If You Give a Chicken a Bath

Of all activities that came along with becoming a parent (dealing with vomit, no sleep, spending money on ridiculous things) the one activity I never anticipated was having to bathe chickens prior to the county fair. Here is my take on the whole process….written in the style of those classic children’s books by Laura Numeroff including “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”.

boys giving their chicken a bath at the county fairIf you give a chicken a bath,
she will need to be dried.

When you dry her,
She will need a towel.

Then your kids will use the nicest towel.

And the chicken will poop on it.

They will also forget to use
warm water for the bath.

A hypothermic chicken requires a hair dryer.

You realize your hair dryer got used on a chicken butt.

And you forgot to take pictures, to blackmail sons in the future.
When they bring home girlfriends you don’t like.

So you go to get the camera
and more dishsoap and old towels
and laundry bluing.

The bluing makes the white chicken brighter.

A soggy chicken is put into a pet carrier to dry.

boys displaying the awards they won with their chickens at the county fair

All of the hard work paid off!

She bawks in a confused way.

When she is nice and dry,
she will need feed and water.

You send boys to get her some.

They bring feed and realize they forgot to wash her feet.

When you see them using a toothbrush on her legs,
you go and check every bathroom.
And sigh in relief when you see they used an old, discarded one.

When the washing is done.
They need to put lotion on the combs.

And they stand back to admire their work.

Then they will notice that it has been an hour.
And they only got one chicken washed.

So they head off, to get another lucky bird.

And begin to give a chicken a bath.


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at http://aldersonangus.wordpress.com.
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