Over the course of my nursing career, I have seen some pretty disgusting things. I've smelled things that were even worse. However, nothing could have prepared me for the wrath of Dolly's broody poo!
As I started my typical morning routine, I went outside, refilled the waterers and gave the flock their morning scratch. Next, I came into the garage to check on Dolly at "Camp Broody". As I picked her up off the nest to encourage her to eat, drink and poo, I saw it. Then it hit my nose like a ton of bricks. She had a great big broody poo in her nesting box with the eggs! I quickly cleaned out the nesting box the best I could. Then I assessed Dolly's backside. Disgusting! It had caked on poo from the night. I knew yesterday that she hadn't pooed. Now I know that I need to be more persistent. I let her climb back onto the nest. I should have known better.
Quickly, I brought her inside to the kitchen sink. I grabbed some wet paper towels and tried to clean her off the best I could. It wasn't working and to make matters worse, out from her butt shot the motherload of more poop! This was going to need more attention but I had to get the kids off to school. I returned her to "Camp Broody" in the meantime.
Finally, the kids were off and I could return to Dolly. I pulled her off the nest. I thoroughly wiped out the nesting box, changed the bedding and wiped off the eggs that came in contact with the poo. Next, I grabbed two bowls, baby shampoo, the hair dryer and two towels. In one bowl, I made warm soapy water. In the second bowl, I added plain water for rinsing. I wrapped Dolly in a towel. I have found that this works wonders to keep a chicken calm. With her backside exposed, I dipped her into the soapy water. With my fingers, I worked at the gross mess surrounding her vent. I then dipped her in the clean water. I repeated these steps until I was satisfied, then I dried her off with a towel. Finally, I set the blowdryer on low and completed drying her feathers. She seemed to be feeling much better!
I returned her to the nest and she was so happy to see her eggs again. We had a long talk about pooping in the box. I think she was glad that I cleaned her off. Oh, the joys of chicken motherhood....I think I will take a shower now.
P.S. Aren't you glad I spared taking pictures today?