I spent all day on DAY 21, watching the eggs in the incubator instead of attending to my daily list of Things To Do. Best. Choice. Ever! Oh the lessons from watching chicks hatch in the incubator!
THE HATCHING PROCESS:
I was surprised to learn how long it takes for chicks to hatch! They start pecking at a little spot and break it with their egg tooth, a temporary point on the end of the beak. This is called a "pip". They then work pecking the shell in a line from the pip across the middle/top part of the egg- about 1 inch long. This cracks the egg enough that they can stretch out so they usually burst out quickly when they gather enough strength after all that pecking. This whole process, from pip to hatched seemed to take our 5 chicks from several hours to the better part of a day.
🤔 How many things in life are like that?
Most everything that is new to us requires a foundation to be built.
Have you ever tried a new job, sport, musical instrument, only to find out how much work is involved to get past the learning curve and on to the seemingly progress-making part? Most people give up prematurely. Decide its not for them.
I have ➡ I did that with teaching. Decided it wasn't what I wanted to do anymore. After all that schooling. 😫 It's ok though. All education is worth it. What we learn builds line upon line and knowledge is the only thing that goes with us after this life.
Sometimes we quit because the burning desire to succeed isn't there anymore. We lose this because we lose sight of why we wanted to succeed at what we started.
We lose our vision.
Part of this process is just life- finding out who we are and what we want. As we are on this discovery journey, we have to sort through things to find out what to spend our time and effort on- what aligns with who we are and who we want to become. On the flip side though, sometimes we give up too soon on things that could have been good for us.
The chicks had the desire of being free from their egg prison and nothing was going to prevent them from achieving this desire of being able to stretch out. Not even the hours of hard work pecking at and breaking a hard shell with a tiny newborn beak, body all squished in a ball.
What does the shell represent for us humans?
It could be many things- different for each of us. But generally, it is something that has held us safe for our whole lives up to this point which, if broken, could give us freedom- room to stretch out and grow into the next phase.
Think on that for a while. Are you playing it safe inside your shell? Is there something ahead in your future that might be a lot bigger? Something you could do with your life that would help you grow? If you haven't yet,
is it time to break that shell?
After watching 3 chicks hatch throughout the day, we were cheering on the 4th chick around 10 PM. Her pip had been there since late morning. She finally started really working on her break line just before our bedtime so we let the kids stay up to watch. When she hatched, she was still connected to her umbilical cord, which was still attached to the egg. We named her Henrietta, with the hope that she, and all the chicks for that matter...won't be a rooster 🤞.
She tried to pull herself free from the egg, but when she did, I noticed a little blood gathering at the base of her cord where it attached to her belly. If she persisted, she might pull too hard and pull out her cord and bleed to death! I quickly pulled the light away so she would rest, and allow it time to dry out and fall off. I left her like that and went to bed.
I was awakened at 3:00 AM with the thought of Henrietta, stuck by her umbilical cord to her egg. I then had the thought that God wanted me to learn something from that scenario. It was so direct. I had the feeling He was trying to show me that I am connected to something that is giving me lifeblood and I have been pulling from it prematurely. I need to wait until it "dries" to pull and detach. Or maybe it is dry and ready to be cut or fall off.
I checked on her in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep --- she was fine...AND she had a friend. Another chick had hatched! Henrietta was still attached to her egg. I watched her pull it around inconveniently while the other chick seemed confused, plopping herself down between Henrietta and her egg. Later that morning I ended up needing to set Henrietta free from her egg in order to move her from the incubator to the brooder by cutting the dried cord, but by that time I was confident it was safe and close to falling off anyway.
As I thought of the lesson I was being taught by Henrietta's hatching experience, I wondered, what in my life am I still attached to that I'm not quite ready to be free from?
I thought of my level of confidence as I enter this new world of online business and all that goes into creating a website and blog. Am I ready to pull away from my security of learning and growing myself, to be confident enough to start teaching others and actually feel like I have the authority to do so as a leader?
I concluded this was a lesson God was teaching me about confidence. To go easy on myself as I reach higher heights. To not compare my journey to anybody else's. I catch myself doing that often.
I also see a metaphor of cutting the cord that has been tying me to my past. To my past mistakes, the thoughts I have been having for so long about myself that keep me from moving forward with certain goals. The bad habits that are holding me back. A mentor of mine used the image of a person with a rubber band around him and a tree, which represents his past, and another band around him and his dreams in the future. He is being pulled towards his goal, but back by all the fears and limitations from his past experiences and thinking patterns.
I am ready to cut this cord and move forward to stand in my power- to stand strong using my God given gifts and all that I have and can learn.
The final hatching lesson I learned has to do with COMMUNITY. I learned I needed to leave the chicks in the incubator for a while until they dried off so they wouldn't chill in the brooder. I also needed to wait until any other eggs with a pip had finished hatching. Messing the humidity up could be detrimental to hatching chicks, thus keeping them in hatching groups was the best option. It was neat to watch them interact with the other eggs and chicks in the incubator. The first little lonely gal walked around bumping the eggs all around, laying on them and in between them during her naps every 10 seconds. When the second egg hatched 10 hours later, she kind of tried to help by pecking and picking at the pip hole, especially once she could see the other chick in the shell. But not for long. It was almost as if she knew the other chick had to break open her own shell. I've heard this is true. All of the articles I read said not to help chicks hatch- that if you do, something will most likely go wrong. According to Quora.com, "As they prepare to hatch, the blood drains into the chick's body. If they are “helped” out before this process is complete, the chicks can bleed to death."
See the connect to humans? We like to help- but when we help too much we hinder those we're trying to help in some way or another- enabling, taking away learning opportunities, etc. Plus, being in a community is healthy for us too. We can start to show signs of depression or other problems when we don't have a healthy family or community of people surrounding us.
I just loved this hatching experience! I love what it taught me about growth opportunities- stretching out and breaking that shell, cutting the cord to my past and preparing myself to break out of my shell, arise forth and stand tall in confidence to do the things I feel inspired to do.