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.