I know that there are many of you out there who have long waited for this one, well here it is. This is a post about chicken diapers. Yup, you heard me, chicken diapers.
As you know, Charlie our house chicken has complete run of our first floor (It’s a renovated old cabin and the floors are either worn down wood or tile so it’s easy to clean up after her.) Charlie goes everywhere. It’s not unusual to hear her squawk when someone bumps into her in the kitchen because Charlie is also there thinking she can get a free nibble (Charlie is a horrible beggar) or when someone reaches for the remote and accidentally grabs Charlie’s tail feathers. (I know, I’d squawk too.)
Charlie is a lovely bird, with a tremendous sense of humor and tons of personality. She fits right into our flock.
She’d be a welcome member of the house any day …. If it weren’t for the poop.
Chickens poop. They poop a lot. Hens have only three things to do in life, eat, lay eggs, and poop.
I tried the clicker thing and although I’ve trained Charlie to come running when she hears the clicker (if you haven’t seen this video, you should, it’s hilarious) I was never able to get her to poop on command.
I think one of the reasons for this is that Charlie is not the type of bird to cuddle up in your lap (and we have a few of those in our flock – Simon and Morganne) Charlie wants your attention but only on her terms. If you are sitting down, reading a book, or watching TV, she’ll come over to you, not you to her. She doesn’t like to be picked up (except by Emily- the-Black-Copper-Maran-chicken-whisperer) but she adores it when you stroke her chest and the bottom of her beak.
At nighttime, we always have a rousing game of tag as I try to corral her into her roosting area.
So you can imagine, Charlie probably wasn’t going to be too keen on wearing a diaper. The first one I ordered from Amazon, was too large and slipped off her no matter how much I tightened it. I tried modifying it, no luck. That ended up being 28 dollars down the proverbial toilet.
The next set of diapers came from Louise’s Country Closet. Now before you get all excited about someone making chicken diapers, they actually serve a purpose. Chicken diapers are useful when:
- You have a sick or injured chicken that may need to be in the house
- You travel with your chicken (I’ve taken them to classrooms and I have read of therapy chickens being used with elderly folks)
- You have a pet chicken and are crazy enough to keep it in the house.
And that’s us, right smack in the 3rd category.
I watched the video on how to put a diaper on a chicken (even though I have put literally thousands of diapers on babies, I have to admit, putting one on a chicken was a new experience for me.) After cornering Charlie (meal worms helped), I was finally able to get her in my lap so that I could put the diaper on while she tried to get away.
Charlie hated it. She pecked at the straps and flapped around clearly showing me her indignation. If the truth be known, just the other night I saw an adult diaper commercial and after explaining to my kids that that’s the way things work, parents change their kids diapers so that they can eventually change their parents’, to be honest, I shared some of Charlie’s indignation.
Diapers, although pretty in this case, are simply not natural.
Charlie constantly pecked at the diaper and wouldn’t settle down. Eventually she dislodged the collection sack and so I decided enough was enough, and I took it off.
Bu lo and behold, inside the diaper was a chicken poop. (There must be a joke somewhere with the punch line “chicken poop.”) We have a success, that’s one out of about a hundred poops for the day that I don’t have to clean up.
If we can just get Charlie used to the feeling of this diaper, we may have a winner. This particular diaper worked exactly as it was designed to operate. It fit the bird nicely and collected the poop. I couldn’t be happier.
See for yourself, the proof is in the pudding.