Monday, April 22, 2013

Organic Science

We have been quietly incubating chicken eggs here at the Steele Family Farm for the past several weeks. I say "quietly" because last year we were showoffily incubating eggs and out of 36ish fertilized eggs we hatched N-O-N-E.

To make matters worse, when we finally gave up the ghost and decided to bury the barren eggs, one exploded with the force of a hand grenade sending foul smelling shelly-schrapnel for yards around.  Upon perceiving the explosion, I screamed and hit the dirt as if an actual bomb was going off.  I digress.

You can imagine, after that ordeal, the children have been squealing with delight for the past few days as one of our precious eggs has been bouncing around the incubator like a Mexican Jumping Bean.  This morning when we went to check on the egg, the bouncing was accompanied by the sweetest little high pitched chirp one could imagine. All of this merriment was coming from the inside of a completely intact egg.

She bounced and chirped and squealed and rolled until late this morning when we found our long hoped for pip.  It was then we decided to name our pet Pippin: a nod to both the process of hatching and our dearly beloved Hobbits. Even though we technically completed our prescribed curriculum for the day, nobody could take their minds or their eyes off the incubator where Pippi was slowly tap-tap-tapping away at her little safe haven.
First pips

At noontime, we left Ben at home to keep watch over the incubator and we set out to purchase some last minute items to make the brooder super comfy for Pippi.  About halfway through our outing, I received a call from an ecstatically nervous Ben. The chick was hatching! She had one foot out! " Oh Mommy! I can see her head and her eyes," he exclaimed half-breathless. "Her feathers are a ginger color! She's breathing so hard!" I listened quietly to a boy discover the miracles of new life. His voice cracked, "Oh! Mommy! She's out! She made it! She is looking all around, she just looked straight at me! Oh I will always love her."
On the other end of the phone I listened to a boy on the cusp of adolescence as he embraced the rugged fragility of new life. We congratulated one another, I promised to drive fast-but not too fast-to get home, and we hung up the phone.

We then arrived at the Southern States farm supply store. The younger children and I made our way through the sliding doors determined to bring home the finest amenities for our sweet hatchling.  It was then that we stumbled upon a large aluminum brooder filled with day-old baby chicks cheeping with joy to the delight of the passers-by.  With some degree of unanimity we all decided that in addition to bedding and medicated feed - sweet Pippi at home would be getting some new sisters. We couldn't think of anything more lovely to give to our long awaited chick than a large family.
The Sisters

Epilogue: The kids went ahead and decided that I could name one of the chicks and I named her Dorothy Day.

Dorothy Day (she's the cutest!)

1 comment:

Recreate and Decorate said...

Why does this NOT surprise me!!
Miss you girl! Would love to see y'all again.

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