Today was a cool day on the farm; and I’m not by any means talking about the frickin’ weather, ’cause it’s hot as balls. I mean today was a very cool day because of what’s been going on–and the day is only half way over. Eight baby chicks were hatched today; but the coolest part was that they were unplanned. Yes, an unexpected chicken pregnancy.
There are two kinds of chickens. Roosters (male) and Hens (female); the roosters crow and puff their chests out all day, while the hens work away in the coop laying eggs — one per day to be exact. Then we (the farmers) come along and take the eggs before they can develop into babies, and we stunt the baby growth by putting the eggs in the fridge…then we eat them in a delicious egg and cheese sandwich.
Why do the hens let us steal their babies everyday? Well, they’ve simply adapted to being domesticated and used for food cultivation over the years. But sometimes, their procreative instincts kick into gear and they will peck your goddamn hand off before they let you steal their baby. When a hen does this, it’s called being “broody”. A broody hen will escape the chicken coop and go off on her own to sit on all her eggs as she lays one each day. She will sit and sit and sit, using the warmth from her body to warm them as they grow… and then they hatch! And half fury, half slimy little baby chickens pop out of that soft white or brown little shell that we’re all so used to cracking over a hot pan to make breakfast.
This my friends, is exactly what occurred here today on the farm. Minnie, the smallest hen of the pack, became broody and escaped the coop in determination to have the babies that were rightfully hers. And have no doubt that all the other chickens were talking about it. They were clucking away like gossiping old women all afternoon. It was easy to imagine what they were saying; it doesn’t take long to figure out how to speak chicken.
Now we have eight new little baby chicks, chirping away in their new home..the tool shed. Pretty frickin’ cool if you ask me.