"It was all because of the chicks," he began.
These last are said to be broken by the old birds to serve as nourishment for the newly-hatched chicks, whose stomachs cannot bear the hard food on which their parents thrive.
Well, personally, I'd like to see some little chicks scratching at the ground like their mother.
I'd rather just buy some chicks and put them under her.
The chicks also are black, with occasionally white patches on the head.