For many human mothers, their first instinct is to protect their children when a dangerous, scary, or uncomfortable situation arises. Mothers protecting their young is not a new concept — and it’s not unique to the human race, either.
The mama chicken in this story has that same instinct.
In fact, plenty of mothers in nature will do whatever they can to protect their young and put their needs first. Giant anteaters carry their young on their back to keep them close and safe. Orangutang mamas are their babies’ sole source of protection and food for the first two years of their lives, and remain with them for the first six or seven years. Beyond that, their daughters continue to visit them until they’re 14 or 15! An alligator will actually go so far to protect her young from other gators that she’ll tuck them into her mouth!
Hens also have their babies’ wellbeing in mind. They teach their chicks what to eat and what to stay away from. They also defend their young from predators — even if that danger is just rain.
In this short video, you can see a hen’s motherly instincts in action.
The video was taken during a heavy rain at a local fish market. You can see the mother hen with her wings stretched out protectively over her little babies. It looks like there are five chicks, but it’s hard to say for sure.
The protective mama is getting drenched with rain while her babies stay safe, dry, and warm.
If the babies were to get soaked down to their skin and become cold, they would be at risk of hypothermia. In extreme cases, this could even lead to death.
“Sheltering them is critical because the chicks can easily die if they get chilled by cool rain,” wrote user SnickeringBear on reddit. “Normal body temperature for a chick is 107F (42C). Just seconds of direct rainfall can kill a small chick.”
“She isn’t so much trying to keep them dry (if you look closely they’re already saturated) as she is trying to keep them warm,” wrote user PurplePickel. “If they lose too much body heat they’ll die which is why they’re not making a run for shelter.”
Whether these babies were actually at risk of getting too cold or if it was actually a hot summer rain, the fact remains that this mama knew just what to do when those raindrops started falling: gather her babies close to protect them!
Take a look at this protective mama’s actions in this brief video.
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.
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