Good morning 🙂 And, Chicken butt.
Now, I can seriously and honestly tell you I know more about chickens than I really care to. But, it hadn’t always been this way. I was raised on a farm and yes, we had chickens but the most contact I ever had with them was collecting their eggs and scattering their feed. So when I got chickens on my own little patch of dirt years later, I was starting out with zero knowledge of chicken care taking. I knew to water and feed them but that was about the gist of it.
And as I turned to Facebook chicken groups to get information I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of crazy chicken people I had taken on as friends. I mean seriously, these peeps put me through some pretty gnarly paces…..
One of my bitchiest little prisoners didn’t seem quite right to me. She was sitting on her nesting box, head drooping and looking pretty sickly. Panicked I picked her up. Had something hurt her during the night? Had the Bad Boy of the Barnyard beat her up? Checking her over I could see nothing that would warrant her behavior. So setting her back into the nesting box I ran into the house and jumped onto the internet to ask my Chicken Peeps for advice. The conversation flowed something like this:
Me: Help! One of my hens is not looking good this morning. She’s droopy and sickly looking.
Reply 1 : Is she wounded?
Me: Nope, I checked her from beak to toes…no wounds.
Reply 2: Mites…check her for mites. Check under her wings. Also check her crop.
Me: What’s a crop?
Reply 2: Under her neck, just near her breastbone. If it’s swollen she may have a swallowing problem as it could be impacted.
Me: Okay. I’ll be right back. Don’t leave me. (Yes, I am whining..I am a needy person.)
Running out to the coop I flip birdie off of her nesting box and proceed to look under her wings, on her tummy, around her crop. Nothing stands out to me other than I am pissing her off.
Me: Nope, don’t see any bugs and crop looks normal.
Reply 1: Is she drinking and eating?
Reply 2: Check her vent.
Me: WTH is her vent?
Reply 2: Her butt hole! She may have had a fly strike..and it could’ve brought on maggots.
Me: Ewwwwww…no! I am not going to be poking around my chickens ass!
Reply 2: You have to. If that is the case it could kill her.
Me: Are you freakin serious?????
Reply 2: Tee-hee…yes.
Drawing in a deep breath I run back out to the coop and lift birdie girl again. This time I tip her upside down so I can look at this new part of anatomy called a vent. I am really pissing this chicken off as she proceeds to squawk and peck at me…and her grumblings are drawing attention from the Bad Boy of the Barnyard who has decided to barge back into the coop to protect his lady….
With a toe nudge, I scramble his ass back out the door and close it so I can (what feels like to me, Chicken molesting) get a closer look at the chickens vent. Seeing nothing out of the ordinary…no maggots, no broken open areas, nothing..I run back into the house.
Me: Nope…no maggots or broken open areas…do not ever ask me to do that again! That is just wrong!
Reply 2: Bwahahahahahaha…sorry but it had to be done.
Me: So now what…she’s looking worse by the minute?
Reply 1: Did she lay an egg this morning?
Me: (Trying to remember how many eggs I collected) Ummmm, I don’t think she has yet.
Reply 1: She may be egg bound. If she is, you have to help her get that egg out.
Now I am thinking about what I have gotten myself into with these damn chickens! I’m almost afraid to ask what I will have to do to get the chicken’s egg out of her butt.
Me: And how can I tell if she is egg bound?
Reply 2: You have to feel around her vent area and see if you feel something bulging and hard….
OMG! What is with you people and the vent area? Looking for something bulging and hard? Really? My mind just does not want to go there! Rather than the Dog Whisperer I feel like I am becoming a freakin Chicken Molester!
Me: Okay I’ll do it. Don’t leave me, I’ll be right back.
Running back out to the coop I flip chicken girl over and amidst the frantic kicking of her legs and the indignant squawks I start feeling around her vent and lower abdomen. And yes, sure enough I feel something bulging and hard. She is egg bound.
Me: Okay, I think she is egg bound…now what?
Reply 2: Oh no, you have to get her to pass that egg or she will die.
Me: How do I do this?
Reply 1: You have to set her in a bucket/bath of warm water and massage her tummy near the vent area. Also try to force her to drink a bit of water with a Tums crushed up in it for the calcium….you will have to keep giving her butt baths every few hours until she passes the egg or you will lose her.
Butt baths? Calcium? Oh good God! How in the hell does an egg get stuck in a chicken? Really?
Me: Okay, I’ll give it a whirl. If the egg doesn’t come out…what then?
Reply 2: Well, then you can put on a rubber glove, coat it with vasaline and very gently go fishing for the egg and try to coax it out….
Me: Oh hell no! Nope, nada, ain’t going there!
Well thank you God, after a few warm butt baths…rubbing her tummy…she passed an egg the size of an ostrich egg…a double yolker to boot…because to tell you honestly my friends, I was not going into the nether regions and pulling that egg out…it just wasn’t going to happen…my resume does not include (chicken proctologist).