23 Sep They were trying to love the balloon
When a chicken is born to a hen, it immediately starts running after the hen. We say that it is running after the mother, but scientists say that this has nothing to do with the mother, that it is only a question of exposure and imprinting. Scientists have now conducted hundreds of experiments – one experiment was on chickens about to be born. The chickens’ beaks were emerging from the eggs, and just then the hen was removed from the scene, and a balloon was placed in front of the chickens instead. When the chickens opened their eyes they saw the balloon. You will be surprised to know that the chickens loved the balloon as if it was their mother.
Wherever that balloon moved in the air, they would run after it. They did not care for the mother,wherever she might be, but they became surprisingly sensitive towards the balloon. When the chickens became tired, they would go and sit beside the balloon. They would try to love the balloon, they would try to peck at the balloon – not at the mother.
In this connection, a lot of work has been done by the scientist Konrad Lorenz. He says that the first moment of exposure is the most important. The child becomes intimately related to the mother, but because of the first exposure. It runs after the mother only because she was available to it first.