The mother hen hatched off nine new baby chicks today. Mother and chicks are doing fine, and the mother is teaching them how to the most basic of life-skills, eating. My sister said a near disaster was averted two days ago. She and her husband were worried about the upcoming cold weather, so they were weatherizing the coop where the hen was setting. It was on a lower row or course, with another nest in an upper course.
Evidently they were too noisy and busy because the disturbed mother hen got up off her 10 eggs and moved to the upper course, leaving the eggs she had so faithfully set on for 19 days to get cold. My sister’s husband discovered this abandonment in time to deposit her back on her eggs and place a wire grate to prevent her from leaving again. Two days later, nine chicks hatched on the same day. One egg was rotten.
Now there is more to this story. This was a young pullet who only laid eggs for a few weeks before she decided to start setting on a nest. Only thing was, she sat on a single plastic Easter egg (some people use a cement egg) that was put in the nest as an example for what the hens were suppose to do. Every time my sister got her off the nest, she would go right back. In frustration, my sister said, “Well, if you are so determined to hatch some babies, I’ll just fix you up!”
So she gathered 10 eggs that were laid that day and placed them under the brooding hen. And the hen sat on them for the next 19 days. My sister said she didn’t know if the hen got tired of all that setting (in addition to the previous attempts on the plastic egg) and gave up, or if the weatherizing activity had upset her.
I thought this story was rather thought provoking. First, this hen hatched nine eggs as a surrogate mother to the chicken courtyard. They had a single father rooster. It would be completely tasteless to compare them to the popular TV show, Sister Wives, wouldn’t it? Yes, I thought so. Sorry. Could this be considered unity among diversity? Sorry again…
And then I thought about that poor hen pinning all her hopes on a plastic egg. Do we do that sometimes? Look for our answers in the wrongs places?
When we get on track for success, do we give up too easily when troubles or discouragement come, and run back to what we previously knew? We have a good caretaker who will build up protective walls to keep us and our precious family safe. Good thing that hen’s caregiver did, for those sweet chicks would have died, and that plastic egg was never going to make chicks.