Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

They don’t know what a road is yet, so they don’t know why they would cross it.

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You’ve heard of bats in your belfry right? Well have you heard of chickens in your laundry room? Well, that’s what I have right now, and let me tell you I’m getting pretty tired of it! I told you that we had hens sitting on eggs and that one batch of eggs hatched – well that was exciting and everything – then we had a couple more eggs hatch but the hen wasn’t taking care of the chicks and we lost some chicks. It was very stressful! It was really too cold for the hens to be hatching chicks – plus the cold forced all the chickens to be literally “cooped up” together and I think that was also a factor in losing a couple of the chicks. After  losing a couple chicks we finally went out and gathered up all the eggs that the hens were setting on, as well as the chicks, and brought them into the laundry room. We candled the eggs and put the ones we thought were fertile under a heat lamp. I know you’re supposed to have an incubator but I was just going to try it the old fashioned way and if they didn’t hatch, well, they didn’t hatch.  Lo, and behold we’ve had eggs hatch in our primitive little set up!

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And now, I am ready for the chicks to go back out to the coop.  They are cute when they’re little, but then they start to go through that ugly stage and they start to smell pretty bad. It’s also been a task to have to keep an eye on the eggs – they have to be turned three times a day. Luckily, the due date for the eggs has passed and the ones that didn’t hatch are gone! It was pretty miraculous to watch a chick peck it’s way out of an egg shell, I have to say, but next time any eggs hatch around here I want it to be during warm weather where the mama hen can raise her own babies. I’ve most certainly learned a lot from this experience!

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We’ve ended up with seven chicks and right now they are in all stages of growth. The two largest ones are funny – one of them is a rooster (sigh) and he’s already jumping up on the tops of the boxes and gates that we have him in. He looks so cute and funny perched there, trying to be all impressive and tough. The other ones are still too little to tell what they are. The smallest one was hatched on January 2nd. We thought he was going to die. Seriously, his little head just flopped around and when you put him down he would roll over and go “belly up”. When I went to bed that night, I was sure that I would wake up and he would be dead.  Nathaniel had put a little crucifix next to the chicks – it has a Saint Benedict’s medal in it, and in the morning the chick was up and looking like he could take on the world. It was astounding. We decided that we should name the little guy “Benechick,”  (yes, we are pretty crazy around here if you hadn’t already surmised that).

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