Saturday, October 03, 2009

Gee, her hair smells terrific

Just look at that clean, clean, clean chicken. CLEAN. Owen was very excited to show off Alberta Einstein, who was by far the sassiest bird at 4H. The chicken-bathing lesson went smoothly, with one big caveat: According to Mary, the 4H leader, Alberta Einstein is infested with mites.  

We were so ashamed. 

I have since confirmed the presence of mites (or are they poultry lice?) with my own eyes, and they are more horrifying than I had imagined. I spent much of today chasing chickens around the yard and dusting their vents with toxic white powder.  The good news: no longer a mite to be seen. The grotesque bloodsucking arachnids that were making our chickens tired, feeble, and ill have been vanquished. A follow-up dusting in a week will take care of the babies. The bad news is, I'm going to get cancer from inhaling Permectrin and I don't think I can say our eggs are organic anymore. 

I'm all itchy. Farming is gross.


  1. I think you misnamed her. She should be "Roseanna Rosannadanna"!

  2. I have a chicken question that I can't easily find online. Do chickens have pet dander like dogs and cats? I have allergies to pretty much any animal with fur -- dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, guinea pigs, etc. I get the standard runny nose, itchy eyes and lots of sneezing. I'm just wondering if I'd have the same reaction to a pet chicken.

  3. Azure Song,
    I don't know. My son is allergic to cats and parrots but does not seem to have any trouble at all with chickens. Perhaps because they are always outside? He spends a lot of time with the chickens, but he is only congested when we let the cat in his bedroom for the night. Are you thinking of getting a chicken? Did you read Susan Orlean's New Yorker story?

  4. I'm sending hubby to the library today to check out the New Yorker article. I think I'm a little bit crazy to even consider a chicken. I'm already potty training a toddler; I really don't need more poop around the house. We went to the Children's Book Festival this weekend. They had a petting zoo with the cutest white silkies. Now I really want a silkie (or three). I'd given up all cuddling of furry animals. Perhaps this is my chance.

  5. I love white silkies. We do not have one, but they are beautiful. Good luck.