Blue dawn.

Today’s blog heading sounds like the title of a dystopic Venusian sci-fi flick…but it’s not.

Today was the big day: the day Buffy had her long-awaited and much-needed bath. I had never bathed a chicken before, so I was, you should pardon the expression, winging it.

It goes without saying that I consulted Chicken Debbie on how to proceed. Her only advice was to use blue Dawn dish detergent, as it is the kind used to rescue oil-covered water fowl. It even says so on the label.

I scrubbed out the kitchen sink, readied the towels and the blow dryer, and called Stepdaughter the Elder into service. The Man manned the camera.

Here’s Buffy’s before picture:

I think we can all agree: that is one dirty chicken.

I would have left her to her own grooming devices had it been only dirt, but the dirt was epoxied to her feathers with the Vaseline Petroleum Jelly I had used to keep her wound from drying out…our own little oil spill. Further, she still had blood stains on the feathertips of her right wing from the attack. Four weeks after the fact, I thought she deserved to be clean of it.

You can see a little video of Buffy’s Bath on Heedley’s Hens Facebook page.

I was told that chickens like to be bathed (I’m looking at you, Aoxa…). Halfway through the process, I was reminded of the person who told me that it didn’t hurt to get tattooed, and the names I was calling that person under the tattoo artist’s needle. Buffy emphatically did not like being bathed.

The blow drying went a little easier, but took much longer than I had anticipated. She was par-dried when I placed her back in her wicker nest in the lodge, to brood the egg she had laid just before bathtime.

It’s a glorious day here, freakishly so. I can’t remember a St. Patrick’s Day that was sunny and 70s, and it’s looking to be that way all week. I released Buffy back to her flock about half an hour later, and she immediately ran, of course, for her favourite dust bath spot.

No matter. She looks much, much better, and I can’t get over how quickly her new tail is coming in.

She looks good, yes?

The wound site is now only a large patch of bare pink skin with an inch-and-a-half scab. Debbie said she might not get all her feathers back until her next full molt, in the fall. But she looks fantastic, and I even mistake her for Trixie sometimes, from a distance.

Time to exhale.

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6 thoughts on “Blue dawn.

  1. Ahhaha! :P Mine loved their baths! Even my rooster!

    At least she looks better ;) It must have been easier than bathing a cat! Did you have bubbles and candles? What is a bath without proper music?

    My hatch did not go well by the way. She kicked three eggs out (must have died sometime..) And is sitting on one and taking care of three of my two week old chicks. She is loving motherhood though. The lone egg she is sitting on is from my BO hen with my BR rooster. I really hope it will hatch, though I am realistic that at 22 days, it may not be likely :(

    • Oh, I am sorry to hear that! So she did finally take to the adopted chicks? I have zero experience with hatching, but I understand it can still happen at 22 or even 23 days if the eggs have been cold at any time. Don’t give up yet.

      • She has definitely fell into the mother role easily. Didn’t take her more than 20 seconds and she was calling them over to food. It is completely adorable! I will give her more once she either hatches the lone egg, or gives up on it. The three she has are very easy going compared to the Easter Eggers :P

      • Oh my god, the CUTENESS. Congratulations. I’m glad she decided to foster. Any reaction from the other hens, or do you have her sequestered?

      • I let them outside for an hour yesterday, and the other hens were REALLY curious. My head hen was the most curious, and she did peck one, though nothing like I dreaded. The roosters were the best with them. My silkies had to be chased away. I didn’t know whether they wanted to steal her babies, or just hurt them lol.

        I have them all in my mud room right now. I probably will build a separate coop/run in my new location once I get settled. One month before we have to be out. I’m so looking forward to the move! :D

        I think Buffy will take to it! I am excited to hear how all goes with her :)

      • I can’t even imagine what you must be going through with a move coming up. I have all my digits crossed for you and your babies…

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