I went out to the barn the other night with Rosie. It was her turn to close things up in the barn, but we had gone out to dinner for her sister's birthday and it was after dark. She doesn't like to go out there on her own after dark.
Because of the rats.
Yes. Rats. Buhahuuuueehhh. Ew.
Because rats, you see, go part and parcel with a barn. A barn is quite simply a haven for a rat. Dog food, chicken feed, water, bits of hay, lots of good hiding places.
During the day they stay hidden, but if you go out there at night you're sure to see one. Or a gang.
Anyway, so brave and compassionate Mom that I am, I accompanied her to the barn, and rats we saw. But they scattered, and we forged ahead with our work. She got our farm dog Annabelle squared away for the night and I went in to check on the chickens. They were all roosting save one. One of our Buff Orpingtons was still all hunkered down in her nesting box, which is where she had been hours earlier. I'm figuring she's blocked.
So I went to the house and got me a can of Pam. Back to the barn I went, and this time I took along Cindy, our Rat Terrier. The rats had stayed hidden, though (probably b/c I had left the lights on) so she didn't get to do any rat hunting.
Anyway, I picked up Goldie or Puddin' or Big Mama, not sure which Buff it was, truth be told, and sprayed her nether regions down with some Pam. I did a little external palpation but nothing felt unduly amiss, so I put her back in her box and hoped for the best.
I can honestly say that is the first time I have ever used Pam in that particular fashion.
Maybe I should call them up and let them know? Kind of like the endorsement Crisco got in The Help?
"Hello, Pam Operator? Can you connect me with marketing, please?"
I really think it would make a great commercial:
"Pam. Keeps your eggs from sticking in your pan, keeps your eggs from sticking in your chicken's ass. Buy some today!"
Anyway, the next day she was no better. Still sitting in her nesting box, still looking morose, still no egg.
I sprayed her down again and when about doing my business running kids to the orthodontist and play rehearsals and whatnot.
Then in the evening I decided it was time. I was goin' in.
So we brought her inside, nesting box and all, and placed the whole works in a dog crate. I got out a heat sock, which I warmed up and put in a ziplock, and I got out the mineral oil. I turned, let's call her Goldie, upside down and tucked her under my arm, with arse forwards (hers, not mine). I coated her liberally with the oil and put her back in her crate on top of the toasty heat sock.
So now I've got chicken, and oil, and heat. Good thing we already ate dinner.
We never did get her to produce an egg, but she seems better this morning somehow. She's moving easily, eating, drinking, clucking. Being a chicken.
Fingers crossed. Will keep you posted.