The Gift In An Egg

Reader Contribution by Alethea Wilcox
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Early Saturday morning I heard screaming coming through my window … my heart skipped a beat. I stopped and listened carefully. My girls had gone outside to let out the chickens, and feed and water them. Screaming from the girls was unusual. Before I could go out and check, they came running inside. My older daughter, Emma, was holding an egg in her hand. “Momma, LISTEN!” she said. Her eyes were huge and she was excited. My younger daughter, Lorelai, was jumping up and down giggling. I took the egg and held it up to my ear. Sure enough not only did the egg wiggle, it was peeping! I smiled. It wouldn’t be long now before we would have some chicks.

Sunday morning came and the girls came running in during chores. The chicks had made their entrance into the world! The girls were screaming, giggling and dragging me out the door to the chicken coop. I could see a chick peeking timidly out from under its momma and looking at us. The girls were beyond excited and seemed surprised putting the eggs under the hen had worked. I could hear the hen clucking and cooing at her chicks. My girls were grinning from ear to ear.

It made my heart happy to see how much my girls have come to love chicks and chickens. The girls and I had collected a bunch of potentially fertilized eggs and placed them under a Cuckoo Maran that had gone broody. We don’t have electricity so using a brooder wasn’t an option for chicks. About 22 days later, give or take, we had chicks. It seemed to work well and we had five out of eight hatch. The girls were fascinated with the whole process. It’s a beautiful thing to see an egg turn into chick. You know that eventually that chick will give you a priceless gift, breakfast, assuming it’s a hen. My girls seem to understand the importance of an egg, chick, hen and even the rooster. Each has its place on our little farm,­ both the hen and the rooster have important jobs to do.

I think the point was understood by my girls … chicks are great but to understand the whole process … you need to start with the egg!

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