Shabbat 128 - Caring for the chicken, calves and children

Rule #1: we may invert a basket in front of chicks, so that they may climb up to and down from their nests. What's the story here? - On Shabbat, all animals were declared "not prepared," or "muktzeh" by the Sages, out of the consideration that one may cut off a branch of a tree in order to hit a horse or another animal. However, rule #1 tells us that even though the basket becomes temporarily muktzeh itself, while a chick is on it, one may move it it order to help the chicks.

Rule #2: if a hen escaped from its house, we may push her back into it until she enters. Here too, although the animal is muktzeh, and in general it is forbidden to move the muktzeh or even a part of it, we may push her even with the hands, since otherwise she experiences distress and is exposed to injury.

Rule #3: a woman may help her young child walk by holding his arms from behind, provided that he can make a few steps and move, albeit with difficulty, by himself. Of course, the child is not muktzeh, however, here the concern might be that the mother will carry the child in the public area, which is forbidden. Therefore, rule #3 tells that helping a child who can somewhat help himself is allowed.

Art: Victor-Alfred-Paul Vignon - Mother and Child taking a Walk