A Chicken's Right to Choose


I noticed that something did not look right but I was not expecting to see what I did. The hen had been sitting on sixteen eggs for several days, but I was not sure when the chicks were due to hatch.

            As I fed the other chickens, I passed by the nest hidden under some vines way out in the pine thicket. All the hens have a brownish/orange hackle (feathers around her head and neck), but what caught my eye was not only the discoloration of this hen's hackle but also that she was continuously shaking her head in a very unusual way. As I slowly walked closer to her, I noticed that both eyes were closed and the reason she was discolored was because her entire head and neck were completely covered with ants. The ants were all over her, but her head and neck were completely covered. She must have been being eaten alive for some time because every time she would shake her head, she would slowly lower it until her beak almost touched the ground. It appeared that she had taken about all the stings her body could withstand.

            I tried to brush the ants off, but quickly realized that there were just too many for that to work. As I gently lifted her up, I saw that one little chick had hatched and a couple others were piping (pecking their way out of their shells). They all too were covered with ants. The tortured hen would open her eyes just long enough to look at the eggs and try to knock off the ants climbing all over them, but there were just too many-thousands and thousands of ants were on the hen, the chick and the eggs!

            This was a desperate situation for the hen and the hatching chicks. Within just minutes the chicks would be dead and the hen herself could not take much more. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I did what I would not recommend, but what I thought was my only option. I called Lisa and told her to bring me a can of Raid Ant and Roach spray and a gallon of vinegar. I sprayed a circle around the nest with the poison and then I sprayed down the hen. I figured she was going to die anyway, so neither of us had anything to lose. I knew the poison would kill the hatching chicks, so instead I poured straight vinegar over them and the nest. That seemed to do the trick for a little while.

            Early the next morning, I went to check on them again to see if anything was still alive. To my surprise, the hen was better, still ant infested, but still sitting on the nest. Five of the chicks had hatched and were still alive but the ants were back on them as well. My only option now was to move the hen, the chicks and the rest of the eggs, hoping I would not stop the hatching process. Moving them during the time they are hatching is not a good idea, but it was that or just let the ants eat them all alive.

            To make a long story short, I sprayed the hen down again, gathered the chicks and the rest of the eggs in a bucket and moved them to another pen off the ground, hoping the hen would stay with the eggs on the new nest. Nine of the chicks finally hatched out and eight of them are doing just fine five days later.

            What struck me about this incident was the hen's willingness to stay on her nest, protecting the hatching chicks the very best she could--even though it was costing her an awful lot of pain and discomfort, and would ultimately cost her, her own life! She was literally being eaten alive, a slow and torturous death, but still she chose to risk and ultimately to give her life if necessary for the sake of her chicks. She may not be able to save them, but she would surely die trying. If the ants were to kill the chicks, they would have to kill her too. She chose to endure discomfort, excruciating pain, and even give up her life--just for a 'chance' to give life to her babies.

            Compare the choice of a chicken, a mere animal that is here today and gone tomorrow, having never been taught right from wrong and that apparently has no conscience or moral compass to guide her, to the choices being made in our culture today and the comparison is tragic and staggering. From the time of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe vs Wade in 1973 through 2011, an estimated 55,772,015 unborn babies, children created in God's own image, have been 'legally' aborted (killed) in and outside the wombs of American girls and women. Add to that the estimated 1,200,000 babies killed in 2012 and 800,000 in the first half of 2013 and the total is over 57,572,015 innocent unborn babies that have been killed 'legally' since 1973 in America alone!

            The statistics are not only jaw-dropping, but are reflective of our moral depravity and our having turned away from God, from Biblical teaching, and from lifestyles that value and promote the sanctity of life--all in exchange for convenience and self comfort.

            On average, reasons women give for choosing abortion are:

                        *75% say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other


                        *About 75% say they cannot afford a child.

                        *50% say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with                                 their husband or partner.

                        *Only 12% of women included a physical problem with their health among                                    reasons for having an abortion.

                        *Only 1% (of aborting women) reported that they were the survivors of                                          rape.

            A mere chicken will chose to suffer and even to die for the sake of her un-hatched babies, but we, who still call ourselves a Christian nation, choose to kill our babies by the millions and to make that killing legal and acceptable, just because the baby would be an inconvenience. How far we have fallen! What a terrible price is being paid!

            I cannot help but remember the promise, but also the conditions that God established for our forgiveness and for our restoration as a nation. He said: "If my people, who are called by my name, humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2Chron 7:14). It's not too late. We still have time and we still have hope. But, our healing, forgiveness and restoration as a nation and as a Church are indeed conditional and dependent on us. God is patient and willing to forgive, but He will not hold back His judgment forever. He is a loving God, but He is also a just and holy God.

            The chicken chose to give her life for her chicks. Jesus chose to give His life for us. I pray we will choose to give life!

Devotions by Year

  • Even Bulls Can Learn To Get Along
  • Changed Minds
  • Today is the Day
  • Sometimes We See What's Not There
  • Why Do You Farm?
  • Misplaced Aggression
  • Feasting On Filler
  • 'Get Some Rest': Not As Easy As It Sounds
  • Lessons From Freddy
  • Just Tired and Reflecting
  • Safe Pasture
  • Sin: Just Like Fall Army Worms
  • Blood Cleanses
  • Just Cute Little Harmless Pups
  • Life: A Series of Pipping
  • Just Because He Loves Us!
  • No Excuses!
  • Oh! Now You Tell Me!
  • Live Like You Were Dying
  • But You Didn't Tell Me!
  • Time to Choose
  • A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything and Realizes That He Really Has Nothing
  • Celebrate the Harvest
  • Falling Stars
  • Easier To Lead Than To Drive
  • Weeds, Weeds, Weeds!
  • Grace Is Like Grits
  • We Can’t Do It ‘Ourselves’!
  • I Wouldn’t Make a Good Cowboy
  • What Are We Thinking?
  • Your Walk Talks
  • Activity is No Substitute for Reproduction
  • Who Would Have Ever Thought It?
  • Thankful for Boundaries
  • Cover It Up Or Fix The Problem?
  • What Will Your Legacy Be?
  • I Wish I Had Been There! I Wish I Had Not Forgotten!
  • If God Can Use a Dove....?
  • Hope In The Midst Of Hopelessness
  • I Don't Know You!
  • Like A Straddled Squirrel
  • Sounding the Alarm: This Is Not a Test!
  • Don’t Let The Urgent Keep You From The Most Important
  • We Never Know Who We Have In The Basket
  • Uh Oh--Jesus' Got Toothpaste On His Head!
  • A Moment of Silence is like Preg Checking a Bull
  • A Chicken's Right to Choose
  • Got to Leave Right Now! What Do I Take With Me?
  • He is Able—But if He Does Not!
  • Declarations of Independence: Properity or Destruction?
  • Blackie: One In A Hundred-In More Ways Than One
  • Who Is Holding On The Tightest?
  • That Must Have Been 20 Years Ago!
  • It's Almost Time
  • Keeping Me Awake At Night
  • Better Be Dressed
  • CHRISTMAS My Favorite Time of the Year
  • A Nation Without God is a Nation Without Hope
  • Bush Hogging During a Severe Drought?
  • When the Heart Dies—the Whole Body Dies With It
  • Depopulate and Eradicate (or) Expiate and Propitiate
  • If I Could Only Say One Thing and Had One Last Chance to Say It
  • Go Ahead and Jump Son—Daddy Will Catch You
  • The Final Dispersal
  • Chicken Piping—He Sees Them All
  • “Takes the Teeth Out”
  • Making It Harder Than It Is
  • Why Was He Born?
  • What to do when you don’t know what to do
  • A Dry And Thirsty Land Where No Water Is
  • If Only These People Will Change
  • Go Fishing—You Never Know What You Might Catch
  • Some Droughts are Preventable
  • Celebrating ‘True Freedom’
  • Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
  • Victory Through Surrender
  • Responding Like a Sick Calf?
  • Our Life’s Investment: A Time for Reflection
  • Preg Checking: Open! Bred! I Ain’t Sure!!
  • Confidence To Face The New Year
  • Two Virgins and a Baby—The Irony and the Gift of Christmas
  • Precious Moments in the Calving Pasture
  • Working On a Building
  • What is the Foundation of Your Faith?
  • To Walk on Water—You Have to Step Out of the Boat
  • Only One Life to Live
  • The Uniqueness of a Mother’s Love
  • A Prayer That God Will Always Answer
  • Lessons from a Boar
  • When You Have Done All You Can Do to Stand: Stand Firm
  • Lowing in the Distance
  • Not My Dirty Feet!
  • Where did it go CFCI devotional
  • The Day ‘Tater’ Died
  • Life’s Lessons from the Chicken Yard
  • Christmas Choices
  • Experiencing God in the Calving Pasture
  • FAMILY: On and Off the Farm
  • Unity is More Than Important—It is Absolutely Essential
  • God, I’m not ______________. I AM!
  • The Rod and the Staff
  • The Good Shepherd Leads the Way
  • The Good Shepherd
  • Blessed to be a Blessing
  • Mama Should Have Named Me Martha
  • FENCES: On the Farm & In Our Lives
  • The Harvest Depends on the Heart
  • The Gospel & Our Response to God's Grace
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