Hatching chicks out of our incubator was a wonderous experience. The first to hatch came out of the egg I’d had my eye on all along. It was the most active embryo, dancing around in the egg every time I would candle it. Since I’d been listening to Bob Marley almost exclusively during that month, she was named before she even hatched.
I was lucky to be there to witness Marley hatching out of her egg, and since she was the first, there was an aura of specialness surrounding her entry into the world. I could tell she was a fellow ginger right away, her red feathers slicked against her fragile body. She was beautiful and I was in love.
Throughout the day the rest of our eggs hatched, totaling nine chicks. Marley was the only one who stood out, the only redhead in a crowd of blondes. I had no trouble playing favorites, and when a friend came to choose her six chicks, she was told she could take any except for the ginger.
We were left with three chicks to raise in a brooder in the bathroom. It’s the only room in our house with a door that closes properly. I had to play Momma to the littles and care for their every need. They, in turn, cheeped up at me every time I had to use the bathroom.
I tried to pay equal attention to all of them, but it was so hard when one stood out so much more than the others. I found myself cuddling Marley more, giving her way more love than the other two.
As the chicks grew and began to feather out, one of them realized there was more to the world than the sides of her brooder box. The little yellow bird would hop up to perch on the edge of the box every time I would enter the room. She would talk to me in her chicken talk and cock her head when I would talk back. When a hand was held out, she would step onto it, then hop up the arm to perch on my shoulder. This random chick, that didn’t even have a name, was starting to make a case for herself.
She was persistent with her love, and made an effort to hop up my arm every single time I was in sight. Sometimes she would even jump out of the brooder and run around the room, her cheeps echoing off the walls so I’d have to come running to rescue her. It took me awhile to realize it was all a rouse for attention, as she could easily jump back into the box.
I found myself paying less and less attention to Marley, who seemed to not care whether or not I existed as long as she was fed. The new charmer was named Benedict- Benny for short, and quickly became my best bird pal. She wormed her way into my heart with incessant cuteness and cuddles. Marley is a gorgeous bird with zero personality, Benny is a plain bird with an incredible personality. The bird that won my heart did so with her sweetness, friendliness, and charm. Thus proving that beauty truly shines from the inside out.
Do you find yourself playing favorites with your birds?