Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Hen Who Wouldn't Give Up

I have to share this little endearing story with you. A story of a hen who desperately wanted to hatch her own chicks. As a mom, I can relate. Yes, I can relate to a chicken. Don't judge me.

Our poor broody hen has had a rough go of it. She has been broody for as long as I can remember. I would always go in and take her eggs though that other hens would lay for her, never letting her sit on them for long. I simply did not want any more chicks. At that point we had just gotten a big batch of broilers and laying hens, so more chicks was not really a high priority for us.

But mama hen was persistent, she sat in the coop and waited and waited and waited  for someone to come along and lay an egg next to her so she could sit on it. After about a month of this, I finally conceded. I decided I wasn't going to break her broodiness and she clearly wanted to be a mother and hatch chicks. So I let her sit on four eggs and moved her to a quiet part of the coop where I didn't think the other hens would bother her. Well before long, she was happily sitting on a nice clutch of fifteen eggs! She must have been calling to her fellow hens beckoning them to come lay their eggs where she was.

All was fine and dandy and she was only a few days away from her chicks all hatching when a certain dog of ours went into the coop one afternoon and ate. all. the. eggs. but. one.


I think I shed a tear for her. I may have also cursed my dog and locked her in the naughty cage for a day (or two). We truly have never had an issue with the dogs or the chickens, they leave each other alone while both roaming about on our property so it was devastating that this happened.

I wasn't sure if mama hen would sit on just one egg, but selfishly I knew that chick was almost ready to hatch, so Micah and I moved her into her own little coop with a door that we could close so that no dog would be able to get in there. Micah put a few more eggs under her hoping she would stay with the one that was ready to hatch soon. I almost expected her to throw in the towel and give up. She had been sitting and waiting for what seemed like forever.

But she never gave up. She waited patiently. She wanted to raise her own and she never quit on her eggs.

A few short days later, on Mother's Day, the only lonely chick hatched. I said I was going to wait three days (thinking surely she would abandon the other eggs after seeing that no one else hatched) before removing her from her temporary coop and disposing of the remaining eggs (err, feeding them to the pigs).

But she didn't abandon them.

She kept her new little lonely chick safe and warm and stayed with the remaining eggs. Not just for a few more days, but for two more weeks. Until yesterday when this little one emerged.

Two little chicks, two weeks apart. She had been a good mama to her singleton and she has proven to be an equally good mom to the new little chick.

It's just the sweetest little scene to see this mama hen, who so desperately wanted to be a mom, walking around with her  two chicks. They stay close by her side and she is very protective of them.

I guess when you really truly want something, no matter what it is, patience and persistence pays off. I'm a little concerned that I had to be reminded of this lesson by a chicken.

Like really concerned.

But hey, lesson learned.

I don't know what the future holds for these two little guys(or girls) but I know mama hen is a proud mama all because she never gave up.

Happy Thursday to you!

Linking up here.

~ Sarah ~


  1. Your hen is so pretty- how funny that they are 2 weeks apart! We caved in & finally let our broody hen hatch some chicks -10 of them, then a dog ate 9 of them :( I think she's happy with her 1 baby though.

  2. What a beautiful story! I love the first picture of the chick.....Joanna

  3. She looks so proud of her babies!

  4. Thanks for sharing this heart warming story.

  5. I cried. Thank you for sharing such your story. What a wonderful hen.

  6. My eyes filled up with tears...tender loving story of your family and Mama chicken.

  7. My eyes filled up with tears. Very tender loving story of your family and Mama Chicken...

  8. That is such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. Awww, they are precious!! We have had 3 hens go missing (they free range), then show up with chicks.... I think we have 26 chicks??!

    You wouldn't happen to want anymore chickens eh?



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