LeeLee’s Story – (Mystery Photo Friday Answer)

The answer to Mystery Photo Friday – it’s a rooster comb! 😀 Meet LeeLee, the beautiful boy who stayed still long enough for me to get a good shot of his rose comb.

I originally named him Leeli, from The Wingfeather Saga books (because the character used a crutch to get around, and LeeLee had foot problems and couldn’t stand for a while after he hatched), but he ended up being a rooster, so I changed it to LeeLee.

His toes were curled when he hatched, and we aren’t sure why this happened. Two chicks ended up with curled toes (both have full use of their feet now).

You can see in the photo of young LeeLee how bad his feet were. Within a couple of days, he managed to learn to walk.

Within a couple of weeks, his toes straightened out a bit.

After that, when they started flying around, I put a stick in the cage for him to practice perching on. Then when he outgrew the small stick, we upgraded to a mop handle. He would fly up, and grip with one foot and not the other, and sail right off and land in the pine chips, poor guy. Often he took the other chicks with him and there would be lots of squawking. But as you can see, he turned into a beautiful rooster and he can stand just fine! Here, I caught him in mid-step. 🙂

After a while, he was able to grip it, and now he can grip the roosting bar and the little perch I have up for them outside with no problem! (He’s the white rooster on the perch – Jules Verne and Patriot are the two on the ground having a bit of a disagreement through the wire. )

Also, say hello to the beautiful hens! Avi, Siren, Guinevere, and Banshee are the hens most visible in this shot.

Hope you’re all having a good week. 🙂

Struggling Makes Us Stronger (my eggs hatched and what I learned from it)

When researching about eggs hatching, the advice I found was that the chick should be left to break out of the egg on its own, because the struggle makes the chick stronger. Otherwise, it will be weak.

I don’t know how accurate this is, but chick #13 spent two days trying to get out. I prayed for the little fellow – whether hen or rooster – I didn’t want the little thing to die in there. Some people said, if the chick couldn’t get out on its own, it would always be a weak chick and weak adult, and it was better for it to die in the shell because they don’t want weak chicks. I don’t know how true this is, but I also didn’t care. I just wanted the little guy to have a chance to live.

Side note: as someone who once cared for a hen who lost the ability to use her legs (and has a blind hen now), I didn’t care if the chick ended up being a weak chick, I still wanted the little thing.

On day 2 of chirping in the shell,  the egg pipped (the chick cracked the shell) but the membrane wasn’t broken. I was afraid the little guy couldn’t breathe and would suffocate in there, so I risked it. (If broken too early, a blood vessel can break and the chick could bleed to death. I figured since the little guy was trying to break it, that he was ready to break out.) I gently peeled the shell back and broke the membrane. I saw a little beak come up and start taking breaths. I knew then, that was the right thing to do. The weak chirping got louder and more insistent.

As for helping him all the way out, I decided to give him a chance. It said online, some people play bird sounds to encourage the chick to come out. Why do that when I had the 12 siblings in a cage right nearby…

I opened the bag of mealworms and the chicks had a feeding frenzy. The one still in the egg started going crazy and the egg was moving and rolling around.

I hadn’t seen a chick “unzip” that fast – unzip meaning pecking its way out – after the first break of the shell. He was out in just a few hours after I broke the membrane.

And out of the struggles, new life! And what an adorable life. ❤ (Sadly, the eggs this chick is next to didn’t try to hatch. Some showed all the signs of not being fertile – which is weird because we had a rooster – and three had undeveloped chicks inside that died before reaching the hatching stage. So #13 was the last one of the bunch.)

(So cute after drying out! ❤ )

This whole experience made me think of our struggles.

When we are surrounded by a sphere-shaped trial, we only see that. We don’t see God, watching above, in infinite knowledge. We are trapped inside the struggle. When the chick wanted to get out, instead of freeing him completely, I only gave him what he needed – an air hole. But he wanted to be out NOW.

Doesn’t that sound like us when we pray to God about trials and struggles? I know it sounds like me. I want out of a trial NOW. I don’t want to struggle anymore. But God knows best. But will I trust Him?

Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD,

Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (First Peter 5:6-7)

Cast your burden on the LORD,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)


It’s hard to trust, but He sees all and knows what is best. And these verses read as a command. Trust in Him.

Back to the chick – because this made a baker’s dozen, I wanted to name her after a cook or a chef. I thought about Chef Boyardee, but that was a man and I didn’t want to doom the hen with a male name. 😅 T.R. Noble suggested Julia Child, and I loved it. But…

…Julia Child was the first to start crowing. So… meet, Jules Verne, the rooster! (Nickname, Julie.) He’s not weak at all. He’s a fighter. He hatched a week after the first hatched (I expected him to be five days later because I put him in five days after the other eggs) and I guess he has to be tough because he was the youngest.

(I’m fairly certain that Patriot is in the front and Julie is on top of the water dispenser,  but they looked very similar at this age. 😅 Baelfire is the red rooster.)

Because of answered prayer, the little guy not only lived but he is thriving. 😀 He’s not so little and cuddly anymore but he turned into a beautiful rooster. 🙂