School: Sruthar (C.)

Location:
Shrule, Co. Mayo
Teacher:
Bríd, Bean Uí Éanacháin

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Hatching Hens and Eggs etc.

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0102, Page 213

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Long ago the old people had very funny ideas or pisreóga about clutches. They would never set a clutch but when the sun was setting in the sky in the evening and when all of the birds of the air were silent. They said that it was the best time the hen would lie the eggs. When my grand mother would get the box ready for the clutch, she would shake, and shake the straw to make it soft and cosy for the eggs. She always said little boys were far luckier than little girls, so she used to make one of my brothers count the eggs, and lay them down carefully. Thirteen or fifteen were her lucky numbers. Then she used to take three wisps of straw, and light them over the hen, and the clutch, and three shakes of holy water. You would want to be a real friend of hers, before she would part with a clocking hen. She said it was most unlucky to give away a clocking hen. Some people do so, providing they get her back again, when the chickens are reared or in her place a young pullet. They say round eggs are the best for pullets, and the long eggs are for cocks.
When the clutch is eleven days hatching, they get a candle, and light it, and take the eggs one by one in turn and put them between the candle light. The egg there is a bird in would be empty over head and very dark at the other end. If there were many

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Collector
Máire de Búrca
Gender
female
Address
Tonacooleen, Co. Galway
Informant
Mrs Burke
Relation
parent
Gender
female
Age
40
Address
Tonacooleen, Co. Galway
Language
English