Chickens Health Issues Stories from Our Nest

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?

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