Grit Blogs > Lessons Learned From the Flock

Trapped in the hen house - it was bound to happen

When you have a bunch of kids around the hen house it’s bound to happen sooner or later.

One night when I came home from picking up my son from gymnastics, I was met by my husband, Marc who was telling me what a “bad Dad” he was. Okay… I did a quick assessment. Things couldn’t have been that bad, my youngest daughter, Emma was sitting in the dining room eating popcorn and daughter number two, Addy was at the sink washing off eggs.

Go on.

Apparently earlier in the evening, Marc and the girls had been putting the chickens away for the night, first they checked for eggs and, as it was starting to get dark, they then put the birds securely into the hen house. Making sure that all outside doors were locked up tight, Emma and Marc then went into the house, drank some water, and Emma proceeded to watch TV while Marc did the dishes.

It wasn’t until a bit later when Emma started wondering why Addy wasn’t watching TV with her that it occurred to Emma to look out the window.

“I saw Addy in the chicken coop with a red face” said Emma as she recounted the story to me.

Yup, that’s right.

My husband had accidentally locked our daughter in the coop. With all those chickens. At night.

Just for your information, if you ever decide to do this to your first born baby girl, this is what you will get:

Saddy Addy 

Addy did have a red face because she was CRYING. I ask you – who wouldn’t be crying if left alone locked up with 34 birds – in the dark – where no one can hear you scream? If it sounds like the plot for a horror film, that’s because it is. Do you remember The Birds?  I personally know of one friend who would have just gone and had a heart attack right then and there and gotten it all over with.

Great. Now Addy’s going to have nightmares for the rest of her life about being left behind trapped in hell with a bunch of birds. Most parents mess their kids up by being too lenient, or by not paying enough attention, or by simply not knowing how to do the right thing.

Oh but not us, we mess up our kid by abandoning her with a flock of fowl.

Addy – feel free to send Daddy all your therapy bills when you get older. Sweetheart, on this account, I think “bad Dad” is going to be owing you. Big time.  


Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Follow her adventures with the flock at and contact her at