Teach your children to trust chickens

reading time: 6 minutes

Uitert size She shares five great ways to teach your kids to trust chickens.

Have you seen videos of Duke chasing babies and laughing? Did you know that confidence can be taught around our feathered friends? And this trust can affect the rest of your children’s lives? We’ve all heard that getting kids involved in farm life and participating in 4-H is a great way to teach life skills and shape your kids into happy, productive adults. But you don’t need to leave your own backyard or invest in expensive equipment to replicate those lessons. It’s easy to use your chickens to teach your children to respect nature and patience, while at the same time showing them how to overcome fearful situations and difficulties. In this article, I’m going to share five ways we teach our little ones to trust around our flock!

Why learn to trust with chickens?

In our home, we try to teach our children life skills that will be useful throughout their lives. We noticed early on that our flock frightened our kids – especially when they were very young, and we had some naughty roosters. Our kids were even afraid to play with their swings! But we approached the situation head on. After all, the chickens were already in our yard! We had a simple way of teaching our children how to overcome adversity in an everyday environment that we can control. Once they realize that their actions can influence a hen’s behavior, a variety of opportunities open up for us to teach them more confidence. Each new experience builds on the last. Over time, they were able to develop more and more skills.

5 easy ideas to teach trust to chickens

By tending backyard flocks, and discovering that chickens make great companions and provide food, kids learn to respect nature and care for another creature. With that respect comes confidence. Here are five easy ideas you can implement on your own farm to instill timeless values ​​that your children will carry with them for life.

1. Awareness of the body and discovering how your actions affect your environment

There is a right way and a wrong way to hold a chicken. It is important for children to understand how to ensure that our feathered friends are comfortable in our arms. This skill teaches compassion, body awareness, and patience. Sometimes, kids will pick up a bird by the wing, which naturally leads to a lot of unhappy shrieking. Results? The hen does not want to be held captive again. We have found that showing our children how to gently hold their pet reveals how our actions, as their caregivers, result in either discomfort or happiness.

Adult chickens should be held with wings close to their bodies and gently petted. A little hard at first for little hands! But learning how to hold a hen properly—and making sure that little hands and arms are positioned in the right position so that the hen can rest quietly—requires body awareness, which is an important skill for any child to develop. It’s okay if your pet takes time to warm up. You will learn patience!

Similarly, we found that raising chickens from day one also shows children how their actions can affect the chickens as they get older. For example, if the owners show respect and affection when the hen is a chick, the pet will enjoy the owner’s company more when it is older.

2. Respect the food our pets produce for us

My daughter loves to hunt for “eggies,” and we expect excited squeaks every morning when we check out the barns. These daily hunts are an ideal time to teach patience and concern for another living being. The chicken lays eggs every 24 hours, but if it is frightened or anxious, it will not lay eggs. Our daughter soon learned that if a hen is sitting on her nest, she shouldn’t be disturbed. (This goes double if she’s trying to hatch eggs!) A frightened hen won’t lay eggs, and we’ll miss our daily searches. You’ve learned that keeping your flock safe and happy is essential to making sure they lay eggs.

Egg hunts are also a great invitation to solve problems and teach goal setting. Sometimes, the hen hides her eggs. Our daughter must then find out why. Does she have a safe and attractive nesting box? Maybe her nesting area wasn’t clean enough. These challenging situations teach problem-solving skills, help children discover how to set a goal – to get your hen to be placed in nesting boxes – and to find possible solutions to the test. When the hen starts using her box, your little one will also discover that they’ve reached their goal!

3. How to be careful

Did you know that chickens can also teach intentional living? Sometimes children rush through tasks so they can get back to playing. We need to teach them to slow down and complete the task deliberately. It is a skill that will give a reward when they are adults. Teaching your child how to hold eggs and not break them is an ideal way to teach setting goals and completing tasks.

For example, if you rush to collect the eggs and bring them inside, what might happen? Our daughter has tripped a few times, which has caused many tears. She has now learned to walk slowly and deliberately, and put the eggs gently in her basket, because the rush and rush means she will have no eggs for breakfast! She gained confidence as she mastered this skill, and eagerly took on more complex tasks.

In addition, you discover that they live purposefully on their daily hunt for eggs. When we keep chickens, our goal is to raise beautiful pets that will lay beautiful eggs. However, if we don’t collect those eggs, what will happen? The eggs will spoil, or another animal, such as a rat, will eat them. How has that brought us closer to our goal of raising chickens for eggs? Well, it didn’t. treatment? Make sure we’re intentional, and we harvest our bounty daily.

Likewise, I learned how to organize our eggs so we know which eggs are fresh and which may need to be reused as pig feed. We harvest about twenty eggs a day – far more than we can eat. For a while, we didn’t have a system. We just put all our eggs in one bucket. After a while, it was really hard to tell which one was fresh. We made a plan, and now our daughter knows which basket contains that day’s harvest, and which basket should be used first or recycled into pig feed.

4. Respect space and be patient

You probably realize that hens need space to sit on their eggs and care for their young as they grow. Our daughter tried once or twice to raid active nests because she was anxious to harvest as many eggs as possible. I don’t need to explain how bad this scenario is! For her protection and the health of us and our flock, I have learned to leave nesting chickens alone. This skill teaches patience and respect for space.

Likewise, a kind mother protects her chicks. This year, one of our chickens attacked any human that came near! She is a good mother, but for a child this can lead to tears. We taught our daughter that she cannot hold the chicks until she is sure the hen is comfortable with her presence. She has grown patience and respect for the hen’s space.

We also had to troubleshoot, because not all chickens want human company. After some brainstorming, our daughter decided to give treats to the hen. While it still took a while, the hen eventually let us get close to her chicks. These may seem like minor problems on the surface, but they can still help children learn about their environment and develop the confidence to deal with new, sometimes frightening situations.

5. How to be assertive and prevent burnout

On our farm, feeding time can make it nearly impossible to walk. Our hens love to gather around our legs, anxious for the first grain to fall from our buckets. It’s annoying for an adult, and even more frustrating for a child. However, feeding time is also a great time to teach your baby how to deal with upsetting and frustrating situations.

Do you have chickens that love to jump on you? Solve the problem with your child. How do you make the chicken wait? How can you get them to clear the area so you can walk to the feeders? Again, these seem easy to solve, and maybe even useless in the “real world”, but it’s not the specific scenario that is key. It is the work of problem-solving and being strong in the face of difficult situations is important. We want our children to consider options and make a plan. After some brainstorming, we decided to designate feeding areas, and keep the feeders as full as possible, so our flock always felt full. Now, they no longer jump over our daughter!

Teaching your children to trust chickens is not just about creating a happy and comfortable relationship with their pets. It is full of life lessons that will benefit them throughout their lives. Our feathered friends teach respect for other creatures, patience, problem-solving, and planning. As your family grows older, they will look back on their childhood and their first flock fondly. And as parents, your hens will thank you!

Uitert size is founder Backyard Chicken and Ducks Blog, Mama’s Pampering Chicken, which reaches nearly 20 million backyard poultry lovers each month. It is also an institution Live the good life with Backyard Chicken Shop, which carries nests, feeds and treats chickens and ducks. You can catch up with Maat Facebook And Instagram .

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