Before you start thinking farm life is all about cute baby animals and lovely homegrown veggies let me assure you it is not. Well I mean some of it is and that is what gets you through things like all the poop these cute animals create on a daily basis and other misadventures that occur everyday out here.
It was a snowy cold day here a few months ago and I noticed the heat lamp in the chicken’s house was out. Cold chickies don’t like to lay eggs so I went to fix it. When I got to the door I realized me being as short as I am I could not just lean in and screw the bulb in so I would need to climb into the coop. This isn’t a huge deal. The coop is big and I would just hop in, fix the bulb and hop out.
Except the coop was full of chickens and if I hopped in they might jump out the door and the dogs were waiting at the door. No problem. I will just close the door behind me.
You know that moment. We’ve all done it. You close the car door and then you see your keys sitting on the front seat. It sucks.
I knew as soon as I closed that door that the latch was on the outside and you can’t open it from the inside. I mean we don’t want the chickens opening the front door and running around the farm all willy nilly like. So here I was. I fixed the bulb because that is what I came in there to do.
Then I weighed my options.
Option #1- I could pound on the door and hope someone heard me and would come open the door but then I would have to admit to a family member that I locked myself in the chicken coop.
Option # 2- I could crawl out the small hatch into the chicken’s yard. I did a quick visual scan of this much smaller door and decided I could most likely fit through this opening. I am not sure if my next decision was the right one or not. I am fairly sure looking back it was in fact very much the wrong decision but once I made the decision to back out of the small opening, versus crawl out head first, there really was no turning…well, back.
So let me give you the visual here. I am trying to crawl out backwards through a rather small opening without actually putting my hands, stomach, face, or legs into any of the chicken poop on the floor of the coop. Like you do. For about two seconds this is going okay.
Until it is not.
Until you get stuck with your butt halfway out the door, one leg folded underneath you and the other sticking out to the side. I could not move and even though I really wanted to panic at this point, I really, really, really, did not want to be found in this position.
So I did what I had to do.
Don’t judge me. Until you have been stuck half in and half out of a chicken coop surrounded by feathers, poop, and several pairs of beady little chicken eyes looking at you like you are a crazy person you can not say what you would do in this situation. I took a deep breath, pulled myself back into the coop layed on my belly and wriggled out through the straw and poop and gunk. It was not pretty. It was bad. I think it was in my hair even. But it got me out. And then I did that thing that you do when you fall in public, I made no eye contact with anyone and hoped no one had seen what had just occurred. Acting as normal as possible while looking a little like The Swamp Thing I walked straight into the house stripped off my poop covered clothes and took a very long, very hot shower.
So there it is. The not so cute side of farming. Although, this could have all been easily avoided had the chicken coop builders, ahem my father and husband, simply put a little string on the inside to pull in case the door gets closed on you while you are fixing a LIGHT BULB IN THE CHICKEN COOP! Sorry for yelling. I might still be a little traumatized. I am pretty sure this won’t be the last time I am covered in some animals poop while living out here though.