Up until this year our family has always been a homeschooling family. We have also always been an animal lover, so it only seemed natural for us to fill our days with animals and call it science, right?! Living in an extremely rural areas allows us that luxury. Last year when the girls and I walked into our local feed supply store to buy dog and rabbit food, we saw the multiple troughs full of baby chicks and baby ducks. We seriously couldn’t help ourselves! Needless to say we went home with eight baby chicks and a determination to learn as we go, and there has now been a lot of life lessons I have learned from raising chickens!
As a homeschool mom at the time, my heart leapt for joy! I had grand visions of waking up with my girls every morning, walking outside to the chicken coop together, collecting eggs, and cooking them a hot breakfast every morning. If any of my old photography friends from Nashville are reading this, they are laughing at this I assure you. Why? Because this girl has never woken up early a day in her life… not even to get the most amazing sunrise picture over Center Hill Lake. We all know that waking up with the chickens was never going to happen!
Learn as we go
Raising chickens has been a “learn as we go” experience. There has been loss. There has been gain. And then there were surprises… like that time that our favorite hen started crowing! Even though we prematurely purchased some baby chicks without having any idea of what we were doing, things have gone extremely well, and there has definitely been some life lessons I have learned from chickens.
Baby chicks are a lot like human babies! They chirp a lot. They startle easily. They constantly want to eat. And they poop a lot! One must always be ready for lots of poop.
Find Your Flock
How can anyone buy baby chicks and not also buy the baby ducks? Especially when you are impulse buying! Baby ducks are social animals just like humans! They will find their flock, even if it is a flock of chickens.
Planning Doesn’t Make Things Easy
For once we didn’t impulse buy a farm animal. We actually waited and planned for an entire year. But the life lesson I have learned from the short amount of time that we have owned our goats is that chickens are a lot less work. Rewards do not come easy.
Watch Out for Predators
There will always be someone who thinks they are bigger, badder, and more important. Some people will never learn to self-evaluate and they like to make people look small. If you aren’t careful, they will devour you. Just don’t engage.
There will always be a bully somewhere, and no matter how many times you get rid of it, another one will take its place. Bullies stink. No doubt about it. But we can learn from them too.
Collecting the Bounty
Collecting the bounty is what its all about, right? But no matter what, one must always be mindful of the snake that could always be lurking around the corner!
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Don’t get the cart ahead of the horse. What comes first? The chicken or the egg? Bottom line is that life never offers us any certainty.
Adult hens always have the fluffiest of butts. It’s just part of life. It is part of who they are. We all need to embrace our fluffy butts and fall in love with who we are.
Chickens are absolutely beautiful and fun! But so are peacocks. Peacocks do not seem to be as popular as chickens, but sometimes the less popular something is, the more rewarding it can be. So be a chicken, unless you can be a peacock. Always be the peacock.
As I write this post today, we are in a Covid-19 pandemic. The whole world seems to be on lockdown for the most part (at least for those of us who are cooperating). But being cooped up can make us crazy, so get outside and be silly! Have fun! Get fresh air! But be smart! Have fun with your Farm Raised Kids.
There will always be a pecking order, and we can’t all be at the top of it. Sometimes we just have to take a step back and let others take the lead.
Things Don’t Always Go as Planned
Things may not always go as planned. We had to replace this roof THREE TIMES before we could get it right. The biggest lesson learned here was this: Don’t always do cheap! Take the time to do things right the first time.