I haven't written on here in awhile...but I would like to tell you my story and I just know you all will understand and not think that I'm just another "crazy chicken lady." LOL. To make a very long story as short as possible...After leaving someone else in charge of caring for my "babies" (2 banty hens and 2 banty roos), while we made a whirlwind, 36-hour trip from FL to MI and back for by best friend's son's funeral, my babies were brutally and horribly eaten by raccoons. The person in charge lives in my home, knows what my chickens mean to me, yet he neglected to ever think of them to put them away in their cages that evening. He didnt even realize what had happened until I was beating on his door at 3 am, hysterical, trying to wrap my brain around the reality of had happened. It must have been terrifying for them as the coons dug under their pen and slaughtered them. My Sadie baby tried to get away but didnt make it past the aloes at the corner of the house. She had faced-down a bobcat before! She was 10 years old and I have never met another chicken like her and am sure I never will again. I got Jimmy B. in Key West, he was rescued by the Chicken Lady who rehabs feral chickens. He was Sadies boy toy. The other 2 were their offspring, Evie and Earl. Not only does my imagination replay the horrible scene that must have taken place over and over, but I also have to figure out how to forgive. This person is family and there is no way I can just shut him out of my life. Besides, that wouldn't be the positive thing to do. Something good has to come out of this massacre...maybe he'll be more responsible and caring in the future...maybe. However, every day that goes by, my resentment grows and festers and I just pray that one day I can let it go. I have never been betrayed like this before in my life. My babies didnt deserve that...after all I do for him. Two days later, I thought about the 6 eggs that I had in the fridge and wondered if life was still possible in those eggs. I had no idea actually how long some of them had been in the fridge or if they were even fertile to begin with. I googled everything I could with about 50% of the sites saying "impossible" and the other 50% saying "possible but not very probable...better chance at hitting the lottery." I just had to try....how could I just throw these eggs away with even the slight possibility of life? I certainly could not eat them now! I gathered what I could and sent the hubby out for a thermometer and to the smoke shop for an hygrometer. I read up on the how tos on Back Yard Chickens and some other very respectful and knowledgeable sites, and put it all together and said a prayer. Ive had baby chicks before but Momma Sadie always took care of everything and these eggs are really special. Along with just about everybody thinking Im totally nuts to even try, they also tell me they are praying for my eggs... Lord help me if I screw up! Anyway, my daughter and I candled them on Thanksgiving and I do believe we have at least 2, maybe 3, viable, live eggs!!! I immediately called our local extension office (who we know through my daughter belonging to 4-H) and asked to borrow a real incubator. I finally got the incubator today and will be transferring my eggs to it tomorrow after I make sure it is working right. Again, Lord help me if something goes wrong. So thats where we are at the moment. The eggs are incubating, Im turning and watching temps and humidity even on my nocturnal trips to the bathroom I detour to check the vitals. I want to candle them again as we transfer but, at the same time, am terrified that I will find something wrong. Part of me just wants to wait and see if I start hearing any peeping on or about December 7th. Im so scared and so anxious. If I do get baby chicks out of these eggs, it will certainly be my Christmas miracle and I will know for sure that Sadie is helping me take care of her babies from chicken heaven. As silly as it may sound, I ask that you please say a prayer, send some energy...do whatever it is that you do, to help these babies be born strong and healthy. I also ask that next time you leave your babies in someone elses care, remember my story and make absolutely certain the person you have chosen is responsible, caring and just as obsessed as you are...then call often to check on them! Thanks for letting me share my story and...with telling, there is healing.