A New Beginning

The first blossoms of Spring are coming to life. There are new scents in the air and the birds are starting to return from their winter migrations. The northern snows are slowly beginning to melt away and down in the barnyard a new flurry of activity is taking place.

There are new calves being born and a wobbly colt tries desperately to follow its mother. The little lambs are bouncing around out in the pasture and the tiny piglets are all in a line for a good feeding from the sow.

But there, over in the corner, hidden amongst the hay bails comes a faint little chirp. Tucked away for the last 21 days, the broody little hen has been diligently setting on her clutch of eggs. Through the snows and winds and rain she has been quietly hidden away in the warmth of her nest. But today is a special day for this is the day that she has worked so hard and sacrificed so much for.

She has all but given up eating and drinking, only to emerge once a day for a quick bite knowing that she cannot leave her eggs too long. She has given up her social time with the flock and has only softly cooed to her unborn hatchlings. She has tirelessly moved and rolled each egg so that the tiny chick inside has stayed warm enough or cool enough so that it has grown at the same rate as the others. She has fiercely defended her eggs from any threat that has happened by. From the hapless field mouse looking for a warm place to hide from the winter weather outside to the other hens who have wanted to steal her nest to raise their own young. This little girl has sacrificed much and the reward shall be great.

For there, tucked in amongst the warmth of her body the first chick breaks free from the confines of its shell. First one and then another and another. Soon she has a whole brood of fluffy little chicks and she is a proud and happy mommy. With that first chirp Spring has officially arrived.

Eric Lofgren (c) 2010