Hatching Eggs

What came first the chicken or my boys’ Google search on how to fertilize an egg? Sadly for us it was the latter.

Let me interject a disclaimer here: We have rules about Internet use at our house. That doesn’t mean those rules always prevent my kids from searching for crazy things online.

A few weeks ago my son’s friend brought him over a special surprise – a chicken egg. They were both convinced that if they built their own incubator equipped with a heat light then the egg would hatch.

So all afternoon they searched for supplies. They settled on a rectangular storage tote, piece of egg carton and my piano lamp.

I let them work on their little project for hours despite the fact that I knew the egg was not fertilized. It came from my son’s friend’s grandma’s neighbor’s chicken but it wasn’t going to turn into a chick – I had called and asked his mom about it.

But it was a fun thing to occupy them for hours. I gently cautioned them that it might not be the right type of egg; it might not be a hatching egg. But they brushed me off and went about their business.

When they had their incubation chamber complete they took it a step further and started planning a chicken coup.

That’s when they asked me to search the Internet. They asked if they could look for chicken coups for sale on the local classifieds section.

I didn’t see the harm in it so I let them. My husband came home from work right after that and found them searching Google for “How to fertilize an egg.” Ha!

Completely innocent to them but not to the World Wide Web. Luckily they didn’t get very far into their search.

I quickly reminded them of our family’s computer/Internet policy and came clean about their egg.

I didn’t get into details about fertilization or the birds and the bees, I just told them that their egg didn’t have a dad so it wouldn’t turn into a chick.

They were sad and I felt guilty for dashing their chicken-raising dreams so I let them keep the egg and incubator on our kitchen counter for a few more days – until they were ready to let it go.

Then I kind of told them we could look into getting chickens next spring – after I had time to look into the city code to see what poultry regulations there are before my treehouse-hating neighbor could have anything to say about it.

And after we could search the Internet TOGETHER for chicken coup supplies. Since they didn’t really get around to finding any on the Internet classifieds.

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