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Putting Hens To Sit


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

Placing the eggs in the nest for hens, geese, and ducks to sit on was
considered an important undertaking. This was always done by the lucky
member of the family. It was usual to put fowl to sit so as to get the
chick out of the egg at the waxing, and not at the waning, of the moon.
It was thought that the young birds were strong or weak according to the
age of the moon when they were hatched.

March chickens were always considered the best. A game bird hatched in
March was thought to be stronger and more plucky than those that broke
their shells in any other month, and, further, to obtain all extraneous
advantages, that bird which was hatched at full moon began life with very
good prospects.

A singular custom prevailed at Llansantffraid, Montgomeryshire, when
putting hens, and other fowl, to sit. I obtained the information from
the late Vicar, the Rev. R. H. M. Hughes, M.A., an observant gentleman,
who took a lively interest in all matters connected with his parish. I
was staying with him, and he made the remark that in his parish it was
considered lucky to place the hen, when she first began to sit, with her
head towards the church. This the cottagers in the village could easily
do, for the parish church was in their midst. I do not know whether this
kind of proceeding prevailed in other places.

The number of eggs placed under a hen varied with her size, but one
general rule was followed, viz., an odd number of eggs was always placed
under her; eleven or thirteen was the usual number, but never ten or

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