A few years ago, we started our little flock of chickens. It’s been quite a learning experience, and one particular lesson has stood out for me. And I wanted to share it with you. Yes, it actually does apply to homeschooling.
Every night at dusk, we would lock the chickens up in their coop. We had a problem with a few roaming dogs and it was just safer to close up the doors at night. What a chore! Chickens don’t really herd well, and it became a dreaded task as I scurried around the pen in a duck-walk (the pen roof was only 4 foot high at the time), trying to force our dozen birds back in their house all while keeping the inside ones from getting back out. It was a two person job that left me tired, frustrated and wishing we had stuck to growing beans. I was genuinely thinking that the birds had to go. I hated the whole process.
I always did it before it got too dark because the idea of doing it while stumbling in the dark was intolerable. But one night, I stalled on going out because my husband was at work and I had to do it alone. The idea of trying to get all those birds moving in the right direction all by myself nearly brought me to tears. Finally, I grabbed my flashlight and went out to corral the chickens with dread in my heart.
The pen was empty.
Every bird had willingly made her way back into the coop by herself. All I had to do was snap the door latch shut. That was one of the greatest moments of enlightenment I have ever had. An epiphany. Seriously.
Chickens will naturally head indoors to shelter when the sun goes down. I had spent months fighting against nature without even realizing it. I just had to wait and the birds took care of the situation all on their own. No more crab-walking and no more violent farmyard cursing.
So are you fighting with your own chickens, trying to get them to do something when you really just have to stand back and let them do it in their own time?