Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chicken Coop Adventures

This morning it was nice and cool at 6 am. I had finished feeding and milking, so I decided to take on the task of cleaning the chicken coop....AND *dusting* the chickens. I dust the chickens with diatomaceous earth, which prevents lice, mites and other such nasties from getting a toehold on them. I like cleaning the coop actually, and I figured dusting the chickens would be no big deal and I could handle it myself...
Cleaning the coop was not too bad. I shooed all the chickens out and they happily pecked and scratched around the yard as I hosed down the roost, refilled their water, raked out the coop and put in a fresh layer of hay for them. I love how the coop looks when it's all clean and fresh for my hens...and I think they like it, too!
Then the hard part....
I had to catch each chicken, stick them in a pillow case with their little head sticking out and dump in about 1/2 cup of DE. I sorta shook each chicken around and then turned them loose in the coop.
All went passably well until it was time for....Red, the psychotic rooster. (Yes, that IS his official title here!)
This is Red BEFORE I cleaned the coop or dusted him....and he looks pretty annoyed already, doesn't he?
Well, after several tries at catching Red, I realized I only have so much blood and I need it!
So, instead of putting him in the pillow case, I just waited until he had his back turned to me and sprinkled some of the DE on his back, in the hopes that through his preening and such, he'd work it through the rest of his feathers.
Red, not appreciating that I was actually trying to protect his health and well-being, misconstrued the sprinkling of the DE as a sneak attack and retaliated.
He charged, talons out for blood and screeching what I can only assume was a rooster battle cry.
I admit it, I ran. I had no weapon to protect myself at that point, except for the small plastic cup I was using to sprinkle the DE with. I mean, I threw it at him, but I missed and Red didn't pay attention to it anyway!
I made it back into the house with only one injury from his spurs.
I cleaned myself up, saw that Red had returned to the coop and I snuck out and shut the coop door.
I have 4 band-aids on my hands from him pecking me so hard he drew blood when I tried to catch him, and one gauze pad on my left calf where he raked me with his spurs.
If any of my neighbors saw me racing in fear away from an outraged rooster, I think my dignity took a solid hit as well!.
Next time the dusting needs to be done...the Darling Man and my son are gonna do it!


  1. Could you try to trap him in a cage first and then sprinkle? Also if he had a favourite dust bath spot you could put some there for him to hopefully spread on himself.

  2. Amanda...we have tried those, lol. Red just HATES people! Best case scenario with Red is if you approach him while hold a water hose...he is afraid of the water hose---he HATES being wet!

  3. I dust mine at night when they are roosting. It makes the job a lot easier.

  4. I have TRIED dusting him at night..I swear he doesn't sleep! He totally flips out! Pretty scary being in the coop with a furious, psychotic rooster that is blindly flailing out at you!

  5. We do our dusting at night, when they are already on the roost. They are easy to dust, and we can get them all without having to do any running. I hope you heal up real soon.


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