How a Hen Hatches an Egg

When I first went to college, I was sure that I wanted to be a veterinarian.  While I’m a far cry from that now as a chef and owner of a Maine windjammer, I’m inching in that direction again by having chickens and a cat and dreaming about my own horses, goats and pigs.

We’ve had chickens for almost two years now and I’ve, until this morning, never seen one hatch an egg.  My patient daughter has.  My daughter who can’t sit still hasn’t.  Guess which side of the spectrum I fall?

As I sat on the fresh sawdust I’d just spread for the hens, Chocolate hopped up into a nesting box.  The one they all prefer to use was overcrowded with three other hens all vying for prime real estate as they answered the call of their rhythms.  Chocolate fussed and pecked and adjusted as one does sometimes when they are settling in for a nap, getting everything just right.

She then began to rock back and forth a bit.  It looked a little like gentle labor, which I suppose it was.  Her back end came up a bit and then the egg began to appear.  Her membranes surrounded the egg as it gently plopped onto the hay.

Amazing.  Animals are amazing.

So grateful to have these simple, gentle beings gifting us fresh eggs every day

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