I’ve been ignoring it for a couple weeks now…hoping Goldie would take care of the issue herself. She didn’t. So, I finally stepped in and gave my poopy-butted chicken a bath. Poo mixed with mud created some nice sized hard-as-rocks chunks. Think golf ball here. Dirty, lumpy golf balls.
(Thankfully, I was home alone and couldn’t navigate an unhappy chicken, a bath, a haircut and a camera at the same time, so you’ve been spared the gruesome details in living color.)
The first problem in the clean up task is that Goldie, though a mellow Buff Orpington, was hatched and raised by her mama, Harriet. This means during her chick days, she didn’t get held for hours on end. And she doesn’t like to be picked up much.
Okay, much is an understatement. She’s happy enough to hang out by me, eat out of my hand, jump for treats, but she squawks like I’m killing her if I try to pick her up. And somehow, I seem to be on the losing side of the chicken races when I’m pitted against her.
So, it wasn’t just the poo factor that had me dragging my feet. I knew orchestrating a spa day for her was going to be a bit tricky…but in the process I got a bit more than I bargained for…
While I was lugging a very unhappy chicken into the garage to prepare her bath (yes, I caught her first, no, I don’t know what I was thinking)…trying to prepare her bath with one hand while holding her like a quarterback carries a football under my other arm, she started gasping.
I thought she was just really extremely unhappy about the bath. But instead, I got a wet sweatshirt as an egg flew out her backside, bounced on the concrete garage floor and landed beside my foot. Wow! That was a first. The egg, soft shelled and hot, was obviously delivered before its time. My poor stressed out girl!
Just last week I went out into the coop to gather eggs and opened the nest box door to find Peep, vent-faced to the door, in the act of laying an egg. I was so bummed that I didn’t have my camera (well, you all might be happy to be spared for the 2nd time this week…). I’ve been around during egg laying, but I’ve never had a front row eye to vent view before.
Anyway, I digress. Goldie calmed down once she got in her nice warm bath, but it didn’t take too long to realize that no amount of soaking was going to soften the golf ball cling-ons. So, I had to pull her out of her spa bath, wrap her in a towel and go on a search for a pair of scissors (remember, I did all this while I was home alone, so I couldn’t even yell for help). I delicately clipped as few feathers as I could get away with, to remove the clumps. Then back in the rinse cycle for Goldie, who had quietly resigned herself to the process.
After I blow dried her hind end (I didn’t want her to get sick out in the cold weather), and took her back out to the coop all fluffy and clean, I brought the egg in the house. (Of course, now that it was all over, I wasn’t home alone anymore.) So, I entertained everyone with the bouncing egg before Janessa (age 8) took a knife and cut it open to find a perfect egg inside.
How can you say no to a request like that?
Just another day in the life of a chicken owner!