I’ve found it. Yep. I have. And you, my lucky friends, are hearing it first; right from the horse’s mouth.
I haven’t patented it yet, so you’ll have to be nice and not steal it. Promise?
Those of you who either have or were teenagers will know it’s hard to get them out of bed most of the time, but particularly in the morning. This issue, as I’ve learned, applies to all teens, including those who don’t have to get up at o’dark thirty to get to school on time.
Nope. Even when teens are able -and take- naps during the day as they grow (remember those growth spurts when they were babies? Ya, same dealio, except they eat WAY more food), they still have a reluctance to get out of bed in the morning.
This has long been a frustration of mine, as I know it was for my fore
fathers mothers. I have, however, found a solution for my little corner of suburbia.
A house chicken. Yes, you read that right.
A house chicken will cure most of the sleeping issues your teenagers may be trying to pull over on you. You can thank me later.
We’ve had Daisy in the house off and on- mostly on- for the last few weeks. You may recall (or not) that Daisy was one of our prime culprits in the plucking fiasco. After our Butternut adventure, I knew I had to bring Daisy inside for behavior modification and rehabilitation.
I know you’ve been dying to know how that’s working out…………..
I am not ashamed to say I sleep with the lights on. This started when the kids were babies as I had a need to be able to see their faces in the middle of the night (and check the mirror to see if they were breathing, of course) without crashing around, trying to find a light. The solution at that time was to have nightlights in our bedrooms (which hunny would rather do without), and a table lamp on in the living room gently wafting light around so as not to contribute to body bruising.
If you know anything about me, it’s that I’m a little OCDish (I mean, really, who isn’t? ) and kinda like routine in some ways. I think it goes without saying that still, to this day, the table lamp in the living room is on at night. I am always really appreciative of this fact when stumbling around for meds for sick kids or getting up with hunny at 5:30 am before the days get longer.
At this point, you might be thinking I’m just rambling, and what does this have to do with a chicken alarm?
Bear with me as I explain a little bit more…… many people add supplemental lights in their chicken coops during the winter. Chickens need anywhere from 24 to 30 hours of light to lay an egg. With the shorter days of winter, a lot of people get annoyed because their chickens aren’t laying every day simply because they don’t get enough daylight to complete the deed. Hence, they add supplemental light, and viola, egg production doesn’t drop as steeply.
We, however, don’t go that route. As I understand it, chickens have the ability to lay a certain amount of eggs in their lifetime (I imagine this might be similar to human females being born with all the eggs they’ll ever ovulate- don’t quote me on that, though, since I haven’t researched it), and I personally, would rather have more chickens (as if you didn’t know that already!) to lay what we wanted than add supplemental light and have them run out of eggs sooner.
Chickens can live on average for about 8 years, and while their peak laying happens around years 2/3 years, I plan on keeping our girls. I know people who have 10-year-old chickens who still lay an egg every now and then.
Hopefully, this means that my girlies will continue to lay- even if sporadically- well into their golden years. Even without supplemental light, our 13 chickens have regularly given us anywhere from 6 to 9 eggs a day this winter (I am convinced that the answer to that is upping the protein…).
In case you’re still wondering what this has to do with getting teenagers out of bed, you can wake up now, because I’m going to explain……..
If you’ve been reading along, you’ve no doubt got the egg song still stuck in your head. Our girls are a little different in that regard, because most of them sing before laying their eggs instead of after.
Daisy falls into this category. The brooder is in the living room. The lighted nighttime table lamp is in the living room.
Have you figured it out yet?
At this point, you might have deduced that with constant daylight, Daisy’s internal clock has gone wonky. She really doesn’t know what time it is.
Last week, the answer to her 4 am concert was to shut the doors and try to go back to sleep. The following night, we let her sleep outside. By the next morning, she was still trying to sort of sample the others, so back inside she came.
But what to do with the middle of the night singing? Because I’m a genius, I figured out to turn the light off. And it is magical. Light on- egg song. Light off- quiet. Light on- egg song. Light off- quiet. I may have to patent a clapper version of this, so I can do it remotely.
The egg song will, every time, rouse those
grumpy sleepy teenagers from their lairs! And, because YOU weren’t the one waking them up, they have no right to be mad at you (except for having the chicken in the house part). Plus, because animals are inherently cute, they can’t stay mad at the chicken.
Now, for you naysayers that contend a rooster would work just as well, here is my argument: You know some rooster crow off an on all day, right? That means they aren’t really reliable as just an alarm clock.
The brain association with the crowing = getting out of bed won’t mean the same thing subconsciously to the teenage species and certainly won’t garner the same response when the crowing is consistently intermittent. I equate this to the “boy who cried wolf” conditioned response.
Nope. It just won’t work the same. Plus, you won’t get the goodness of a yummy treasure from a rooster, either.
So, see? I have the answer!
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