundation for today's pedigreed lines.   In 1959, Cobb's became a global company with its first franchise in Europe.  In 1974, the company was purchased by the Upjohn Company and in 1986 the Littleton office was closed.   Cobb's lives on as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc.

Littleton resident Bill McPherson worked at Cobb's for many years and he and his wife, Mary, maintained a friendship with Bobby Cobb,Jr.  He also collected many items from Cobb's and as a collector of many interests, he has a number of poultry related artifacts.  His vast collection is on exhibit at the Museum through May.