Fridays on the Farm 8.9.13

Well hello there. Long time no see, but that’s my fault. Before I jump into everything that’s gone on around the farm for the past two weeks, allow me to make a few excuses for my lack of blogging lately. I’ve been battling a sinus infection for a month- a month!- that is just now getting better, and we’ve had family in town. So basically I’ve been a bit run down from the sinus thing, and right as I started to get well it was family time. But now I’m back, so we can let bygones be bygones.

But anyway, what has gone on around here for the last two weeks? A few things.

We moved the baby egg layers from the barn, where they were being decimated by raccoons and possibly other animals, to the moveable chicken pin we used for our meat birds. This is not what we had in mind, but no more have been killed since then. The plan is to build them their own hoopty coop like our big chickens have, and let them start free ranging soon, but that requires time to actually build said hoopty coop (slated for this weekend). The raccoons were so mad about the loss of their nightly chicken treats that they decimated our beautiful corn. I’m starting to really hate raccoons.

I stuck my finger in a chicken’s butt hole. No really, the dadgum internet told me to, so I did it. While our family was in town, we noticed one of our chickens had a really large, infected looking nodule beneath her vent (the vent is the exit hole for eggs…and poop and pee).

chicken butt Collage

The obvious thing to do was Google it, so I did. At first glance, she seemed to match the description of an egg bound hen. “Egg bound” means an egg is stuck and can’t come out, which can cause death pretty quickly if not treated right away. The recommended course of treatment goes a little something like soaking the chicken’s bottom in a warm Epsom salt bath and gently massaging the abdomen (or alternately holding her directly above a bowl of extremely hot water, allowing steam to heat the area); massaging the vent area with oil to lubricate things; waiting for her to pass the egg; and then repeating these steps as necessary until the egg passes.

chicken bath

 chicken bath 3

If the egg is not coming out, you can glove up and stick your finger in the vent and manually remove the egg. When doing this, you must be very careful to remove the egg whole, because if it breaks, it’s hard to get every little piece out and can lead to infection and death. We didn’t have a ton of time to steam/soak the hen multiple times, so we did that once and then I gloved up, lubed my finger with coconut oil, and went for it…


…and out came a big pile of poop. I could not feel an egg stuck anywhere as I was feeling around in the swollen area, so I returned to the almighty Google. After more reading I have decided she is likely an internal layer- meaning her eggs sometimes don’t even come out. When internal layers do get an egg out, it usually has a really soft shell. This makes sense, because we always have a broken soft-shelled egg in the coop each day, we just had no idea which chicken was having the issue. I’ll have to do some more research to see if there is anyway to help her with this problem, nutritionally, but for the time being, that was that. I think the soaking and massage helped her though, because her butt is back to normal.

The cow is home. Hubs and his brother completed the fence building and brought the cow home (with the help of our neighbors- cows apparently do not like stepping into small trailers). Before we got her loaded into the trailer, she spent a while hiding from us under the bridge.


I confess, I have suggested we return her and ask for a more user-friendly cow. But everyone assures me she will calm down once she is here and we are able to work with her regularly. I am still skeptical, but we shall see. I will admit that she looks quite cute out there in the field chowing down on all the yummy grass.

Trellising tomatoes. As usual, there was lots of working in the garden. We trellised more tomatoes using the Florida weave, and weeded, and picked veggies. We have some melons almost ready too.


Family time. Last Friday was Bridger’s second birthday and two days later was Farmer Dickie’s dad’s birthday, so Farmer Dickie’s brother Cooper and his wife Suzie (who was my friend before I even met hubs- she actually introduced us) came into town for several days. We had a wonderful time with them. We had birthday parties for everyone, a welcome home party for Grandma- who finally got to come home after more than a month recovering from surgery, a 42nd anniversary breakfast for Bunni and Big G (Farmer Dickie’s parents), and we took Bridger to the zoo. Lots of fun!

family 1

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


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  1. I am glad that my friends like you and Shaye and DaNelle and Noël get to find out all the fun animal stuff before I do, so that way when I have a chicken with a funny butt, I can just call you and be like, “Hey Ashley, so remember that time you stuck your finger up a chicken butt?” And you can give me all sorts of advice and stuff. 😉 Anyway, have a good weekend! 🙂

  2. I never knew what if anything could be done when a chicken is egg bound…good to know 🙂 I was told that is was the roosters job to massage the girls and make sure things pass normally. Now and then you get some hens that won’t have anything to do with the rooster; can’t blame the girls who wants to go around with a sun burned butt all summer then freeze it off come winter.

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