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February 28, 2011

A Great Big Mess of Broody Poop

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?

12 comments:

  1. Ugh. Broody poo is the worst - not only does it stink to high heaven, it can be as big as a large dog's poo! What a mess to deal with first thing in the morning. Hopefully that's the only time you'll have to deal with that little chore :) Do you think it might be a good idea to make her eat and drink with the other chickens so it won't be quite so hard when you try to re-integrate her with the others? I usually take my broodies off the nest and put them outside in the middle of all the other chickens and make them stay out at least 10 minutes. Just a thought.

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  2. Thank you for giving me such a great suggestion! I will try that this afternoon.

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  3. I am new..........this made me laugh and I guess we all need that right? Thank you for your adorable blog. I also love chickens. I have 42 babies and 1 duck in the incubator. A bob cat came on our farm and killed all my girlies that sat so well for me. Heart sick..........starting over. I still have about 50 girls, but my banties were the best sitters. I only have one little cochin left, but her honey got killed also. Ugh!

    I will be a regular now.........you talk my language!
    Blessings, Linda

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  4. Oh, Linda, I am so sorry for your losses. I understand what it means to love chickens. I hope you enjoy our journey and we can continue to make you smile. Let us know when your babies arrive!

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  5. Don't you hate when days start like that. Such a good mom you are, though, to wash and blowdry your hen.

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  6. Your site has not only been educational but I laughed so hard I cried reading about "broody poop". I've been reading a lot about raising chickens on the internet but you dare to tackle subjects where others just don't to go. Thank you for your real life advice and experiences. I'm looking forward to our own flock!

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    1. Oh I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying it. Broody poop is really something! I can't wait to hear about your flock.

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  7. Chuckles...you surely provided them! Poor Dolly, she couldn't help it, Mom, she was just doing what had to be done. You're a really good chicken mom and it's clear Dolly appreciated it. Poor baby (both of you).

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    1. Thanks Carolina Girl. It was quite an adventure that day.

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  8. What a relief!!! I'm not going insane, (well, I am, but that's another story) not over ginormous broody poops, anyway! I have a couple of Silkies in their 2nd year, one of which is normally named 'Honk' 'cos she honks like a goose, however, half the time, she is nicknamed "Broody". Every day I gently tuck Broody's wings in, as I lift her out of the nesting box. So glad the boxes are accessible from outside the coop. She's never mean, just 'chuck, chuck chuck chuck' over to the other hens having their breakfast, and something to drink, then back to being broody. I am so tempted to sneak a couple of chicks in there one night, it's been over 3 weeks now. I take her off the nest several times a day and feed her, but she's still quite skinny, but, oh my goodness!!!! her poop!!! I thought we had a new kind of predator in the yard, I almost stepped in it, my dog was very interested in it! it was almost as big as hers, and she's 50lbs, in fact, it was bigger around, just not as long.... I was thinking it must be a pretty darn big predator!
    The next day, Broody didn't even take a drink or join the others for breakfast, she was on a mission..... she had to poop. I am so glad that she didn't poop inside the coop is all I can say. And that's the scoop on that poop!

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  9. OMG! I experienced broody poop yesterday and today for the first time and I have found what it is called. Dear lord it is disgusting! I have never experienced anything that aweful and I have had kids, dogs, cats, you name it. It's really bad. But I have two little chicks that are so cute at one day old now. It just makes it worth it.

    Thanks for sharing all of this great information!

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    1. You bet they are worth it! Dolly is broody right now at this moment and she shared a "gift" with me this morning. So happy you are here!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I love hearing from you!