In some ways, a soon-to-be hatched chicken egg represents life's potential in its purest form — the developing creature it contains being totally unaware of what awaits them in the world beyond.
Often it's a sad existence. But in this case it was kindness.
Adam Tiernan and his family live in Iowa, where they keep chickens as a hobby. Recently, they decided to add to their flock by incubating a few fertilized eggs themselves — but they were soon called upon to act as "mom" in a way they never expected.
Despite their best efforts, only one egg proved viable, but even then it was no easy birth; the chick inside was having trouble hatching completely, and needed the family's help to escape the egg.
Afterward, they discovered that the tiny chick needed more help yet. She'd been born with curled toes, meaning that she couldn't walk or stand.
Rather than dispose of the newborn bird because of that defect, the Tiernans became even more invested.
After some searching around the internet, they found a solution to fix the chick's deformed toes. By simply applying tape to the bird's feet, with her toes extended, in time the correct position would hopefully set — so that's exactly what they tried.
And thanks to those custom 'shoes', the chick was finally up on her feet and walking (albeit a little unsteadily).
About a week later, it was time for the tape to be removed.
"We put the chick on the counter to see if it could keep its toes straight, and the little thing took off at full speed; almost ran off the counter!" Adam Tiernan told The Dodo, adding that the bird "has since been nicknamed Nitro."
An unlikely title for a creature who once couldn't even stay upright.
Now, little Nitro has gotten a fresh start at life — able to explore the outdoors where she'll soon join the rest of the family's small flock of hens and roosters.
Here she is moving about with ease.
For Adam, the decision to help the fluffy new arrival, whom others might have written off from the start, was simply a no brainer:
"We certainly didn't want it to die," he said. "If all we had to do was take some time, do some research and use some masking tape to help it get on its way, then why wouldn't we?"