A Lucky Brooder?

This is NOT actual Lucky. I had her permission to tell her story but not share her picture during brooding.

About nine months ago, we added a new girl to join the Bloom Girls. We call her Lucky, because she is or at least, was lucky.

You see, she must have ran away from her home and hung out at the end of our street with the group of mailboxes. For several days, our neighbors called to inform us that one of our girls had escaped. But all our girls were safe and sound in their run. After about five days, Hubby went and brought her home. We were amazed she had made it that long by a busy road and with wild critters who would have loved to eat her, hence her name "Lucky". We should have put her in quarantine to protect our flock but didn’t. We opened the door and put her in the run with our thirteen other girls. We knew this meant she would be picked on since she’s the stranger (I guess chickens do the whole “stranger danger” thing) and because she was smaller than our girls. So Lucky began her journey as a Bloom Girl at the bottom of the pecking order.

My daughter-in-law told me she is a Buff Orpington . My girls are Red Comets and kind of a rusty red but she is more like a orangey red.  She adjusted well to her new life over time and became accepted. Now she is the biggest girl we have, although she is occasionally reminded that she is not the top chicken in the hen house.

Well, about three weeks ago, Lucky’s luck changed and she started brooding. She is our first broody hen. Maybe this has been bred out of the Red Comets, I’m not sure. But what a pain! Brooding is when a chicken decides to sit and hopefully hatch eggs—and it doesn’t matter to her if they have been fertilized or not. This instinct must be so strong because she will sit for days and barely eat, drink or leave the nesting box. And if you push her out of the box, she does like a growl and will peck you. Obviously, she is not a happy camper. Poor girl!

So this morning she pecked me as I picked her up and put her in their backyard. Her feathers were all ruffled and she just sat there like how did I get here. This brooding is almost like a trance state. Again so sad for her. Now I happen to be on the phone with my son who has more experience with chickens and has had brooders before. And then it happened.

The other girls started to peck Lucky. At first, I thought that was their way of saying, “Snap out it! Get off that nest. Raising chicks is not in your future.” But my son quickly set me straight. “While she’s brooding and away from the others, she’s lost rank and now is back to the bottom of the pecking order.”

OH NO! This is not good—to be demoted in the chicken house. Lucky ran back into the coop and back to the nesting box. I again put her back outside, hoping she would run away from the others and snap out of brooding. But I quickly realized, she’s better off in the box and away from the other girls. She’s not so Lucky these days.

My son says this will past in a few weeks and she will go back living normal again but she will have to earn her way back to her old, normal life with the others. My goodness, who knew being a chicken could be so hard?

But then it made me wonder if any of God’s critters have it easy all the time. We humans don’t. I bet the slug doesn’t as he crawls over sharp areas. Or the skink who is dodging birds or cats. I recently learned in a Bible Study, that we would stay weak if we didn’t have struggles in life. And that is so true.

I wish I could explain this to Lucky. How she will be a better stronger chicken after this season passes. But for now, her experience is a reminder to hang in there. This too shall pass. If there is one thing about life I’ve learned—change is just around the corner. So flex your muscles and smile. 

You are stronger today because of yesterday’s struggles and today’s pain will one day make you more resilient and smarter.

And be grateful. At least you are not a brooding chicken!

What epiphanies have you had lately? What has life dished up and thrown your way? How has it changed you? Curious minds want to know and learn from others!