Wednesday, June 22

No Chickens Were Harmed in the Taking of These Pictures

My homestead help is very much underpaid. He works for peanuts. Or I should say, goldfish crackers and a bedtime story.

Although only two and a few months old, he is actually a good garden and chicken helper. He enjoys being outside digging in the dirt and help spray out the nest boxes on coop cleaning day. Yes, he does have a tendency to drop a task in the middle and wander to the other side of yard. But all in all, he is a help with the outdoor tasks.

And he loves the ladies. He likes feeding them and watching them and helping me move them from their permanent shelter attached to the coop into their portable grass-pen for a fresh salad. He chases down wayward girls that escape the confines of the wire and he is pretty good at catching them.

I do remind him every time that chicken, or any animal for that matter, are NOT toys and that they are living creatures. He is not allowed to be alone with the ladies - not because I think he would intentionally hurt them, but because, well, he is only two.

He loves to pick them up, which they actually tolerate well, and set them back down. We have a strictly enforced "always be gentle" rule which he follows.

I am hoping that this shows that I have been able to instill in him a love of and respect for animals, which I think is one of the most important things you can teach a child. Logic states that compassion in one area leads to compassion in others so I hope I have given him a good understanding.

This being just one of the things I want to make sure I pass down to my children - the others being a love of nature, the skills to grow your own food, and basic homesteading skills in general. They may not always be a chance to go to the grocery store.