Waiting for birth is surreal, even magical. No, not your own birth (although maybe that’s true too), but waiting for something else to be born.
Lately I’ve been strolling past my asparagus beds every day, just hoping and waiting for those little spears to start emerging. When my wife was pregnant with our kids, it seemed like her belly was too big for the babies to stay in there for another day. But the days roll by, sometimes even weeks, while the waiting moments seem still, like a suspended inhalation. It starts to feel like the thing you’re waiting for is never coming.
That’s how I’m feeling right now as I wait for nine chicks to be born. I’m a newbie at raising chickens (we’ve been doing it for about three years), so I haven’t had the experience yet of having little chicks that our chickens created.
It all started about two weeks ago when one of the hens became “broody”. She decided, somehow, that it was time to dedicate herself to sitting on a clutch of eggs for three weeks. The nine eggs were laid by all three species of chickens that we have, but this mom didn’t judge. She just started sitting there, day in and day out (with a short daily break for food, water, and poop relief). When I open the door to her nesting box, she just stares at me with the look of a protective mother.
Last night I read a plethora of information about how to get ready for the new chicks’ arrival. It won’t be long until they all arrive at once; the three-week gestation period starts as soon as a mother hen starts keeping the eggs warm with her body. I think it’s amazing that soon I’ll be able to hear the chicks chirping while they’re still in their eggs. That’s the sign that it’s almost hatching time.
But all I can do now is wait and prepare, while the days roll by in a suspended moment of anticipation.
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