When we shifted to Byndoor from Bangalore, the first thing we wanted to do was to have some pet animals. I have always believed in freedom, for myself and for every living species. I wanted pets but not those for which we had to keep in restriction. Hens were the first option that cropped into my mind. We could have them as pets as well as allow them to roam around in our backyard with complete freedom.
|Our Beautiful Rooster Enjoying A Warm Summer|
For 8 years, we saw some amazing life cycles of chickens which sometimes are unbelievable. Though many chickens are killed mercilessly every day for food, having them as pets, changed our perspective towards them. Their happiness, comfort and lives meant a lot to me.
One of the tragic stories which had left us in sadness, turned out to be an amazing miracle which filled us with optimism. One of our chicken laid 9 eggs. We decided to allow her to hatch them. This was not the first time we did that. Earlier we had bred some 4-5 broods. Hens do not venture out much when they are sitting on eggs and we have to take care to feed them. My mom left the doors open so that our chicken could venture out whenever she wanted to. Unfortunately, this proved to be something terrible for the chicken and her eggs. A stray dog which had ended up in our backyard, took advantage of the opportunity and attacked the brood. Instead of running for her life, the hen fought fiercely to save her eggs. Finally the dog accepting defeat must have run away.
My mom must have had a shock of her life when she went to check on her chicken, only to find her dead due to the injuries beside her eggs. We all wept for her, and then accepted her fate and buried her in our backyard. We did not know what to do with the eggs where some eggs were broken and others badly shaken in the fight. We did not have heart to throw them away. There were some more days left for them to hatch. Only six eggs remained intact. We wrapped them in warm cloth and left them where they were, because the summer heat in coastal region could incubate them. On the third day, when my mom went to check in on them, she heard tiny sounds coming from the eggs. She thought she must be hearing things because of the hope she had. She called me in to confirm. I could see a slight movement in the eggs. We were excited beyond description. There was rush to find a box to house them in our bedroom, so that no stray dog could ever even have a peek at them. Mom was ok with it. Immediately, I set up a box, a bulb to keep them warm and put them under our bed. A miracle happened on the New Year’s Day when one of the egg slowly broke open and wet ugly looking black chick crawled out of it. We looked at it and worried whether it would survive or not. Slowly it crawled toward the light bulb and made itself cozy over there. Half an hour later another egg hatched and 1 hour later another one. The chicks became active in few hours’ time.
|Helpless and Sticky Chicks|
We spent our time on google for 3 days, learning how to take care of chicks. The rest of the 3 eggs couldn’t hatch though we waited for another 3 days.
These chicks were very comfortable with us and soon became a part of our family. I almost slept beside them LOL. They survived to grow up and turned into two red roosters and one hen. Their survival against the odds filled my heart with optimism and also told me never to give up hope. I will never forget the moment of sadness that overwhelmed me when I saw the dead mother beside her eggs, nor the joy that filled my heart, when the chick crawled out from egg. #lookup
|Home sweet home|
|Chatting time with their human family|
|Time to sleep, they sent signals to shut off lights|
|Ready for their play time in our yard while we kept watch|