Tag Archives: parenting like a chicken

Lesson 835 – You are good

I read this little story on my Facebook feed today:

An African tribe does the most beautiful thing.

When someone does something hurtful and wrong, they take the person to the center of town, and the entire tribe comes and surrounds him.

For two days they’ll tell the man every good thing he has ever done.

The tribe believes that every human being comes into the world as Good, each of us desiring safety, love, peace, happiness.

But sometimes in the pursuit of those things people make mistakes. The community sees misdeeds as a cry for help. Continue reading


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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Maran chickens, Violet

Lesson 751 – Flying the coop

School vacation is this week in our neck of the woods. The season has finally turned (although nights and mornings still require polar fleece) and it’s time to get outside and exercise. Continue reading

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Filed under Backyard Chickens, Life Lessons, members of the flock, Personal, The Family, Uncategorized

Lesson 638 – You know you’ve got a geek in the house when…

So last night, I came home late from an event in Boston. (It was James Taylor, I saw a James Taylor concert!) to find this in my kitchen. I guess when you have a flock full of nerds it is to be expected. After all, the universal cry of geeks around the world is that “Duct tape fixes everything.” Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Points to ponder, The kids

Lesson 633 – 9 inch plate update

Remember how we decided to move over to 9 inch dinner plates instead of continuing to use our 11 and 12 inch “standard American” dinner plates? Well it’s been a few weeks and I have some interesting results to report.

One night we were having kielbasa, veggies, and pasta  (one of our favorite comfort meals)  and I decided to do a few things with the servings.

First I took a regular larger plate and I put what I thought (completely eyeballing it) was a normal serving on the plate.

Here it is.

normal large plate portion

Then I moved that serving over to the 9 inch plate, and this is what I got. That’s a bit more than I would have served myself as a normal serving. Continue reading


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Points to ponder

Lesson 623 – Human bugs and feet

Somehow, out of the entire household, (and that includes a flock of kids returning to schools) I am the only person in our family who seems to have picked up a bug. It’s not a fun one either, lots of mucous, lots of coughing and enough vomiting that Marc asked me this morning if I was sure I wasn’t pregnant.

Funny guy, that Marc.

Nope, not in the family’s way (as they described it on The Walton’s) instead just a good old fashioned bug. Not bad enough to keep me completely out of the game work wise – remember I write from home – but bad enough that people cross to the other side of the street when they hear me coming.

Soup is what I need, lots and lots of soup – but rest well, my lovelies, I prefer the clear vegetables soups when I’m sick and not the perennial favorite of chicken soup.

No worries, with time this too, shall pass.

While I’m giving you updates, I thought I’d show you a photo of Charlie’s feet. You can see that they are fully functional and you can also see where I had run into a little problem with that middle toe on her left foot. The toe works just fine, it’s just that it carries a little bit of extra flesh (still looks beautiful to me though.)


She is now almost 10 months old and is, without doubt, one of our more striking birds. The other day she was back in our house to visit but, as she has learned pecking order skills from her coop mates, we now have to watch her around the dog.

The chick who once slept alongside Pippin, now wants to put him in his place.

Poor little Pippin. He misses his buddy, and while I console him in my lap pulling gently on his ears, he looks out the window to see Charlie and lets out a soft little moan.


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Life Lessons, members of the flock

Lesson 619 – Feeding the Flock

I know I’ve fallen behind a little on this blog. Trust me, it’s not for lack of love but rather for lack of time. Flock members have gotten sick and chicks have returned to college. There just hasn’t been time to reflect on life lessons learned from the flock (but to be a little more accurate, there’s been time to reflect, there just hasn’t been time to record.) If the truth be known, I haven’t even had time to make that pie (but I swear I will this week, and you’ll all hear about it.)

So I’m working on a schedule to avoid disruptions like this in the future, maybe I’ll write the posts at night, maybe on the weekends, or maybe just really, really early in the mornings. But they will get done.

In the meantime, I’d like to talk about flock nutrition. I’ve talked about chicken nutrition in the past (and will again now that the weather is changing and so are biological needs) but this time I’d like to talk about nutrition for our flock of kids (and anyone who has been reading this blog knows that there are great similarities between fowl chicks and human chicks.)

It started innocently enough. I shared a photo on my facebook page of how dinner plate size has increased in the US over the years from 9 inches in 1950 to up to 12 inches in 2012. It thought it was an interesting statistic.

Then one of my friends told me, that if I thought that was interesting I should read “Mindless Eating” which then led me to a book called “The 9 inch “Diet”” which blew me away.

You know those funny pictures that can either be a rabbit or an old man depending on how you look at it, but once you see the rabbit you can never undo seeing the rabbit? That’s how I felt when I read “The 9 inch “Diet”” Over the years I’ve been so careful to teach my kids portion control, it’s a huge part of how I control our food budget and how I try to keep them healthy. Then along came the portion plate guidelines that made it even easier for us. 1/2 of the plate should be vegetables, ¼ carbs, and the last ¼ of the plate should be protein.

Sounds pretty good until you realize that when you are using HUGE plates, ¼ of that plate is a lot of food (even though you think you are eating within guidelines.) This explains so much. It explains why people can never seem to lose weight even when they are following healthy eating standards. It also explains why my kids put on weight once they go off to college (well that and the late night pizzas) Many colleges dispense with dishes all together and just use trays. It’s a losing battle to maintain or lose weight when you are serving meals on plates the size of Nebraska.

This is our ex-standard dinner plate. It measures 11 inches across.

This is our new dinner plate. It measures 9 inches across.

This is our old plate with our new plate. See the difference? Yup, that’s how much Americans have increased our plate size over the years. Pretty disturbing isn’t it?

For the next month, this family is going to use only 9 inch plates (I’ve already removed all the larger plates.) We all weighed ourselves and I’ll be reporting any changes in weight (not any actual weights, my daughters can relax about that one.) But not that weight is the most important thing. I’m also going to keep an eye on whether we as a family, eat less overall (which could mean that I might get to buy less which means cost savings.)

It’s important to note that I’m not expecting the kids to lose weight, all of them are at a healthy weight. I will be interested to see if Marc and I lose weight (because both of us are not at the ideal healthy weight.) There will be no restrictions on food, if anyone want seconds or even thirds have at it, it’s just that they all have to use our new 9 inch plates to put those helpings on.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Mama Hen, Points to ponder

Lesson 618 – Releasing of the chicks

This morning was our annual day-before-the-first-day of school party. I’m not even sure how this little tradition started but we’ve been doing it for years. It’s a great way to celebrate the end of summer and transition into the beginning of a new school year.

So how does it work?

First, the night before, the kids go to bed according to our household “school-week” rules. That means absolutely no TV and although we have a few staggered bed times based on ages and grades, it also means that most of the kids are up in their bedrooms by 8:30 reading with lights out by 9:00.

Which meant that last night, Marc and I were able to sit and – quietly and uninterruptedly – read in the TV room for pretty much the first time since school had let out last June – imagine that!

This morning, the day of our party, after we had roused the kids at 6:30 am by banging on pots and pans and singing our best renditions of Girl Scout campfire songs (at least the ones I could remember) we put bacon in the frying pan, coffee in the machine, and set the table with freshly baked muffins, bagels with cream cheese, slices of melon and an assortment of berries.

Most of the kids drank orange juice while a few of the older ones and the adults attacked the coffee. Continue reading

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Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Coop care

Lesson 617 – The tools of tending a flock

When people ask me what it takes to tend to a flock of chickens, I tell them that in order to raise good strong chickens that will someday contribute to the community you’ll  need the following. Continue reading


Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Coop care