“LOOK AT THE ROOSTER!” 13-year-old Josh yelled to his siblings who immediately ran over to witness the rooster and his harem of 19 hens all taking shelter on our patio; our patio which is an extension of our family room that was created to provide a beautiful, peaceful oasis during the warm summer months. A patio that was now completely covered in chicken poop because our flock had adopted it as their “beautiful” oasis during the harsh winter months.
“What?!” asked Jada expectantly as she ran over to witness the scene “What’s going on?”
“LOOK, Josh explained, “THE ROOSTER WAS ON TOP OF THAT CHICKEN,” he pointed to a brown hen, “AND THEN HE JUMPED ON TOP OF THE CHICKEN OVER THERE!” he pointed to a black and white speckled hen.
(Yes, our rooster apparently has a high libido).
Seven-year-old Annabelle slowly looked up from the book she was reading, “So what,” she said. “Don’t you know that the rooster ALWAYS sits on the chickens? I think he poops on them,” she nonchalantly explained which led to her older and wiser sister Mabel piping in to truly educate the masses on what was actually occurring.
“You guys are so dumb” she sighed, as only a teenage girl can sigh (no we don’t allow that word but for the sake of the essays mom has to write it was allowed this one time). “The rooster isn’t pooping on the chickens. He’s making babies with them. Or at least he’s trying to.”
“What?” asked Annabelle, seeking some sort of clarification. “If that’s what’s happening why haven’t we ever seen any baby chicks?” Josh and Jada suddenly became mute – having some basic understanding of sex ed but not enough to really refute or confer with their older sister’s wisdom nor wanting to engage in a conversation that might be of interest, but they certainly weren’t going to allow anyone to be aware of their interest.
“Mom! The kids have questions!” yelled Mabel as she sauntered away rolling her eyes. Apparently, she didn’t want to elaborate on her expansive knowledge of sex ed or perhaps her knowledge wasn’t as expansive as she led her younger siblings to believe. We shall never know.
These moments we experience are “big family perks” and I suppose the perks that come with raising chickens as well. The awkward conversations that most parents have with younger children are often accomplished through older siblings and their vast network of experiences. Now, these conversations are admittedly often lacking in actual facts, but they do provide a good framework for the parents to work with.
Additionally, many people think of keeping chickens as extra work, but I would argue that our flock has lent itself to many valuable life lessons such as where our food comes from (eggs and meat), caring for others, cleaning up the spaces we live in to ensure health and vitality, and of course, sex ed, which I, for one, am perfectly content with my children learning through the rooster and his harem of hens.
At least for now 😉
Just keep livin.
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