Monday, July 19, 2010

Taking One For Team Chicken.

Scene: Our house. Saturday morning, 7:30am.

It's no secret Todd likes to sleep in on the weekends. And I am so a morning person. So, early Saturday morning, I get Colt in the backpack and we headed out for some early morning chore duty. We fed the goats, horses and cows and got on the 4-wheeler and headed to the bottom of the field to the broiler "hoop coop." Because, remember? Every good story starts with "I had the baby on my back."

  (For those of you not familiar with the hoop coop, it is a 10'x12' tarp covered, domed enclosure that the chickens live in. It has an automatic waterer fed from a five gallon bucket mounted on top and we're able to feed them through a PVC tube which extends outside the coop. We pull the coop on to fresh grass every day.)

I move the coop and realize that, although their 5 gallon bucket is full, there is no water in their automatic waterer. A definite sign of a clog. The reservoir is open on the top, so I figured a leaf dropped in there and covered the 1/2" hole for the tube which feeds the waterer. I climbed up to look. Nothing clogging up there. So, we went in to the coop (remember....10'x12', tarp covered and chocked full of 25 psycho chickens - 5 of which I'm certain are roosters). I unscrewed the tube where the reservoir attached to the waterer and sure enough - no water coming out.

And this is where it gets bad. I'm not sure exactly what possessed me to perform the following action: I stuck the tube in my mouth and started mouth syphoning the chicken water. Before I could really reflect on what a terrible decision that was, a HUGE chunk of slimy nastiness got sucked in to my mouth with a rush of equally terrible, barf-inducing chicken water. It had the consistency of a tapioca pudding ball, didn't taste good at all, and I gauge was about the size of a marble. I retched and retched and couched it out, then barfed a little. Thank goodness I hadn't eaten breakfast yet or that could have been a real mess.... Water was spewing from the line, so I put it back together and water rushed in and all the chickens gathered around for a drink. Nasty. Nasty. Nasty.

Here's what I've learned:
  1. Rule #1 when I started studying chemistry: NO MOUTH PIPETTING. This applies to real-world settings as well.
  2. Chickens can survive at least a day without water. I'm projecting they could have lived another day without it too.
  3. It pays to sleep in on the weekends. And, in case you were wondering: chickens eat barf.

1 comment:

  1. Ohh...Rikki. I was anticipating a post on wing clipping. Instead, my eyes have holes burned in their retinas from reading about YOU mouth-syphoning CHICKEN WATER. Seriously, didn't we cover 'no mouth syphoning' in Mrs. Zehnder's high school Intro to Intro to Chemistry??? Am seriously retching and throwing up a little in the back of my mouth...BETTER DISCLAIMER NEXT TIME PLEASE.