Morning is my favorite time of day. During the non-pregnant season getting up at 5 and 6 am is not a problem; fall out of bed and stumble my way to the coffee pot and greet the day. During the pregnant season this is a different story. Sleeping in still means 7:30 or 8 but landing on my feet at an acceptable time in the morning is a bit more challenging. That being said, making my way to the barn is a “one-eye open” wander.
It was one day during the week, I’m not sure which one as I have been off a day for some time now, that I decided I needed to spray the bare butt chickens with Blu-Kote. See the “Why?” here.
It was the usual sleep walk down the stairs, stuff myself into my coveralls and drag the water bucket sled to the barn. That day I did manage to get the coveralls on front-side forward. That was nice. The last time I put them on backwards, my husband happened to see. He got a good laugh and asked if I wanted him to buckle them up and send me on my way. I considered it, but he wouldn’t be home when I finished chores and who knows what kind of fight I would have getting out of those like that.
The cow chores were done and I was off to the coop. The chores in there were done and it was time to catch the featherless birds. In the summer and skinny, I am not a good chicken catcher. My chicken herding skills are much better than catching. Add 25 pounds, coveralls that are tight, a winter flannel and barn coat that are on the verge of an unzippable size and you’ve really got a sight. Now add 30 chickens that are in no way scared and will fly from any direction. Bending over is a challenge, catching the right bird mid-flight is nearly impossible.
I caught one after some moves that I have never seen before. She was all tucked in, head under my arm, feet in my hand, butt in the air…There is a “closed” setting on the spray can. That would have been nice to see, prior to the chicken chasing. There’s blue dye in the can and for how my morning was going I knew using my teeth was a bad idea. After some more one handed, fancy dancing, I got it open. Sprayed the hen’s behind held her a second to make sure it dried and sent her on her way.
Back for bird two I went. Some more fancy moves and I could see it was daylight.
“That’s it for me ladies. Daylight means get to the house and start the little boy’s breakfast.”
Oh, good. I really didn’t want to pull a muscle or something. Instead I waddled my way back to the house and sent my husband a text.
“I need help catching chickens to spray butts.”
To which there was a few hour delay before a reply. I know it’s the words everyone hopes to receive.
It was at this time that I discovered my fingers were a beautiful shade of deep violet.
That’s what I forgot this morning. I got the right mittens on (I labeled them “Barn” in permanent marker) and forgot the disposable gloves. The dye soaks in really well. It also lasts for days…
I did think I could grab them out of the nesting boxes. That is the easiest time to catch them. I have been messing with them enough as it is that I don’t want to add to the egg issues by taking them, mid-lay, from their boxes.
Another exciting Sunday in the coop was had. I got the usual coop cleaning done and fresh shavings down. It was time to interrupt one of the few football games that Mike has been able to watch this season.
“Will you come catch chickens for me?”
In the coop I could see I wasn’t the only one with fancy chicken catching moves. But he was doing a much better job than I did. One by one the birds were caught and their little rumps sprayed blue. We were only a couple away from being done, just as I finished spraying one, she got her wing loose. She started flapping which sent a heavy mist of blue dye right onto Mike’s face and neck. He was a good sport about it. Since then I have a hard time looking at him and not focusing on the blue forehead and giggling. I’m not sure that there is anything to remove the blue much quicker either.
On the bright side, the girls are on their way to fresh new tail feathers.