My teenage stepson has actually been coming home in the early evenings for the last week or so. So he has on occasion done little job around the farm, like locking the chicken house for the night. We currently have two broody hens, one of which has been sitting on real fertile eggs for 16 days. The other is so tiny, I have fake eggs under her and plan on putting purchased chicks under her in a few days. Each hen has her nest in a pet carrier, so I can safely lock them in at night in order to protect both the hen and the eggs from marauding rats. The chicken house locking routine is: make sure all the chickens are actually in the chicken house, make sure each broody hen is on her nest, lock each broody's pet carrier, lock the chicken house door. So last night said stepson tells his father that he locked the chickens and SO tells me. I make a mental note to check on them later. Well I didn't! Soooo, this morning I go to let the ladies and roo out. I go to open the pet carrier doors, (so the broodies can get out to poo) and find that the door to the one sitting on real fertile eggs is closed, but not locked and the broody hen has been "locked" out. The eggs are ice cold. I am mad at myself for not remembering to check. I know that the stepson does not pay attention to his jobs and does them "halfa$$". His father usually lets him get away with it. So if there is something I want done and have it done right, I either do it myself or check on the work and fix it. I usually have the kid do jobs, where I don't mind, if they are not done so well once in a while, like vaccuming or mopping the floors. Ugh!!! I pointed out to SO: there is no "do-over" for this one. We're getting rid of the roosters that fertilized these eggs, because we just don't have room to keep them any more. They are out of here tomorrow. And I won't let my hens go broody more than once a year (It takes too much out of them) Here's hoping that the hen got off the nest this morning and was off for less than an hour. I'm going to let her keep sitting on those eggs and do a lot of praying. We'll find out on sunday... "Please Artemis, let my little chickies be alive still, please...." The kid is going to be read the riot act, he is so dead.... He better get religion real quick. Thanks for letting me vent.