Pooped On By Chickens, Stung by Bees

(and other fun research adventures)

So we’re now at the halfway point of summer research (10/21 farms done). No Salmonella yet, but lots and lots of sampling fun…

What fun, you ask? I have been pooped on by chickens twice now. Apparently swabbing their cloacas sometimes reminds them they need to poop, which they do–on us (naturally). After the first time, I started bringing a change of clothes to work on sampling days. So did my undergrad, who also has been pooped on by chickens.

Honestly, though, I don’t mind the chicken poop. It’s expected and fitting. I don’t mind chasing the birds around (though that’s less fun when the weather is in the mid-80s). Why should they trust a couple of strangers trying to pick them up? I don’t even mind the scratches I sometimes get–they just teach me to hold the chickens more securely.

What I do mind is getting stung. Yes, for the first time today, I got stung sampling. The owners had bees as well as chickens and one hapless little rascal flew into my hair, freaked out, and stung me. Unfortunately, this was while we were trying to catch the rooster and a hen who’d also escaped, so I had to wait a few minutes to assess the damage. The sting gave me a headache, so that’s been fun too.

Anyway. it’s been all pretty good aside from the sting, and the undergrads have been great to work with, as have the chicken owners (and most of the chickens).

Holding a chicken for sampling

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