“In the nick of time” is an idiom that describes a situation where something comes at the vital moment, usually at the last possible opportunity. And we could think of no better description for the rescue of two tiny young ex-school chicken-hatching project chicks. Amidst school bags and books, the hapless two had made their way home one day to a most distressed parent, who had absolutely no idea of their impending arrival. Compounding the situation was that she received no information on how to care for the chicks or what the dietary needs are of such young and vulnerable animals. Charged now with the responsibility of two young lives, this kind-hearted mother became frantic, not only for the animals themselves but also for the poor lessons her children would learn about caring for others.
So often in life we can never fully understand the gravity of a situation until circumstance thrusts us into it. This can never be more true than with chicken-hatching projects. So often touted as a benign and fun learning experience for children, sadly, due consideration is not given to the unwitting participants in this activity—the chicks. Granted: good, safe and happy outcomes can be forthcoming for some of the hens; however, the lot of roosters is inevitably bleak. With so many other opportunities to learn true and meaningful lessons about caring for others and life cycles of animals, it truly is difficult to understand why live animals are brought into the mix.
And whilst we are indeed pleased that we were able to offer hope for these sweet female chicks and this family, we know there are just so many other hapless feather wonders who will not have such a positive outcome. If we ever needed another reason for why chicken-hatching projects need to banned, we have just received two.