Friday, August 1, 2008

Million Dollar Hen

Luty Hawkins developed and manufactured hatchery equipment at the "Million Dollar Hen" factory in Mt. Vernon, IL from the 1930s until 1960. His grand-daughter, Jo Truty, is looking for information about the company and its products.

A Google search turns up patents for a hen laying cage, a dropping board scaper and a combined cage and feeder structure. Anyone out there know anything?

There might be some information in poultry publications from that period of time. He may have advertised the business. I'll post information as it becomes available.


chawkins said...

Hi. I am the grand-daughter of Luty Hawkins brother Glenn. I am not sure what kind of info Jo Truty is looking for but I would love to connect with her. My Grandmother is still living and might be able to provide some wanted info. Please feel free to pass my email address along to Jo. Thank you.

Christy Hawkins

cranston said...

Hello, I worked at B&W plumbing supply for 25 years that was in the former Million Dollar Hen building. I once found a book about the former company on E-Bay and bought it for my boss who ownes the building. I'm sure he would be glad to share it with you. His name is Morris Bechtel 618-237-0270. Cranston

Jo Truty said...

Christy, If you check back here I'd love to make contact with you. Uncle Glenn was much loved by all of us and my mother, Marie, is still in contact with Aunt Bev. My e-mail is Would love to hear from you.

Jo Lasater Truty

sparkyrasmus said...

We have one of the chick batteries made by this company. It is a five level unit with hover heaters that are adjustable. It has been repaired over the years and came to us from a local turkey grower who no longer hatched his own poults. The stainless water trays are like new. The hardware cloth bottoms of the tiers have shown corrosion and have been patched, but it is an amazing construct.

PoultryBookstore said...

This information is so valuable! Please send me whatever additional information you have. Others will want to know about this, perhaps we can put it together for a magazine article.

Jo Truty said...

I have recently found the Million Dollar Hen on-line. I have prints of the original patents Luty Hawkins held on several items, the brooder included. I also found a picture of the Million Dollar Hen battery brooder in the book, "ABC of Poultry Raising" by J H Florea. And, there is an article in the St. Petersburg Times from Jan. 8, 1950 about Luty Hawkins and his brooder. If anyone else finds something please let us know.

Jo Truty

PoultryBookstore said...

Can you make copies of that material and send it to me for the SPPA collection? Thanks for pursuing this.

Jo Truty said...

I sure will. I'm waiting for a copy of the book to arrive. I ordered it yesterday. I'll also photocopy the patents. I haven't figured out yet how to get a copy of the newspaper article yet, but if I get one I'll include it.

Jo Lasater Truty

R. Ivy said...

Does anyone know if there are still parts available for the Million $ Hen Brooder? We have one and are in need of repair parts. The one that we have shows a SN of H52. Thanks R. Ivy

Jo Truty said...

As far as I know there are no parts available for Million Dollar Hens unless you find someone who has one with working parts they're willing to sell. The business and factory in Mt. Vernon, IL closed down in 1960.

Jo Truty

Norman Love said...


I am interested in knowing the approximate value of a Hawkins Million Dollar Hen, five tier, brooder.

Thank you!

Christine Heinrichs said...

Check with Don Shirrick of Sunny Creek Farms in
15378 160th St.
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750

He's the expert.