Friday, July 22, 2011

Chicks and Ducklings

Before electrically warmed incubators became common, the only available procedure to hatch eggs was by placing them under a broody mother hen. She has a maternal instinct and carefully covers the eggs with her warm wings for several weeks. Hen’s eggs need three weeks while duck’s eggs require four weeks of incubation for hatching.

Ducks refuse to sit on their eggs for hatching and so duck’s eggs are usually hatched by farmers by placing them under a broody mother hen. When a mixture of hen’s eggs and duck’s eggs are to be hatched, first the duck’s eggs alone are placed under the mother hen. A week later, hen’s eggs are placed along with the duck’s eggs so that all eggs hatch together.

A farmer hatched out several chicks and ducklings together. The mother hen did not realize that some of the young birds were ducklings. She had a strong, aggressive and protective maternal instinct and used to give a stern and strong signal as warning, whenever a danger was imminent. After a few days, the hen moved into the field and started to train the young ones to collect feed. The ducklings were not very attentive.

When they reached a small pool of water, by their natural instinct, the ducklings jumped into the water and started to swim. The chicks were warned by the mother hen. She made a loud command to the ducklings to return to the dry land, but they did not listen. But a naughty chick followed the ducklings and fell into the water. It started to sink and tried its best to escape but was almost drowned. Fortunately, the farmer who heard the hen’s cry ran to the scene and rescued the chick. It was wet and weak and shivering with cold but he wiped it carefully and placed it under the hen for its tender care and warmth. Possibly, the chick learned a lesson that blind imitation of others can be dangerous.

Comparison of our assets and talents with those of others and attempts to copy the lifestyle of others can be dangerous. Let us be conscious of our capacity and be content with our possessions. Jealousy towards others’ achievements and lack of contentment may make our life


God has a personal affection and a plan for the welfare of each person. He is our loving Father who loves to give the gifts we need at the most appropriate occasion.

God has plans to bring us prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future we hope for.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016,Kerala, India and Leo. S. John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath,Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507,Kerala, India.

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