Posts Tagged ‘poop’

Bugs And Smells And Diatomaceous Earth

Friday, July 12th, 2013

(Broadcast 7/12/2013)

Sooner or later, you’re going to have bugs or smells or bugs and smells in your coop or run or coop and run. Bugs and smells are things that will find a way. If we could harness their power to appear, we could solve the energy crisis, but instead we continue to push things like fracking, when the money is in bugs and smells. Anyway, let’s focus on saving the coop or run or coop and run. I’ll deal with saving the world later.

bugs + smell = $

Remember this equation and you can’t go wrong.

I have been pretty fortunate to not have had much of a problem with bugs or smells, or maybe I have just have a high tolerance for them. Where we live has a lot of bugs. You’ve got your ants, your piercing/sucking mouthpart parasites, a.k.a. humungous mosquitoes, various flying stinging S.O.B.s, and then loads of dragonflies, which I actually totally enjoy having. The green ones seem to be especially friendly, and even let you pet them. On the flip side of that, we also have these weird woodland roaches that live in the leaf litter. If there’s one thing we have, it’s poison ivy. If there’s a second thing, it’s leaf litter, so we’ve got these roaches everywhere. They fly, too, just to be the total package. Luckily, if the roaches go near the coop or run, they’re going to get eaten. Circle of life. Most of the other bugs aren’t that interested in chickens. What you’re going to have a lot of is flies, because you’re also going to have a lot of poop. Flies are into that. So controlling the poop is a start. This helps with both the flies and the smell.

Poop Knob

This knob does not actually exist.

So how do you control the poop? Well, to start, keep the coop clean. If you’re not keeping the coop clean, you may have bigger problems than stink. What I do is put clean pine shavings down on top of any fresh coop poop in the morning, and then once a week I clean out the under-the-roost area. That’s where it’s all concentrated. For the rest of the coop, I do what’s called the “deep litter method,” which involves adding more shavings, and getting the chickens to mix any old poop around so it’s not near the surface. You do this by throwing treats in there, and they mix it all up by scratching around. There’s not that much poop actually mixed in there, at least in my coop, since they only really are in the coop to sleep or lay eggs. It doesn’t really smell like anything.

too many chips

Just don’t get carried away with the wood chips.

The run is where I’ve had problems with smells, but really only if it’s been wet or humid. These last few weeks have been kind of brutal in terms of humidity, and even then, I only notice a smell if I’m standing right next to the run. The times it has been bad, what I’ve ended up doing is dusting everything with diatomaceous earth. This is powder made from fossilized micro-organisms called diatoms. The cool kids call it D.E. I’m not sure why it works on smells, but I do a dusting, and everything smells fine until the next rainstorm. You can also try putting sand in the run, or even straw, but I’ve never had the smell get so bad that I felt the need to try that. Which is good, because straw can get icky if it rains, and there’s one more thing to have to clean out. The nice thing about D.E. in the run is that when the chickens take dust baths, they get coated in the D.E., which can help control mites.

the fonz says DE

When in Rome, do as The Fonz does.

Diatomaceous earth also works wonders for bugs in the coop. The diatoms are broken into tiny pieces, and these pieces will do a number on the exoskeletons of insects. I will periodically sprinkle some in the coop just as a preventative measure. It gets mixed around in the bedding as the birds walk on it, and so there’s no place to hide. The main thing to be concerned with is that you get food grade D.E. That’s o.k. for animals to come into contact with. Feed stores usually have it, since this is such a tried and true remedy for a lot of things. If you do any sort of search online for “bugs in the coop,” the first line of defense is always D.E. If things get bad enough, you may have to take everything out of the coop, bleach it (don’t bleach the chickens, though), and then put it all back when it dries, and keep the chickens out while it’s drying. This is a good thing to do once a year anyway, but the mood is much different if you’re doing it because you’ve got a critter invasion.

critter invasion

How all critter invasions start.

Speaking of critter invasions, diatomaceous earth is something that works wonders on bedbugs too. Put your mattress in a bag, dump some D.E. in there, seal it up, and after about a week, you should be good. You not only get to say the word “diatomaceous,” but you win out over bedbugs too. Of course, no one really wins when bedbugs are involved. Not even me. I get itchy just saying that word. I brought this on myself.


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Chicken I.D.’s

Friday, June 21st, 2013

(Broadcast 2/21/2013)

I have three Buff Orpingtons that to me are almost identical. So identical that rather than give them individual names, I chose to give them a group name, which is The Mandrell Sisters. I suppose I could have given them individual names within that name, such as Barbara, Louise, and Lurlene, just like the actual Mandrell Sisters, but aside from not being able to know which one was which, there’s also the issue of which one was going to be Lurlene. Lurlene is not a name given lightly. At least not by me to a chicken.


It’s a magical moment when this name is assigned.

I pay pretty close attention, but I’ve never been able to get a handle on them visually or personality-wise. They’re all roughly the same size, and pretty much the exact same temperament. My take on Buff Orpingtons is that they are pretty mellow, all around nice chickens. My Barred Rocks have more variation in personality, from the vaguely malicious boss type, to the afraid of everything type. The Orpingtons are sort of the everyman of chickens. This is fine. They’re the bedrock of our flock. I really just wish I could tell them apart. Partly because I feel like I’m slighting them, but also because they keep going broody on me, and I’m curious to know if it’s the same one, or some sort of rotation.

the brood wheel

How else do you know whose turn it is?

There have been times when I could tell at least one of them apart from the others. When they were still living in the brooder, one of them had managed to get some, er, “fertilizer” on her back. She didn’t seem too concerned about cleaning it off, and didn’t like it when I tried to. I figured if she was o.k. with it, then it was probably better to leave it than to stress her out by trying to rub it off. While it lasted on there, I referred to her as a form of “Poopy Mandrell,” that I can’t say on the radio. So let’s just pretend I called her Poopy Mandrell. The poop didn’t take too long to come off on its own, and so she disappeared back into the crowd of three.

Chicken needs a tissue

You have to be subtle when pointing this out.

Shortly after moving them out to the coop, I stuck my head in to say goodnight, and saw one Mandrell Sister pecking at another one’s back. This had apparently been going on for a while, as there was blood all over the place. I reached in and broke it up, and then went inside to figure out what to do. I looked up anything to do with pecking, and it’s kind of hard to know why this happened, but the gist of the fix seemed to be to put something called Blu-Kote on it. It would dye the feathers blue, but if the chickens kept pecking, they’d get a taste of Blu-Kote, and that would be the end of it. We didn’t have any on hand, so I grabbed some trusty Bag Balm, and put it on the wound to at least keep it from getting infected until I had the chance to get to the feed store. When I did get to the feed store, they told me Bag Balm would work fine too, so I lucked out. For about a month or two afterwards, the one who had been pecked had a stain on her feathers from where the Bag Balm was, so she stood out. It too eventually went away, and she eased back into anonymity. I still don’t know why she got pecked, though. Incidentally, I didn’t kill the chicken who did the pecking, and it hasn’t happened again. I’m sure someone told me to kill the culprit, but as has been my experience, I found it was a one time thing, and lives were saved.

bag balm

The balm squad

The Bag Balm stain got me to thinking about other ways to mark them. The obvious indelible option would be to write their names on their back in magic marker. It would be pretty funny to see a chicken with “Lurlene” written on her back in giant letters. It would even be funny to see one with “Poopy” written down her back, at least to me. However, getting a chicken to hold still long enough to write legibly on her is not a task I want to attempt. Plus, the joke might wear off after a while. It’s kind of like a regrettable tattoo. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I have a dumb-looking chicken. So I don’t think I’ll try this.

poopy mandrell

Not how you do it.

You can actually buy a device that will put a colored band on their legs for identification. The problem here is that they aren’t cheap, and I only have three chickens I want to distinguish. That seems like a big investment for something that’s not all that big a deal. I would like to know if it’s the same one getting broody, and I’d feel a lot better about myself if I could tell them apart, but I don’t feel so bad that I’m going to blow a lot of money on it. I can probably just get some zip ties or something if it finally wears me down. But I’m only going to do that once I know in my heart of hearts that I’ve got a Lurlene in there.

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When Chickens Eat Their Own Eggs

Friday, May 31st, 2013

(Broadcast 5/31/13)

I’ve talked a bit before about how I’ve fed my chickens their own eggs. You can scramble them up, and the chickens go nuts for it. It’s a nice way to get them nutrition and cut down on the ever growing pile of eggs on the counter. The key part is that you scramble them. If the chickens make the connection that the eggs they lay in the coop contain food, then you may have a problem on your hands. I have had an episode or two with this sort of egg eater, and I’m trying to work it out.

drawing of chicken

Artist’s rendition of crime scene

The first incident happened when I went to clean the coop. The chickens like to watch me do this for some reason. I assume it’s that they feel superiority over me because I am touching their poop. You know what chickens? Everyone feels superior to me, so you’re not special. Anyway, once I’ve cleared out the smelly stuff and put in new bedding, I usually toss some treats in there so they scratch around in the shavings and mix up any poop that’s still in there. Their excitement is probably due to the expectation of treats. I’m sure it’s not that they enjoy my sparkling conversation.


Hey, Housekeeping’s here!

One day, when I opened the back door to get cleaning, there was an egg in the shavings, and a chicken in the coop. The chicken ran over to the egg, pecked it, it broke, and she began to chow down on the goodies within. I grabbed the broken egg as fast as I could and tossed it in the compost, but I was a little alarmed. “Why would she do that right in front of me?” I thought. I posted on a messageboard what had happened, and within five minutes the first “you have to kill that bird” response came in. I seem to get these a lot. I don’t think I’d have any chickens left if I listened to them all. I understand that if this is your livelihood, you don’t want a chicken eating the profits. But I’m an experimenter, and I wanted to figure out why this happened. This was just the first time, and while maybe this was the start of a bad habit, maybe it wasn’t. I wanted to see if it happened again. I began to suspect that maybe the excitement over treats had something to do with it. Maybe the chicken saw the egg, thought it was a treat, and acted accordingly. I posed this to the forum, but no one had any input on it. “Kill it,” they said again.

A clue that stood out to me was that the egg in question was one of the pale, flimsy ones that sometimes appear. I’m not sure which one of them is doing it, but someone lays very thin shelled eggs now and again. Maybe every couple of weeks. I give them calcium, but sometimes this still happens. I thought that maybe the chicken happened to peck at the egg just to see what was up, and it was thin, so it broke, and “oh hey candy!” I decided to not bring this up with the “kill that chicken” set, but this was the theory I went with.

pale, long egg

Weird egg on left.

Over the course of the next several months, I found two more eggs that had been cracked open. Neither had been entirely eaten. Both were pale, thin eggs. I felt my theories were being borne out, but at the same time, I was a little worried that they might move on to eating the other eggs after a while. There is the chance that one egg eater will teach the others the skill, and then you’ve got trouble. I looked up how to handle this end of it, and chose my method.

Chickens apparently don’t like mustard. If you blow an egg out of the shell, and then fill the shell with mustard, Lady Eats-Eggs-A-Lot will come along, try to eat the egg, get a mouthful of mustard, and that’s the end of that. The problem was that since this was only happening with one type of egg – the pale, weird variety – I wanted to use that type of egg to do this. I actually had to take back an egg I had given my parents in order to get the right kind. They don’t happen that often. I went to fill it up with spicy brown mustard, but we had two bottles that weren’t that full, and didn’t help much. So I supplemented that with yellow mustard, which we had a lot of, because apparently no one likes yellow mustard. Then, for a tiny bit of perverse irony, I put a shot of rooster sauce in there, even though people say chickens can’t taste hot sauce. Just let me have my fun, people.


Gravity was no help.

I taped up both ends of the egg to slow leakage, and put it in the coop. Not even duct tape would stick that well to the egg, but I did my best. The chicken I suspect of being the egg eater, a Mandrell Sister, was the first on the scene. She approached the egg, and rolled it back towards herself a couple of times. Chickens sometimes scoot the eggs along the floor with their chins. I guess when you don’t have hands you have to make do. She then began to tap it a little, as if to test the strength. Then she found the tape, pulled it off, and “oh hey candy!” She got a mouthful of mustard, did a little head twitch that seemed to indicate that she didn’t like it, but went back for more anyway. By now others had shown up, and a couple gave it a taste. I figured I’d let them all in on the idea that egg eating is wrong. They all had more than one serving, even though they twitched after every bite. I decided I might be making it worse by letting them continue to feast, so I took the egg away, and hoped they got the message.

taped up egg

This totally looks like a normal egg.

The big thing I took away from this was that the first chicken seemed to be doing some sort of quality control on the egg. She tapped it a bunch, and with these pale eggs, the shell is pretty weak. I’m now thinking that the eggs that have gotten eaten, or at least cracked open, can’t withstand a gentle peck, and that’s why they broke. I don’t know if they do this to reject bad eggs, or if they just like pecking the eggs. I don’t think the eating is habitual, at least not yet. As I keep saying, those eggs are few and far between, and sometimes they’re tougher than others. I gave the chickens the mustard test, so we’ll see how it goes. We got a weird egg on Tuesday, but it was in one piece. Meanwhile, no necks will be wrung over this. I just want to understand, man.


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Chicken Disappointments

Friday, May 10th, 2013

(Broadcast 5/10/2013)

I know I like to come on here each week and act like having chickens is totally cool, and that’s because, frankly, it is. When we got chickens I didn’t really know what to expect, and I figured there would be parts of it that were kind of a drag, but I have enjoyed it far more than I expected to. I even prefer cleaning the coop to cleaning the litter box (though, if you knew our cats and the butt crimes they commit, you’d understand why.) But I don’t want to paint an unrealistic picture of what chicken keeping is like. There are a few disappointments I’ve had so far, and so I thought I’d share them in the spirit of openness.

The first thing that people with chickens were always saying was to keep them away from your garden. “They’ll eat all your plants!” they said in horrified tones. I had already encased my garden in fencing prior to chickening thanks to the huge number of pesky rabbits that seem to live in our yard. They were hot-pepper-on-the-ground resistant, so I sucked it up and got some chicken wire. It’s not pretty, but it allowed some vegetables to make it to maturity last year. This year when the weeds started popping up in the yard, I figured this was the chickens’ big chance to do their thing. I know they like these weeds, since I have often plucked them and tossed them into the run, and a fight breaks out over who will eat them first. Come on out in the yard, chickens! There’s plenty for all! Plenty of weeds popping out of the ground, sure, but how many of those weeds are pulled up and being brought to their feathery highnesses? I apparently have created some real dandies who insist that their weeds be brought to them. They’ll scratch up the yard like crazy looking for bugs or worms, and every so often they’ll eat some leaves from a nearby pricker bush, but all those dandelions? No interest, unless they’re already out of the ground and presented to them. I’m hoping they’ll come around as the season progresses, otherwise I’m going to have to trade them all in for a goat, and I think goats will have a hard time laying their eggs in the buckets I’ve provided for nesting.


Get ’em while they’re fresh, ladies!

Fresh eggs are a high point for keeping chickens. I had some random eggs at a restaurant recently and I thought they had slipped me scrambled cardboard. I had a feeling I would be let down, and I was right, but pancakes just don’t fill me up, so I gave their eggs a shot. I’m totally spoiled by how great our eggs are. I may have to start bringing my own on the few occasions I go out for breakfast. That’s acceptable, right? The one way these eggs fail is that fresh eggs are terrible for making hard boiled eggs. You might not think that’s a big deal, but I like bringing a couple of hard boiled eggs in my lunch as snacks, since they are good and filling. The problem is, since our eggs are usually no more than two weeks old, they just don’t do it right. They’re hard to peel like you wouldn’t believe. I had two this week that by the time I got all the shell off, there was really only the yolk left. Everything else had stuck to tiny shell bits. I’ve tried different methods of preparing them, but the sticky shells almost always get me. I finally found a website saying your eggs had to be at least a month old to work well with hard boiling. We eat them too fast, I suppose. I’ll allow the slight chance that maybe I just suck at boiling eggs, but I think there’s something to this “old egg” business. I can live with something else in my lunch, if I have to.

fresh eggs

Those are freshness lines, and I needed stink lines.

A final disappointment has to do with my Miracle Broody Hen cure. I had a hen go broody a while back, and I managed to snap her out of it in a day by isolating her in a bird cage. It was great. I now have one that is like a broody yo-yo. She gets broody, I put her in the cage, she snaps out of it, so I put her back with the rest of the chickens in the morning, and by evening she’s broody again. For most of the day she’s fine, but for some reason going to bed and seeing those nesting buckets sets something off, and she’s back into it. It’s like gambling addiction for chickens. It’s more annoying than anything, and this is really a problem with this specific chicken, not chickens in general, so maybe this doesn’t count.

broody hen in solitary

Chicken solitary

These aren’t really horror stories I’m relating here. It’s more a series of bummers, and not even a very long series. My disappointments are themselves pretty disappointing. We’re coming up on a year of having the chickens, and I’m sure in the years to come there’ll be more let downs, but right now I’m not about to go seeking them out. I dig raising chickens, and I aim to keep it that way.



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Boss Chicken’s New Digs

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

(Broadcast 5/3/2013)

When I left off last week, we were going to try to get Boss Chicken back in the good graces of the rest of the flock. We had to separate her in the winter due to a mystery illness that affected the use of her legs. The vet thought it might be Marek’s, but since the flock had already been exposed and Boss Chicken was lonely after months of quarantine, we recently started putting her crate into the run to reacquaint everyone. Things were fine, as long as we left her in the crate. This wasn’t ideal though, since the crate took up space, and the other chickens had started to roost on it, which meant they were pooping down on Boss Chicken. I don’t allow this sort of hazing, so I knew something had to change. On Saturday, we let everyone out in the yard to see if familiarity bred contempt, or acceptance. For a while, they all ignored each other. Boss Chicken did her thing, and the others did their respective things. The Mandrell Sisters, our Buff Orpingtons that I can’t tell apart, seemed to be the most accepting. They would wander around in Boss Chicken’s vicinity without batting an eyelash, if chickens have those. Suzy Creamcheese, who is the new alpha chicken, and therefore the one I was worried about, seemed fine with pretending Boss Chicken wasn’t around. This was an improvement, I suppose. Ignorance is preferable to belligerence, especially if you’re on the receiving end of that belligerence.

Make it rain.

Make it rain.

But just when it was looking up, everything went downhill. Without warning, Suzy Creamcheese was at it again, pecking away at Boss Chicken’s comb. We broke it up, applied Bag Balm to the injuries, and decided it was time to get a rabbit hutch for Boss Chicken. She seemed fine, and spent some time in Collin’s lap, though no eggs were produced during her time there. I assume this is because she too was upset about not being let back into the chicken clique. She did take her lumps without complaint, though, really making it seem like some sort of pledging ritual. Or, perhaps more accurately, like she was unable to defend herself.

Sunday morning we found a hutch for sale a couple of towns over that even offered free delivery. We made an appointment to go see it, and on the way over I was plotting ways to get the price down by substituting eggs for money. So when we arrived and saw the seller’s gigantic chicken coop, I felt as if I was the one who had been pecked in the head. We got talking about his chickens, and he suffered from Too Many Chickens! of his own. They had three left of their original batch, and had just gotten 8 chicks. “Here we are getting three eggs a day, which is perfect,” he said, “and now look how many we’ll be getting when the chicks grow up. What did we do?”

rabbit hutch

Where’s Starsky?

We liked the hutch and said we’d take it. Collin then informed the seller that we actually were going to use it for a chicken instead of a rabbit. He got a knowing look on his face. “We didn’t use it for rabbits, either,” he said. Our shameful chicken secrets were out in the open now. We explained what Boss Chicken’s story was, and he said this was very similar to one of his chickens, which had had a stroke. She lost the ability to walk, and would get picked on by the others, so they put her in the hutch, and she was happy. Until they let her out and a hawk got her, which can happen when you can’t run away. But it meant the hutch was available, and we took it.

This also gave us some insight into Boss Chicken’s condition. I had never even considered a stroke as a possibility, but it makes sense in terms of what may have happened to her. She doesn’t have the cloudy eyes that’s typical of Marek’s, and the other chickens have been unaffected. My thought is that maybe she was such a Type A chicken that a stroke was the result of that lifestyle. And the reason she has become so friendly now is because of either not wanting to return to her old ways, or brain damage. Not that nice people are brain damaged, but it was a big change for her.

chicken using water bottle


We’ve got her set up in her new home facing the other chickens so she shouldn’t be as lonely as she was in the house. She still wants to be with someone, so Collin thought out loud about getting a bunny to keep her company in there. It is a rabbit hutch after all. Of course, that was the moment our son decided to actually pay attention to what we were saying, and he may be holding us to this idea. We’ll see. If nothing else, we’ll be starting a collection of animals who produce the best fertilizers you can get. We may run out of spots to fertilize, but I can just bring piles of poop into work to give away, right? Why is it o.k. with zucchini, but not this?

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The Other Thing Chickens Produce

Friday, March 29th, 2013

(Broadcast 3/29/13)

Dear listeners, we’ve been talking about chickens for a while now, and I feel like we know each other. I’m finally comfortable enough to have this discussion with you.

Any new creature that enters your life brings with it its own unique forms of poop. When my wife and I first got a dog, we would delightedly email or call each other to report his bowel habits. “He’s been eating rocks again. It looks like cookie dough ice cream,” I’d say. Then we’d laugh hysterically about how we HAD to talk about poop. It was for his health. The dog walker notebook became a daily log of hilarity.

How's YOUR health?

How’s YOUR health?

Kids are the same way. Not that the dog walker is chronicling the poops of children, though I suppose it’s possible. But poop is a window into the inner workings of little creatures who can’t tell you when they feel bad. Sometimes it’s subtle. Sometimes they have a blowout in a restaurant so bad that it shoots out the back of their pants. Not that I know about this. I wasn’t so easy to gross out to begin with (unless you count the time my dad rented Blood Feast to watch while we ate Thanksgiving dinner), and having a kid has made me so numb to bodily horrors that I sometimes think I could eat a sandwich while changing a diaper and not be bothered. It would be hard in terms of not having enough hands, but not as much in terms of yucko. I have read that revulsion to bodily functions is a manifestation of a fear of one’s mortality. I must be ready to die.

So the chickens came into a home where poop is just something that happens. Chickens mix it up by actually expelling something that is both pee and poop, in a way. It’s like poop in form, but pee in chemistry. Luckily, when they are cute little chicks, their poops are also very cute. What makes it even better is that when they’re really small, they do a little dance before it happens. One day I walked in, and one of our chicks stuck her wings out and started wiggling her butt, and I thought, “She’s practicing laying an egg, how adorable,” and then a turd shot out. “Oh,” I said. I then came to enjoy catching the poop-egg dance, because it was still very cute, and at this point, it didn’t really smell at all, and was so small as to not really be a big deal.

"Oh man, there's a line for the ladies room."

“Oh man, there’s a line for the ladies’ room.”

However, there comes a time when a child’s poop goes from weird scrambled egg thing to a smaller version of adult dung, which, while lesser in size, packs all the stink of its larger counterpart. I knew this was bound to happen to with the chickens some day. And when it did happen, I was leaning over the brooder. That whole “pee in the poop” thing makes it smell nice and ammonia-y. I had smelled this smell before. One time my friend’s boss took us out to dinner in Chinatown. As we were leaving the restaurant, there was one of those old-timey shop scales in the trash on the curb. “I can’t believe they’re throwing that out,” I said. I grabbed it and threw it in the trunk of my car. When I got into the car, I smelled something awful. “Man, something stinks around here,” I said.

“Oh God,” said my friend’s boss. “It’s chicken crap. Your gloves. It’s chicken crap.” I smelled my gloves to confirm her accusations. I should not have done that. The scale came from a butcher, and was covered in chicken leavings. Some of the very same chicken leavings that were now on my gloves. I could at least wash those. The scale got hidden in the bushes in front of my friend’s apartment building. So anyway, in large doses, this is not a good smell.

In small doses it’s not so hot either, but it’s manageable.

The world's smelliest scale

The world’s smelliest scale

If you keep on top of coop cleanliness, it’s not that big a deal. Each morning I cover last night’s “productions” with some new pine shavings, and then once a week I clean it all out. What I take out of the coop goes into a pile to mellow out for a while. Chicken poop is a fantastic fertilizer, but it seems it’s even too potent for nature at first. After about a year it’s ready to go into the garden. So I have a regular compost pile, and a dedicated chicken one. I haven’t even had the chickens for a year at this point, so I won’t be using their “handiwork” in the garden this summer, but soon enough they’ll be helping us with food that isn’t eggs.

Scraps & Craps was a failed cop show in 1980.

Scraps & Craps was a failed cop show in 1980.

Another angle to all this is that as the chickens grow, so do the poops. Sometimes I’d think the birds got bigger, but it can be hard to tell. I’m not out there with a measuring tape charting their growth, and sometimes a size change sneaks up on you. But then I’d open the coop, and it would be obvious. A small growth in outer size can sometimes make a large change intestinally. It makes me very glad that people chart their children’s growth by height and not other means. You really don’t want to look in the closet and find that measurement written on the door jamb. Or maybe you do. Just keep me out of it.


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