Farm Life and Chicken Update

Would you believe that I am experiencing farm life in the middle of Amsterdam?  How freakin’ bizarre is that?  Chickens, mice, fruit flies (do fruit flies count as farm life???), and then to top it off, I have been washing dishes outside for the last couple days!  Phil and Laina (the people whose home we are staying in) are in the middle of remodeling their kitchen and are without a kitchen sink.  So I have been busy heating up water in the electric water heater, transferring it to a bucket of soapy cold water, and washing dishes for a family of 8 (including us and not counting the visitors).  It has been SO fun though!!  Maisie has LOVED it.  Laina took some pictures of Maisie playing in the soapy water that I will try to get from her.  It has been sort of a fun thing for us to do together because it is quality time, but I am also getting done something important!

So the chickens!!!  They are growing up so fast!  I freakin’ love those little things!  Every night before the mom rounds them up to go to sleep, they have flight lessons.  Not like chickens can really fly, but they jump and flap their wings and it gets them higher than we could jump.  So anyways, tonight the mother was VERY persistent in making the chicks fly.  She stayed perched on a branch thing in the little side room (where the other two chickens also sleep) and made the baby chicks work to get up there with her.  Well, they didn’t get all the way, but close.  There is a little swing thing right below her that they are all huddled on together.  It is pretty cute.  One of the chicks had a hard time getting up there with the other ones, but the mother did not budge.  She kept squaking at them, probably saying something like, “Come on! I know you can do it!”  Eventually they all did.  

So we sat around the dinner table tonight talking about how the mother hen stayed put and didn’t climb down and coddle her chicks, but she believed in them and let them experience hurt and falls for themselves, knowing it would help them get to where they needed to be.  The chicks were probably a bit mad that mother hen wasn’t helping, but she knew best to leave them alone and figure things out on her own.  But one thing I did notice is that she kept cheering them on, giving encouragement, letting them know they weren’t alone, letting them know she believed in them (at least this is what I think she was saying when I heard the ‘bock bock’ coming from her beak).  I hope I will be like that mother hen.  Still loving her chicks, but knowing enough to let my babies fly the coup when they are ready.  That I will believe in them and let them go when they are ready to ‘fly’.  Yikes! That is probably a lot harder than what I watched tonight with the baby chicks.  I do have to say that it made me a little sad for the chicks not to have their mom to keep them warm tonight.


  1. Svest on August 23, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    So Jason was thinking that what if the mother hen was actually saying “you’re worthless! You’re worthless!”
    That cracked me up but we both hope that your interpretation was more accurate. But that was a good analogy that you had of just allowing our “young” to be able to make mistakes and learn on their own. That is a tough one for most parents…
    LOVE the chicken stories!

  2. Mom on August 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I have to admit that I never thought I’d hear profoundities from you, Jen, through stories of chickens. You know, I’ve been there and done that…that rooting on, and probably a bit of ‘what in the world are you DOING?’ too. Being a parent is hard….your kiddos have to take dings and falls and sometimes you just have to sit back and watch. Encourage, but be still.

    How fun that you get to do dishwashing with Maisie! Those are good times you’ll never forget…and neither will she.

  3. Amy Ginther on August 24, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    Why is it that you are turning into a “country bumpkin” AFTER you left the countryside of Oregon??? I love that you know your chicken friends well enough to put words, thoughts and even sentences into their little beaks! You are so dang funny!

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