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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all the moms out there are having a fabulous day, especially my mom, who I am on my way to see now!

Sadly, it seems motherhood is not in the cards for Greta the chicken this time around. I finally found her nest yesterday evening, with ten eggs in it, and to try to protect her from predators, I moved her and her eggs into a large dog crate after dark last night. I awoke this morning to find her highly stressed in the crate, wanting to come out, so I let her out and she headed straight for her original nest. She hung out over there for a few hours, ignoring her eggs in their new location, and then eventually joined the rest of the flock by midday.

I can't say that I'm too terribly disappointed (although it seems almost sacrilegious to say such a thing on Mother's Day of all days!); if we decide to have more chickens, I think I'd rather rescue some than bring more into the world, but I do feel sorry for little Greta, and her little eggs look rather forlorn and abandoned.

Oh well, it's reassuring to have Greta back in the fold, and safe from any scary creatures that could have snapped her up during the night out there in the woods. (That's her in the back.)


Robin Marie said...

I'm not at all trying to pick any fights, but I have to comment that I find it confusing to read about you controlling the fate of these eggs when you seem to express such distress over the practice of separating a calf from its mother.

How is this really any different?

Vegan_Noodle said...

Happy Mother's Day to you Tamara!!

maryannartist said...

Happy late Mother's Day to you.
It is so sweet to see how much you care about your new chickens.
And that photo of the eggs is really nice. The eggs are so nicely nested.

Tamara said...

Thanks for the Mother's Day wishes, Amanda and Mary Ann. :-)

Tamara said...

Hi Robin Marie,

Controlling the fate of these eggs is VERY different from separating a days-old calf from his mother. It's the difference between a living, sentient being and an embryo with no central nervous system or ability to think or feel.

The calf who is taken from his mother as an infant can feel pain, both physical and emotional, and is aware of his loss, as is his mother, who often cries for him for days.

These eggs are only a few days old, barely developed at all - just tiny embryos. They don't have a brain or a central nervous system yet.

Furthermore, my actions and philosophy are guided first and foremost by my desire to protect the mother of these eggs. I moved them in order to keep her safe from predators. Taking the baby calf from his mother is in no way guided by concern for either the baby or the mom; rather, it is motivated by human greed.

I will concede that it does give me a bit of an icky feeling to have to 'play God', so to speak, with these eggs, but what it boils down to for me is a philosophy virtually identical to the one that guides the spay/neuter movement for companion animals. More specifically, I am most concerned with the welfare of animals who are already here on this earth, and if by controlling their breeding I can prevent future suffering, either to the parents, the new babies, or other animals who will not find homes because of the birth of the new babies, then I'm okay with 'playing God'.

maryeb said...

A bit of Mother's Day drama.
I hope you had a nice Mother's Day. I love reading your stories of every day life.