Yesterday I helped a new life into this world. One of my hens had been sitting and hatched out 3 chicks, plus adopted one from another hen. But one egg still remained unhatched, and as her other chicks were starting to be more mobile she had left it alone...and it was getting cold when I found it. At first I assumed that it was no good, but as I lifted it I heard quite a hearty chirping from within.
Now lots of folk say that you shouldn't help a chick hatch, as if it isn't strong enough to do so it won't survive or thrive. But listening to that little voice I just couldn't leave it to die, so I set about helping it. I gently started to peel away the egg, being careful not to make the membrane bleed. At last it was out and although it was small and curled up it was cheeping for all it was worth. I tried putting it under the hen again, but although she didn't try to do the chick harm...neither did it stay put and mother the little mite.
So I bought it inside, and for the rest of the day I held it in my hands...keeping it warm and safe. Come night time it was starting to be move mobile, but knowing it would be hard to keep in with me all night I decided to put it back with its mother. She was sat tight for the night, so I slipped the chick under her and left them to sleep.In the morning it was with some dread that I went to check on the chickens, a little afraid that the hen might have left the chick again. But I needn't have worried as the little mite was happily pecking around with its brothers and sisters, with Mum proudly watching over them.So yesterdays work was worth it in my opinion, whether it was right or wrong I helped that little being to live and that has got to be a good thing in my opinion.
You can see a video of the chick here, with a guest appearance from our dog Gizmo.