Chickens and Great-Grandpa

Okay, okay, so we have chickens …

In order to try and get our kids learning a little about work (and because we just really like the little birds), we have over 20 chickens in our backyard in a small coop and run. It’s kinda crazy.

But the part that makes it meaningful is that Charlotte’s grandfather also owned a tiny chicken farm when he was a kid. Great-Grandpa Frank tended his birds and sold eggs around the neighborhood. In order to feed his flock, he dried grass clippings out on the tin roof of the shed. This impromptu feed kept the chickens alive through the winters of the Great Depression.

When our 9-year-old hears that his great-grandfather was also 9 when he tended his birds, it brings the past to the present. Our son feels a certain context around his life. This context, researchers believe, build a greater sense of emotional stability.

So our kids don’t just think, “We are kinda different because we have a tiny chicken farm.” They think, “Our family is just this way, it’s who we are, we do this because we always have.” Instead of ” Mom makes me do this,” they think, “I am keeping up with my ancestors. I am part of a chain.” Tending the birds becomes almost a kind of family honor, rather than an annoying chore. At least … we hope so!

It might not be much, but we think tying their chores to a family story gives it more meaning.

Hey, and on the side … the eggs are fantastic!

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