Just like a human mama, a mother hen will do everything in her power to take care of her babies.
An iconic symbol of motherly love, a mummy hen will care for her infant chicks; fussing over them getting proper food and constantly keeping one beady eye out for strangers.
Footage from Visakhapatnam, India, has now gone viral which demonstrates the extent of a mother hen’s devotion, and how she will always put her babies’ welfare before her own.
The footage shows a group of tiny chicks huddled around their mother hen. The feathery mummy is spreading her wings over them; acting as a living umbrella for her brood during a heavy downpour.
Like many parents, she doesn’t care about her feathers being soaked by the raindrops; she only cares about keeping her little ones warm, dry and cosy.
According to the person who shot the emotional footage:
This video was taken at a local fish market when there was heavy rain, we can see mother’s love in the natures [sic] way. A hen protecting its chicks in heavy rain.
Those who have watched the footage have been deeply touched by the extent of the hen’s devotion, praising her parenting skills and resourcefulness.
One person pondered:
Perhaps one day, they’ll understand all the sacrifices she gladly made out of live for them.
So adorable just wished the owner would have them under cover as they did with whatever is underneath that green tarp.
According to LiveScience, hens will give a physical reaction when their chicks are in distress; suggesting they empathise with their feelings.
Research reportedly shows how hens which have separated from their chicks – but can still see, smell and hear them – are more attentive to their surroundings when researchers directed a puff of air at them.
However, when their chicks were the target of the puff of air, the mother hen’s response was more intense; equivalent to a ‘fight or flight’ reaction.
The hens’ heart rates increased, with their temperatures changing accordingly. This was even the case when chicks weren’t calling out in distress.
Researcher Joanne Edgar from the University of Bristol told LiveScience how mother hens also give out a ‘maternal vocalization’ call; which they use to call their babies over:
It also enhances memory formation of the chicks. Then they know what to do in these circumstances if it ever arises again.
Hopefully this adorable family found somewhere cosy to cuddle up together after filming stopped and the chicks one day appreciate this kind act from their loving mum.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.