Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 1015 – When the Chicks Are Ready

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas


A friend of mine sent me this advertisement from a local Freecycle site:

I discovered in my barn a hen who has been laying on a clutch of eggs for who knows how long. I can’t tell you if the eggs will hatch tomorrow or in 2 or more weeks (I’m guessing closer to the latter). I’m not interested in any more chicks but I can’t bring myself to take her eggs away from her and take her back to the coop. If anyone wants a half-made chicken family, she’s yours if you have food and long-term accommodations for her and her brood.

Someone who can’t bring herself to take a determined broody hen’s eggs away is my kind of person. I love that she is doing this, and I love the gentle, loving story of it all.

It’s what us mama hens do. Sometimes we push our chicks out of the nest and sometimes we let them stay a little longer until they are ready.

I’ve notified the owner and told her I’d take the chicken and all chicks once they have hatched.

We’ll simply add them to the 9 assorted chicks we are scheduled to receive in about 2 weeks.

This mama hen will gladly continue what that mama hen has already started.


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at

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