My kids are having a sleepover with chickens tonight. They did it last night, too. Now before you get your feathers ruffled and notify some form of authorities (the victim could be on either side here), let me explain. Girlchild’s fluffy Silver Laced Cochin, Lavender, showed up with bumblefoot during a routine flock exam. Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection that shows up in chickens via a cut in the foot, and requires surgical removal. And for the record, that’s a DIY project don’tcha know.
Secretly, I love treating bumblefoot. The nurse in me high-fives the farmer in me, and I go to town! Girlchild has a fondness for gathering supplies and wrapping bandages, but averts her eyes during the actual removal of the infection, my favorite part. She did sneak a peak yesterday during the procedure, when I had the top end of a knife inside the foot of a chicken, and asked me “Mom, does what you’re doing now make God happy?”
That fact that she even ASKS that question makes me happy!! I told her yes, because this was the only way to prevent Lavender’s foot from getting worse, and help her heal. But to always, always, keep asking yourself that question with everything you do in life, and you will always stay on the right track!
Since the yard was muddy from rain, it took only mere seconds for Girlchild to sweet talk me into keeping her chicken in a cage instead of the germ infested coop/run this evening, and slightly more persuading to get me to put the cage next to her bed. Thus, the elusive Chicken Sleepover.
Now, when hens are disturbed and relocated, it can mess with their egg production. Since this is prime laying season, I wanted to keep Lavender as stress-free as possible. Enter Neigh-Neigh, Manchild’s fiercely loved little Light Brahma bantam. She’s a crappy layer at best, so I had no problem swiping her out of the run and plopping her behind bars with the other fluffy butt in the kid’s room.
Things were all well and good here until I kissed Manchild good-night. Thus began the complaining over the fairness of keeping HIS chicken on HER side of the room. Talk about your First World problems. Annnnd now the chickens are condemned to 2 nights in the nursery with the Schenaniganspawn. Just to make things fair. For everyone but the chickens.
I did create a clean coop area for them in my grain room during the day, so they were not caged all day. I just want a good scab to form before I let them back in the run tomorrow. Much to my delight, both girls laid eggs in the grain room with no nest box in sight. I think they were trying to bribe me for their freedom. But since they aren’t nearly as loud as an insulted Manchild, I ignored their requests and plopped them both in the cage on Manchild’s side of the room tonight. Under a Cape Cod beach towel to discourage any feline curiosity whilst we slumber.
So this is how the Chickens and Children Sleepover Club was formed. I am looking forward to it’s disbandment tomorrow, as are the chickens. But for now I am hoping this moment etches it’s self deeply in my children’s memories as “one of the good times”. Because it’s not likely to happen again.