It has begun. A new chicken legacy.
Who ever heard of chicks hatching in October?
You know my 85 year old mother…she said to keep the eggs collected and not allow that sad hen
to lay this late. I prayed about this ever since ‘Laura’ was found on the eggs three weeks ago.
I had watched this young hen over the summer when she hatched three chicks, only to lose two while running them around the yard. Your oldest, the chicken whisperer, and myself, would run outside in rainstorms and catch her and the one chick, who would be soaking wet and hiding under a bush, and corner them so we could put them in the shed to dry.
She had tried earlier in the spring to hatch a group of eight, but ended up abandoning the nest for whatever reason, and ran around broody and forlorn until this little group hatched in June. Her one biddie, Peeper, is still very attached to her mother.
Well, I thought about this, and I prayed some more, and I left Laura alone on the nest. I’m no dummy when it comes to chickens, so I knew we could put her up in the garage in a box with a lamp over the winter, and your oldest would tend to them, so I just let her be. I knew, in my heart, that she needed a way to get over the grieving, and that this was really important to her. So, I let her be.
How often in life, do older, or more respected folk do their best to impart or push their wisdom on others, emasculating young men, or dis-empowering young women who have an inner knowing but continue to be beat down for going against the grain? Unless we have a deep, spiritual well-spring to draw from during the dry times, we can become worn out, dried up like old shoe leather. We find it hard to give back because we are give out. I pray that never happens to me.
I went to gather eggs yesterday, and could hear Laura talking to her eggs. It is so amazing to me that people cry for miracles yet turn away from the multitude of gifts that God offers daily, as few are brave enough to open their eyes are receive.
How is it that a simple year old chicken can sit on 14 eggs, and know who is getting ready to hatch, and begin to coax them into the world? She knows if one is too hot or cold, and will turn either them or herself to adjust to their needs.
I was nervous when I saw two eggs sticking out from under her, as she is a banty, and was worried that there were too many eggs for her to cover. But, I also trusted Creator through Nature to take care of it. Perhaps she knew they weren’t healthy, or maybe they were too hot?
Today when I entered, I heard the inquiring ‘peep peep’ that let me know they were beginning to arrive. How exciting! And, her little Peeper was in the nest box with her! I think she decided to be a second incubator, so the chicks and the eggs would be warm, and Laura wouldn’t have to stress to handle the large load by herself. This can also be a dangerous time, as rats will quickly steal away chicks from under the momma hen at night while she is on the ground with the nest.
I was very excited, and just lifted a wing so that a fat little chick rolled out. The proud momma pecked her on the head so she could sit still for me to gently pet and talk to the little one. There were actually three, with another egg trying desperately to hatch. My first instinct was to help it, but I know, as a farmer, that one has to let the birthing process come in its own way.
I feel that this is where God spoke to me today, as He finds a way to, everyday, if I just listen…
living things must suffer if they are to survive in this world. The ones that struggle from eggs and capsules(like butterflies), are very soft and wet. It is crucial that they continue to draw from the valuable nutrients inside their particular casing. During this time, they stretch, strain and push their various body parts to and fro, strengthening, drying, working their bodies so they will be able to function once out of the shell. I left everyone alone, but came back a few hours later with your chicken whisperer, (CW, for short).
“Oh mom,” he sighs, as if I should know better. “You just need to open this up a little bit here, and loosen the membrane up there…” and he worked while talking, and then stuck the little fella back under the worried Laura. Just a few small cracks near the place where the beak had made its first hole, nothing more.
Tonight, late, around 11:30, I woke up, worried. That little chick could be dying, or dead, all because I didn’t bring it in and help it out, or wet the shell, or, well, I don’t know…something. CW was dead asleep. Forget it. So, I went to the baby boy, who grumbled and whined a little, but got up and grabbed his .22 and the little miner flashlight that sticks on your forehead, and off we went in the dark, cold night.
Maxi snuffled inside the shed, too, getting the chickens a little excited, but they’re used to the corgi sticking his nose around. There was Peeper, next to Laura, a little agitated by the light and such. I couldn’t find the egg at first, then, I saw it, half the shell was gone! It was still wrapped in some membrane, but much progress had been made. The shell was no where to be found. Apparently the siblings and momma had worked to get the chick out by themselves? I had put some scratch in the box so they eat when ready, and not be starving while waiting for everyone to hatch, so it looks like they were definitely trying to help, not eat it!
Wow. I asked the baby brain if he thought it was OK, and he said, (surprise), “Yes, mom, it is fine. Can we go to bed now?” From the mouths of babes….
Because Jesus taught in parables, I think the Father does, as well. You had to be put into the tiny egg, Chicano, so that you would be so close to God that there was no way to keep escaping in the daily distraction of life, the doing that you and I were so famous for. Even in regular population, you were teaching, working with others, going to choir, whatever, and still didn’t make time to grieve and heal your childhood, as well as the loss of the nucleus of our family. It has been horrible to have the children torn apart, with no way to make amends, to give them all therapy, or for all of us to heal. We both have to grieve in our separate ways, and I have to sit back and allow Divine Intervention to take place, to allow Creator to free you from your egg into new life.
I love you.