Teaching Chickens How to Roost

I rounded the corner and spied both of my boys and my husband in the small chicken pen out front. Ever since those chickens moved in, David has tried to convince them to climb the ramp and sleep up top. He’s always saying, “You’d think those chickens would know not to sleep on the ground. They’re chickens. They are supposed to fly up at night.” So today, he created a better ramp leading to the upper level. When I rounded the corner, he was bent over, holding a chicken and physically helping her walk up the ramp. After he showed the first one, he did the same thing with the next and the next.
It was rather comical. I mean, think about it; chickens ought to have enough sense to climb up at night instead of having some human get in the pen and teach them how. Every feathered creature I have ever been around gets off the ground and flies up at night. They are safe up high, away from the critters that slink on the ground after dark. They have wings for a reason and even chickens can fly up a little ways. It’s crazy to think that they have never figured out such a simple concept.
But then, haven’t we met folks like that? When they are faced with seemingly simple situations they have no idea how to move forward. Stuff we think everyone should know, not everyone knows. Looking back on our chickens, they were incubated and raised together as biddies. They never had a mama chicken to show them how to be chickens. Many people in our society are like those biddies. They are doing the best they can with the hand they have been dealt and oftentimes that means they never had anyone showing them how to do life. These folks need us to get in their pen, help them climb the ramp and teach them to roost like other chickens. If we continue letting them sleep on the ground, they will become easy targets and keep failing at their attempts at life.
Instead of making snap judgments when people seem incompetent or unknowledgeable, step back and think about my chickens. Maybe the person in front of you honestly has no idea or concept of how to handle the situation. Offer a little compassion and grace; stop and show them how to go up the ramp. Sometimes we need to stop expecting and start teaching; all chickens don’t know how to roost.

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