Get yer shit together

17 Feb

I’d like to ask y’all how shit’s going at your house. For me, on this gorgeous So Cal Sunday, the shit factor is just outta’ control.


I’m talking about chicken shit.


Dog shit.

chicken-and-dog-poop08Dogs sniffing chicken shit.


And chickens free ranging amongst dog shit.

Since we all think our own shit is crazy interesting I’m ready to gift you with a thorough play by play of my crap slappin’ Sunday. I do this only so that you may find solace in the fact that no matter the intensity of dirt you dealt with today, it probably wasn’t as rank as the real live animal shit scattered all over our patio. Did I say I wanted to be an urban farmer? F me, I did. Let’s begin.

chicken-and-dog-poop03The morning started with these two hoodlums refusing to pick up their crap outside. So, naturally…


We made the kids do it. A hundred pennies well spent!

chicken-and-dog-poop10          chicken-and-dog-poop11

Don’t let that face on the left fool you. He was only sad until I explained that in exchange for shoveling dog crap he would be receiving a boatload of good character.


As soon as dog duty was done, these little ladies decided to remind us that I promised to shovel out their coop, to which I was like, “Oh hell no, this is Sunday, biatches!” and they were like, “Woman, tomorrow is a holiday yo, we know you’re not workin’!” To which I was like, “Ummmm, contrary to popular belief I work 24/7. Or some similar ratio. Maybe like 8/2.3” Chickens don’t do math so that totally shut them up. chicken-and-dog-poop15But my chickens are smart, see, so Penny retaliated by sneaking her fluffy butt up under my potting bench…

chicken-and-dog-poop14…and dropping a couple of these. At which point we had to launch an egg hunt underneath every freaking bush in our backyard in case she had coerced any of the other girls to join her anarchist movement. Eggs belong in the nesting boxes, girls. Where you are supposed to be nesting. Ugh. The whole language barrier is becoming a problem.

chicken-and-dog-poop16The kids dug it though, despite the fact that we didn’t find any other rogue eggs around the yard. They then took this photo opportunity to strangle each other. If mom’s behind the camera lens anything’s legal.

chicken-and-dog-poop17          chicken-and-dog-poop18

It was at this point that I realized we couldn’t squander the day away enjoying the gorgeous weather – there was shit to be done, for real! We started by feeding the ladies. Then I put the kid to work shoveling more shit. Pseudo-farm life rules.


This healthy pile of chicken poo and kitchen scraps goes into the compost bin. Gardens love chicken shit! More on that later.

chicken-and-dog-poop21This is a picture of real work. On the right my hardworking six year old is ankle deep in chicken diarrhea. On the left I’m pulling out all of the old pine shavings from the nesting boxes and replacing it with fresh, clean, allergy inducing new pine shavings. Pine is the tree I’m second most allergic to after pepper trees. Next week I’ll be taking volunteers who I’ll pay in eggs and good character.

chicken-and-dog-poop32A quick note for those of you who actually give a hoot about chickens – before replacing the pine shavings in the coop I always sprinkle in a few shakes of this stuff. Diatomaceous earth is fossilized algae that we use for natural pest and mite control. It’s food grade, and totally safe for the birds, and us, to eat. No chemicals here, mom!

chicken-and-dog-poop35Wait, did I say that I sprinkled on the white stuff? Nah, nah, I had the kid do that for me too.

chicken-and-dog-poop33          chicken-and-dog-poop34

I interrupt this regularly scheduled programming for a special announcement from the four year old. A chrysalis has been found, I repeat, a chrysalis has been located. Over and out.

chicken-and-dog-poop44          chicken-and-dog-poop46

Now back to the poop. So that was all the front of the coop before – welcome to the dirty backside. My hunk of a man is a lumberyard genius and installed this trap door in the back to help me dig out the poop shavings. I’m so freaking appreciative, really. So generous, that one.

chicken-and-dog-poop47Now grab a notepad ‘cuz you’re about to learn how to scoop poop, yayyyy! First, grab this industrial sized dust pan which you find alluring because 1) it’s functional, and 2) it’s shiny.

chicken-and-dog-poop48Then scoop the poop, shavings and all into a bucket. Easy peasy! Wanna know what happens next?

chicken-and-dog-poop49You guessed it, into the compost! Chicken poop is compost gold. And Penny is freaking nosy, I tell you.chicken-and-dog-poop52

Here’s the cleaned out coop.

chicken-and-dog-poop53And here’s the fresh new pine shavings in the coop. Cozy looking, ‘aint it!

chicken-and-dog-poop39Zippy thinks so, and Penny’s just being nosy again. Girl’s gonna’ get her eye pecked out one of these days.

chicken-and-dog-poop45But that’s pretty freaking adorable, if I do say so myself.

chicken-and-dog-poop01Especially when, an hour later, the kids come running in with these. Yup, the one on the upper right is green and made by Rosie, our Easter Egger. It’s breakfast for dinner again, boys!


So I think I’ve justly proven that I got my shit together today. How ’bout you?! Toilet overflow? 9 month old twins with the stomach flu? Messy hangover moment? Or maybe it’s just your thoughts that are dirtier than mine? Noooope. Not possible.

Still, check in, peeps. Lemme’ know something horribly wonderful about your weekend so we can move on to Monday.

xo, from Penny &

Anjale signature

25 Responses to “Get yer shit together”

  1. Trina McElroy February 18, 2013 at 5:56 am #

    Ohhhhhhh I love this shit! Happy Monday yo!

    • FreeTheMom February 18, 2013 at 5:57 am #

      A shit ton of goodness!

    • Brenda Bragia February 18, 2013 at 8:50 am #

      Trina…you just turned me onto someone who has “the greatest humor” about us “farm people”..I will go hug my 9, two week old, pooper making Rotties, and clean out “Turkey Girl’s” coop. Happy Monday.

  2. Megan February 18, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    Thanks for the smile on a mundane Monday morning! Take out ‘shit’ and enter ‘snot’ and that’s our house at the moment 🙂

    • FreeTheMom February 18, 2013 at 6:48 am #

      Oh mama, I feel you there! Good luck with that 😉

  3. Brenda L. Yoder February 18, 2013 at 8:09 am #

    I love this post! We have animals on not quite as beautiful “farm” as you do. Lovely pictures, great blog. Thanks for stopping by Life Beyond the Picket Fence!

    • FreeTheMom February 18, 2013 at 8:11 am #

      Thank-you, Brenda! Us “farmers” have to stick together 😉

  4. AliceKS February 18, 2013 at 8:22 am #

    Shit, girl. Seriously. Where do you find the time??????? And no “ew” factor at all?? I’m such a city chick. Max would be so disappointed in me!! On the other hand, I could just snap pix while he shovels…! 😉

    • FreeTheMom February 18, 2013 at 8:34 am #

      Or…you could have your kids do it!!! Seriously, one dollar goes a looooong way 😉

  5. Janis Byars February 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    You are killing me, A!! Gonna pass this one on to my sis again, who is also an urban farmer with chickens in her beautiful Santa Barbara back yard, and loves your posts.
    For my dirty story though… Ethan threw up all over my backseat last night while driving. Any good tips on getting rid of vomit smell would be fabulous… Miss you! J

    • FreeTheMom February 18, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Oh nooooooo, car barf totally beats chicken poop 😦 So so sorry Janis!!!

  6. rick armand February 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    frank’s bar fly friends stunk up the neighborhood when they hit a sewer line digging/searching for aunt ginger’s remains…

  7. Miss J February 18, 2013 at 2:51 pm #

    Anj! That was a rockin’ view into the world of poop! A fun read on this lovely MONDAY afternoon off. Mad Love, xo j

    • FreeTheMom February 18, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Thanks Miss J! Means a lot coming from a gal who knows quite a bit about preschool poop 😉

  8. Aryan February 18, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    I did not know, shit could be this good!
    You are brave with all the natural factorsmy friend. I am not a farm person at all but I ended up making a dog house for our giant dog just to keep the boys busy. Boys love it, the dog hates it and as for me picking up shit continues….

    • FreeTheMom February 19, 2013 at 5:07 am #

      WOW, a dog house?!! Amazing! I’d love to see photos!

      • Aryan February 19, 2013 at 8:34 am #

        I just posted some photos on FB, XO

  9. monikadrinkstea February 19, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    Haha great read!
    At my place, we call them nuggs. As in nuggets. My partner and I end up talking a lot about turdage, I think it’s only natural when you share your space with beasties 🙂
    Also I love the pic of your chickens waiting at the glass door! Classic.

    • FreeTheMom February 20, 2013 at 5:11 am #

      Oh holy night, I love a new name for poop! Nuggs will most certainly be making it into my conversation today 😉

  10. Jerry March 4, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

    Love your humor, farming attitude and writing. I just got rid of 32 hens. Now have a pet wild black russian boar pig. I have a must see video of him killing a Zebra (not really) >>>> Then we also have three baby goats we have to care for because their mam’s said to hell with the motherin shit. OH! The tattoo. I forgot the tattoo. LOVE IT!!!! 😉

    • FreeTheMom March 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

      Wow, thank-you, Jerry! Sounds like you’ve got your hands more than full! Goats are most definitely on my list once I get some acreage, and if pigs were zoned for our area that would have been a done deal long ago. Gotta love urban farming 🙂

      • Jerry March 4, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

        I’m 7 miles out of the city and on a 3,700 acre (not mine dammit 🙂 game ranch so thank God there are no ordinances. Hope you get a chance to watch the video. Love that pig. SHHHHH!!!! We don’t let Rufus hear us call him a pig. 😉

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