March 18, 2013

Doin’ It For Yourself


My husband has become mad about chickens.  He devotes a large amount of time lately to chicken projects. 

In his desire to set up the best systems for chook management, he has come up against the problem that the chickens constantly step in and do their business in their food and water.  So, the food and water constantly need to be changed. 

This led him to researching and finally constructing this chook feeder, his own design based on ideas gathered from his research.

homemade chicken feeder

You fill the pipe with chook feed and they chickens can reach their heads into the opening under that cover to get food.  It is raised off the ground so that the chickens cannot get inside and has a cover to protect the feed from the rain.

He has also purchased an incubator.


So, we collected eggs.  Kept them point down, rotated them, put them in the incubator, at the correct temperature and humidity for 21 days.  And now, we are rewarded with 9 new baby chicks.

baby chicks, newly hatched

Why am I writing about this here, apart from as a chance to post a picture of baby chickens? 

My husband, with his chook obsession, has become a perfect example of my current thinking about what is most important in raising my children.  If I want my children to know how to persist with difficult problems, follow their passions, be lifelong learners, take risks, be happy and succeed in life, if I want them to be people who do things, then I need to lead by example. 

Through his chook project, which my sons watched from the sidelines, my husband taught them a lot about the lifecycle of chickens and how to care for animals, but he also taught them that
  • sometimes you need to try a few ideas before you find something that works
  • there are a variety of resources available to help you solve problems – he used the pet store, advice from friends and internet research
  • that store-bought solutions are not always the best.  Making things for yourself can be cheaper and more effective.
No doubt there are other lessons. 

I find this sort of role modelling for my children has not come easily for me.  I started off my parenting journey with a lot of “I’ll be able to do that later, when the children are older” putting things off. 
But following my own interests provides a better model for my children, gives them a happier and more satisfied mother and encourages them to be independent (because sometimes, mum is doing what she wants and is not going to entertain them!)

So, what sort of role model are you being?  How are you teaching your children to be do-ers?


Val said...

Hello there! I like your blog very much and I share your ideas of teaching kids through the example and passions of their parents. We do a lot of DIY at home, my kids love handcrafting and the contact with Nature. I am fond of drawing and painting, and quite naturally my kids are too. Same with music, same with reading, same with outdoor activities. It is a great way of learning easily and naturally, a great way of getting interested in many things too!

Catherine Way said...

I'm glad you like the blog Val. Thanks for you lovely comment. It is natural and easy for children to pick up our interests. And sometimes it even works the other way around and we pick up some interests from our children.

Susan Stephenson said...

Catherine, you make great points here. I believe our kids learn best almost "incidentally" and that's what happened here, with no pressuring.

I stopped by because I have something I think your boys might like. I'm preparing a post for Star Wars Day and came upon this wonderful example of LEGO stop motion: I enjoyed it and figured they might appreciate the cleverness too.

Catherine Way said...

Thanks Susan, I agree, the boys will like that one.