Putting Hens To Sit, Birds and Beasts in Welsh folklore and mythology, a tale from Llansantffraid ym Mechain Wales
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Category: Birds and Beasts
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Title: Putting Hens To Sit

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 twelve.

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