The Glam Life

I’m very happy to be back home in CA, but the city life it most definitely is not.

Take this morning, for example. The chicken coop was especially messy and I was up to my elbows in bleach and pine shavings when several of the hens decided to “help” me clean. Each time I set a section of the counter top right, Tulip or Coco or Hope started kicking and scratching and pretty soon I had to start over.

They're not as angelic as they appear!

And then Tulip turned her back to me and I noticed a bigger problem. Her backside was covered with clumps and clumps of, well, you know what. Many flock keepers call their hens “fluffy butts” and the fluffier the butt, the greater the possibility of, shall we say, hygenic issues. Tulip has a very, very fluffy butt.

"If you look at me from the right angle, everything is just fine!"

I grabbed the protesting Tulip and held her under one arm like a bowling ball while I searched out a plastic container and filled it with warm water. Yes, I was wearing gloves – I’m not completely crazy.  She honked at me like an angry goose, but ten or fifteen minutes and several rinsings later, Tulip’s backside was a much prettier sight, while I was soaked and probably should have just committed myself to the compost pile. If you would have told me I was full of s*** at that particular moment, I would have had to completely agree.

Looking much better!

My thanks from Tulip for all the trouble was a fierce wing flap to the face when we were finished. But I did check with other folks at backyardchickens.com and found that this is a fairly common state of affairs, especially in inclement weather. One person even volunteered that she has “spa days” for her hens where their hindquarters are bathed and then blow-dried! Now that sounds like a perfect life!

We took friends Pamela and Kirk out for dinner last night to thank them for holding down the zoo – er, fort – while we were away.  They managed to find humor in the situation: Kirk was on cat box duty and said he “raked them to look like Zen gardens” and Pamela said they adopted a “see a cat, feed a cat” motto that seemed to work out fairly well.

"How about 'see me, feed me TWICE'?

They trailed chickens around and chased hawks away. Dogs were walked. Gaggles of animals joined them for sleeping.

Who's the chicken lady now?

And as I heard all this played back and realized oh my gosh, this is my life they’re mirroring back to me, it occurred to me that it’s probably time to get one. A life, that is. And then I realized – it’s too late. What’s done is done; these animals are all here to stay for awhile. But I also noticed when we returned from NYC this time that Chloe is starting to show some white around her muzzle; “awhile” is not forever.

Please don't get old, Chloe!

We free-ranged the chickens this afternoon and took a walk with the dogs. Tonight we’ll read with various cats snuggled up next to us while the logs crackle in the fireplace. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but somehow it seems to work for us. And as long as we have dear friends like Pamela and Kirk and Dave and Karen and Ashleigh and Paul who are crazy enough kind enough to pinch hit while we get our city fix,  all will be well. Just know that I won’t ask any of them to wash chicken heinies…

"Would you guys please go back to NYC so we can have the A team here again?"

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pamela and Kirk!

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in Absurdity, All Things Poultry, Chicken Facts, Friends, Spoiled Pets and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Glam Life

  1. Living in the Big City is definitely different than living in what is, essentially, a very large chicken coop with dog and cat annexes. For example, in the Big City there is little demand for detailed information on just what it is that is sticking to the backside of that black chicken. On the other hand, in CoopVille no one particularly cares just what is being used this evening to garnish the Peruvian Sea Bass. So it all works out somehow, but at times, it is a real mystery as to just why or how.

  2. Katherine says:

    Is it Coco or Pippa that looks half the size of the others? I’m going to guess Coco simply because she probably starves herself to fit in her little black dress.

    Cleaning the coop sounds like a version of painting the Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t know what cleaning a “fluffy butt” sounds like – except that I can say better you than me.

    Cleaning chicken rears aside, you are a lucky duo to have such a wonderful menagerie and lovely (good-natured) friends.

  3. alexandra says:

    I love the pic of my mom! She looks like Mrs. Doolittle.

  4. phyllis gutsche says:

    The upside of all the chicks is a surplus of fresh, wonderful eggs. I feel so lucky to be there in line when the sharing is taking place.

  5. Emily says:

    Your chickens are so fluffy and beautiful!! Your travels look like alot of fun.

    On my side, my poor Casino seems to be on the bad end of things again. 😦 Just got her a lupron shot about 3 weeks ago and this week she is all nesty again. Can’t afford another shot – the price has gone up to 300 dollars! (doubled!) Don’t know what to do. Any thoughts? She is still active and eating – it’s just that she is so desperate because she thinks she needs to lay an egg. My poor girl. Plus her rooster disappeared. I think he may have been kidnapped.

    • polloplayer says:

      Gosh, Emily, I don’t know what to say. Is it possible that she’s gone broody with the spring coming on? That would probably be the best possible scenario. I just re-read some threads on BYC where Speckled Hen is very firm in her opinion that internal laying cannot really be “cured”. I still don’t really know if Autumn’s death was in some way related to internal laying or somethine else altogether. There just isn’t any research available on this – I’ve looked, and I’ve contacted UC Davis to try to get info but hit dead ends all around. I hope Casino will be okay!

      • Emily says:

        Hi! Thanks for replying! I don’t know either. This week she hasn’t done her searching for a nest thing really. Today her frenemy Big Momma was doing it though. I talked to her vet and asked him about the possibility of draining. He said they can do that if I want but probably only if her breathing was compromised so that would be pretty bad. Otherwise not much else I can do besides Lupron, which I can’t afford now. If it were affordable I would just keep doing it as long as it helped her. Unfortunately I’m going through some troubles with my cat and that is draining my pocketbook even though I have insurance. If only I had insurance with Casino!

        Wish there was more information too. 😦 At least she seems ok for now. The group has a new rooster already. But I miss her old one. I hope he’s ok.

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