The chickens are getting big these days...like huge big. It is stunning how quickly they grow. If they were a plant, they would be weed. ...but a good weed that makes eggs...or something like that... Maybe like mint...or cannas...or sunflowers even...just SO quick to grow up.
I finally wisened up and realized that as soon as the sun sets just over the horizon, the chickies are up in the top of their coop going night-night. (DOes anyone else think in baby terms like "night-night" after saying it so often to their kids?? Do you ever start actually WRITING in baby talk? Oh my...) Anyway, they have a strong instinct to be safe in their coop once night falls, so now I just wait and lock them up once they are in. If I need them in their coop a little more quickly, I've learned that herding them does NOT work, but throwing little bits of steak or ground beef in front of them DOES.
I've mentioned before that part of my desire to have chickens is to help raise my children to understand where their food comes from. I hope they are learning lessons from the chickens. I hope they are learning that giving is fun. I hope they learn that caring for a creature weaker than you is rewarding. I hope that they learn that when a predator catches a chicken, it just needs to eat too. I hope they learn that reaching out open handed and making a creature feel safe with you is one of the greatest feelings.