I Never Knew a Chicken Could Do THAT!! – by Brian Whiddon, Managing Editor

I Never Knew a Chicken Could Do THAT!! – by Brian Whiddon, Managing Editor

Howdy folks!

As Angela explained last week, we had a chicken with a bum leg, or foot, or something, We were never able to pinpoint the exact source of her pain. All we knew for sure was that she was limping pretty bad.

Suspecting the dreaded “bumblefoot,” we went ahead and cleaned up the chicken’s foot, applied various antibiotic products, and bound it up in some pretty pink veterinary wrap. We kept the chicken in a large dog crate, and changed the wrap regularly for several days. She became quite the pampered poultry, and clearly began to enjoy the attention!

It was raining for a couple of days, so we brought her inside. Tank became very attached, lying next to the crate, and watching over his new companion. Surprisingly, the chicken didn’t mind at all. She would sit quietly in the crate on her straw, even with that giant dog inches away, watching and sniffing at her through the bars.

Well, it was the morning after heavy rain when I dragged the crate with the chicken in it out to the back deck, and sat down in one of our rockers to drink my coffee, and stare at the mountains. From the first day we placed the chicken in that crate, she had pretty much stayed quiet. Occasionally, she’d cluck and squawk a little, but she’s always settle down within minutes.

However, on this particular morning, the chicken was very unhappy. Besides clucking, chickens can also produce long, drawn out squawks to express their disapproval of something. And, that’s what this chicken was doing … long and loud. I kept hoping she’d quiet down in a minute, but she kept going.

In time, her distress was apparently detected by our rooster, Randy. I suddenly heard his distinct “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOOOOO!!!!” coming from downstairs under the deck.

The chicken responded to Randy with a long, drawn out “SQUAAAAAAAAAWKK!!”

Randy would call back with another crow, triggering yet another “SQUAWAAAAAAWK … SQUAWK, SQUAWK, SQUAWK!!” from the chicken. After about 10 minutes of this back and forth, I was getting pretty annoyed. On top of that, the chicken was walking with almost no limp at all. She clearly felt she had served her time, and wanted out of that crate. I was a little concerned that it may still be too early for a clean bill of health but this poultry version of Romeo and Juliet was driving me nuts. I figured, “Let’s give ‘ol Betty a chance.”

I needed to get the vet-wrap off the chicken’s foot. Up to this point, Angela and I were working as a team. She would wrap the chicken in a towel, and hold her while I worked on the foot. But, with Angela still asleep in bed, I had to tackle this chore alone. Grabbing the towel, I opened the crate door, and wrapped up the bird. She’d gotten pretty used to it by now. My plan was to turn her more or less upside-down in my left arm, and unwrap the foot my the right hand.

So, with the hen inverted in my arm, I pulled back the towel to expose her legs, and started scraping at that annoying terminal edge of the wrap that simply refused to un-stick itself from the layer just underneath it. (You know, like trying to get that new roll of packing tape started.) I was just unraveling the pink fabric from the ankle, and was getting it off her toes when the entire back end of that bird (which was pointed directly at my head) opened up like the rear loading door of a C-130 cargo plane. And before I could even form an inquisitive thought in my head … Brrrrrraaaapppp!!!!! The most foul, obnoxious burst of wind blew forth from the bowels of that fowl, and hit me square in the face!!

Now, any of you who have ever owned or been around chickens know that their poop has a really special kind of stink. I mean, very few things smell as bad as chicken poop. Just imagine getting a face blast directly from the source!

Having finished crop-dusting my incredulous mug, that chicken’s posterior hatch promptly closed back up, leaving me absolutely dumbfounded. (And disgusted.)

Shocked as I was, and as much as I wanted to drop that bundle of feathers, and run for my life, I had a job to do. The stench was horrifying as I fought to keep my breakfast where it belonged, and not spew it all over this bird who I’m pretty sure I heard giggling. Still unwinding the bandage from her foot, my mind was struggling between disbelief and logic:

“How in the heck could it open up THAT wide??? Well, eggs have to pass through there.” But no one ever told me that CHICKENS CAN FART!!  In fact, growing up in Florida, I had been indoctrinated by an old urban legend that says if you feed Alka-Seltzer to seagulls, they will explode … because birds cannot pass gas.

You can imagine the trauma I was experiencing as I struggled with not only the noxious gas assault (which was still lingering) but also the sudden paradigm shift that challenged everything I thought I knew about the gastronomical realities of birds.

I’m proud to say, I tamped down my horror and bewilderment, and kept on with the task at hand in the spirit of a true agricultural potentate. I finished unwrapping my tormentor’s foot with the care and skill of a physician, all the while suppressing my gag reflex.

I took the hen downstairs to the yard where her expectant beau was still strutting about and crowing. Free at last, she quickly scurried over to Randy the Rooster, and they both headed toward the rest of the flock.

When we decided to invest in chickens, I realized I’d have new challenges and responsibilities: building the coop and enclosure, feeding, cleaning, managing their health, etc.

But never in my life did I expect that I’d have to endure an up-close and personal CHICKEN FART!!

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Brian Whiddon is the Managing Editor of WritersWeekly.com and the Operations Manager at BookLocker.com. An Army vet and former police officer, Brian is the author of Blue Lives Matter: The Heart behind the Badge. He's an avid sailor, having lived and worked aboard his 36-foot sailboat, the “Floggin’ Molly” for 9 years after finding her abandoned in a boat yard and re-building her himself. Now, in northern Georgia, when not working on WritersWeekly and BookLocker, he divides his off-time between hiking, hunting, and farming.

 

 

 

 

 



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4 Responses to "I Never Knew a Chicken Could Do THAT!! – by Brian Whiddon, Managing Editor"

  1. Tammatha Conerly  June 2, 2024 at 11:26 am

    Brian, you truly have a gift. I had to take my glasses off, I was laughing so hard I was crying and I didn’t want to get my glasses dirty. I was laughing so hard out loud, that my daughter came in from the kitchen & I had to read it to her. Can’t wait to meet y’all in person. Looks like we might be moving there the first part of July. Either way, we’ll be in town for July 4.

  2. Erika Wright  June 2, 2024 at 10:55 am

    Omg laughed out loud REALLY loudly!

  3. Terry Arnold  June 2, 2024 at 9:09 am

    Lucky for you it was only gas!

  4. Wendy  June 2, 2024 at 8:42 am

    Brian! Your bumble-fart story had me laughing. I think that chicken was thanking you for a job well done!