Small town chick at our library


Miracles happen daily at our local library.

Kids and adults learn to read, discover things they’ve never seen before through events and activities, have access to computers and mobile hotspots for checkout, grab the latest titles of books, read newspapers, take classes that are almost always free — the list goes on and on.

Recently, a miracle happened that involved the staff in the children’s department at the Jackson County Public Library in Seymour.

About three weeks ago, I brought five chicken eggs and an incubator to our library with a few directions to keep the humidity at 60% to 65% and the temperature around 98°F. My contacts were Children’s Services Assistants Nikki Axsom and Jason White to take charge of the incubation for the next 21 days.

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I saw the concern in both Nikki and Jason’s eyes as they listened to make sure everything was optimal for the eggs. I knew they would do a great job, but in the days that followed, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for their willingness to train everyone in their department along with their head of youth services, Lola Snyder, on how to care for these eggs.

Every day, I enjoyed getting messages from the team asking if the temperature was OK, if the humidity was OK when it dropped and any other concern that they had. I discovered that the staff was researching, reading and gleaning any information available that they could share about the eggs with the many children that enter the department each day.

As time continued, it was discovered that only one egg had been fertilized and was developing. That put the pressure on that the one remaining egg just had to hatch.

When Day 21 of incubation arrived, I received messages early in the day that the chick hadn’t pipped yet (that is breaking through the shell) and great concern held heavy over the department that all of their hard work may not result in a live chick. I was hopeful but starting to get a bit discouraged, as well. Would it not make it?

Later in the day, however, I received a text message from Nikki stating, “It pipped!” along with a photo to show the tiny break in the shell. Many hours later, a tiny silkie/cochin chick emerged in the wee hours of the evening with no one to witness it except a camera that the children’s department had set up to catch the event.

I received a message from the library’s maintenance specialist, Ron Duncan, around 7:30 a.m. the next day as I was getting ready for work with a photo attached saying, “It has hatched.” I beamed. They had all learned something from this experience.

When I got to the library a short time later, the staff seemed to be filled with pride that this little creature had blessed their world. I’m so happy that they and all of the patrons that visited were able to learn a new appreciation for something so many of us in the rural world see every day.

If you have the opportunity, you’ll have to check out the story of the little chick on the library’s Facebook page. The staff even got together and picked out a name for the baby, Fin (or Finley). I just love SeymOURtown.

Stephanie Strothmann owns Purple Shamrock Farm LLC in rural Seymour. Read her blog at Send comments to [email protected].

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