Cuddles lays an egg! And my 2 year anniversary.

It’s been a longggg time since I’ve updated everyone on the saga of Cuddles, the chicken that could. Here’s a little refresher. Last summer, Cuddles got sick. Chicken sick. Which means she almost died. Chickens tend to do that. When they’re finally sick enough for it to show they usually die. They’re delicate little dinosaurs.

I got a lot of help and advice from around the world because of the post I wrote about her and I managed to bring her back to life. It was a suspected case of egg peritonitis.  Which basically means that she’s laid an egg internally (it didn’t go through her ovidcut but rather fell into her abdomen) and she got an infection from it.  A bad infection.

She’s looked fine since, but I know she isn’t really fine. For one thing Cuddles hasn’t laid an egg since the trauma the middle of last August. That’s 8 months without laying an egg.  So she’s probably laying internally and will eventually get another infection from egg peritonitis.  Chickens can lay eggs internally and be fine as long as they don’t get an infection and are able to absorb all the eggs into their system so they don’t build up.  But usually they can’t absorb the eggs they’ve dropped into their abdomens and so they build up putting pressure on all their organs, eventually causing infection and death.

So far she hasn’t shown any signs of being unwell though.  Or, as I mentioned signs of being well … which means laying eggs in her case.  Which I’m fine with. Cuddles isn’t here to give me eggs, Cuddles is my pet. She runs up to me, jumps in my lap and loves being held and pet. Cuddles loves to Cuddle. She doesn’t just tolerate it. She loves it. If I put her down after sitting in my lap for 15 minutes, she’ll immediately turn around and try to jump back up. Cats won’t even do that. Cats sneer.

And then this happened.




Only I didn’t know for sure if Cuddles laid that egg.  She had been in and out of the nesting box for a few days, never producing an actual egg.  Cheez Whiz on the other hand had been in and out of the nesting box and WAS producing eggs.  But I hadn’t seen her in the nesting box all day, I’d only seen Cuddles.  They both lay the same coloured egg which is a bluey/green, although in this photo the egg looks really pale it isn’t in real life.

This was  a couple of weeks ago by the way.

So.  Now what the hell?  Cuddle’s laying a nice egg like that bodes well for her.  But was it her egg?  Just because it was under her doesn’t make it so.

Fast forward to this week.  Again with the in and out of the nesting box without ever laying an egg for Cuddles.  She doesn’t seem to eat enough and so I decided to keep a really good eye on her.  The way she’s eyeing that egg in the photo above.  I was going to take a few days to give Cuddles the chicken eye.

The first night when the chickens went to roost for the night I took a look and noted their positions.  Cuddles was on the left end, so when I woke up in the morning I could look at the poop board under that spot to see how she’d been pooping.  Lots of poop is good. It means she’s eating enough and her guts are doing what they’re supposed to do.  (you can technically watch for this sort of thing during the day but kind of like a watched pot doesn’t boil, a watched chicken doesn’t poop.)

The next morning I had this.



A weird puddle of egg whitey/yolky mess with a few lumps of poop mixed in.  That’s not good.  That’s not what you’re looking for in the poop of a healthy anything.

But then, on a whim I opened up the nesting box, and there in the nesting box were two blue eggs.  One a regular egg, and another with a thin shell that had broken.   A chicken can only lay one egg a day at most.  I have two chickens that lay blue eggs; Cuddles and Cheez Whiz.  That means each of them laid an egg early that morning.

So one of two things could have happened.  Cuddles could have had an egg break inside her and part of it came out when she pooped in the night, the rest of it was laid already broken in the morning.  Or Cuddles had pooped out part of an egg that hadn’t been formed and then laid a full soft shelled egg in the morning.

Either way she got rid of a couple of things that are better off out of her body than in it.  So the chicken eye continues.

I wouldn’t say she’s well, but she’s better than she was a year ago.

Speaking of which.  So am I.  I’m doing even better than I was two years ago today.  Happy anniversary to me. Time really does heal all wounds.

We’ll see if it heals a chicken.

Have a good weekend!


  1. Gina says:

    Hooray for you both!!

  2. Ev Wilcox says:

    Glad/worried about Cuddles. When an animal wants to be with you more than anything, life is better.
    On the other subject, I have a very close relative that has just entered the hell of which you know. Totally blindsided by her husband, who spoke openly about “exploring feelings with another woman, (who is also still married). And he was “exploring” her three days after he left my crushed relative, and oh yeah, their 6yr old and 3yr old daughters got left behind also. So glad you have come out on the other side, Karen. You are special on the inside as well as on the outside. I’m sure we will keep a good thought for Cuddles. And you!

    • Sandy says:

      Ahhh, yes, the “exploring of the feelings”, in other words “sweetie, I’m going to cheat on you”.

      Continue to be strong Karen . . . in the words of Eddie Vedder . . . “no matter how cold the winter, there’s a springtime ahead”.

  3. Love, Love, LOVE it all! Keep on cluckin’. The both of you.

  4. Heather says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary. Just think how far you’ve come in those 2 years. You probably took a slightly different path than you planned but it seems to have worked out okay.

    I can’t believe I am “in love” with a chicken. Fingers crossed that Cuddles gets better and better. A pet is a pet-sometimes we don’t get to pick what/who steals our affections.

    And a great big thank you for bringing such pleasure & humour into the life of so many. I came here to find out about a cob oven, fell in love with a chicken called Cuddles & haven’t stopped since.

  5. Su says:

    I’m happy for you that you feel more like you…. :)

  6. marilyn says:

    we are women..hear us roar..chicken or human

  7. Sarah Homann says:

    I love a Cuddles! since I have a Cuddles too! but My problem is with day I looked down , way down and under, to find my girl had her innards sticking out?! honestly, so incredible gross. what’s a mama to do with that? I got to work researching and discovered it’s a prolapsed vent! and eventually will kill her..Oy. I could go on gruesome detail on what I tried to do..Boring. Anyone have an old fashioned remedy? Karen ?


    • Julie says:

      Maybe you should get her a pessary!
      I really can’t explain why I remembered that word!!

      • Sarah Homann says:

        Julie-Oy …ouch! That looks medieval. Not sure what goes where? Lol

      • Julie says:

        Sarah…I’m trying to reply with something witty….but…I got nuthin’! Just glad my lady parts aren’t falling out!

      • Sarah Homann says:

        Julie- I personally would let all my lady parts fall down.Like I have a choice? Not. as a Matter of fact , they are collapsing as a normal part of aging as the doctor informed me. Who knew?Nothing can match a prolapsed vent though…all gross

  8. Ann says:

    I am glad Cuddles has remained cuddly and I do hope she gets that egg laying back in good healthy order.

    I sort of have a cuddles. Recent development. My white Jersey Giant, Snow was being mercilessly picked on in the coop with the rest of my flock. So I separated her and she lived alone in the greenhouse this winter and seemed totally happy about it. I was waiting for her comb to heal where they had bloodied it so when it did I waited til night and put her back in the coop. The next day, the same thing. She would sit in the corner and they would pick on her.

    So moved her again. I gave up on the idea of putting her back with the others. Lucky for us we had another fenced in dog run empty and a big dog house she could stay in, and the weather warmed up enough to come out of the dog house. So she lived in there alone. During this time she bonded more with me than she would of normally. She waddles up to me and I pick her up and carry her around with me to visit all kinds of places.

    Still we couldn’t figure out our issue, why they picked on her. She hadn’t laid in a good while but we were just coming to spring. I kinda got the idea her legs were “off” but not something that was really obviously was wrong. We entertained that she had gotten egg bound last fall but her tummy and backside didn’t feel overly full or lumpy so who knows?

    Until she started laying again, regular as a clock. Every other day. So that idea went down the drain. It is becoming more and more obvious that at some point she either suffered a leg injury that hasn’t healed well enough or possibly has some sort of birth defect that has left her legs and pelvis weak. Alone she is fine. We did get her 3 babies from a friend to put in with her and she is alright for the most part with them but they will have to be moved out and replaced soon, as they grow big enough to start picking on her. Darned chickens. They sure can be cruel to one another over minor weaknesses and flaws. But as long as Snow chicken can stay up on her feet and be as happy to be a pet as she is, she will remain and the little companions will grow and then go. Don’t ask where. You might not like the answer

  9. It has been much longer than that for me and my wound still hurts :-( BUT, I am much more of the person I want to be, so that’s good :-) Hope Cuddles continues to amaze.

  10. Bonnie says:

    My town just passed an ordinance allowing backyard chickens. YAY!
    I used to have chickens when I lived in another place, and I had a chicken who wouldn’t eat. So, a friend recommended cat food. She ate it, but was still doing poorly. So, I took her to the veterinary hospital. They took her in the back to weigh her, then in a few minutes came out holding their noses and distressed asking what I had fed her. Apparently, the cat food gave her diarrhea, and chicken cat-food diarrhea is not nice. I had additional adventures with Liz, the chicken, that I will have to tell you about later. (She was named Liz after Liz Taylor because she was a Polish chicken with a black bouffant do who walked like she was drunk. I had clutched her out of the talons of a marauding hawk, but not before she had some nerve damage that caused the drunk walk.)

  11. mimiindublin says:

    2 stalwarths, you and Cuddles! Well done!

  12. Ellen Crawley says:

    Who knew? Well not me. I am (was)a city girl so all this talk about chickens laying eggs inside themselves sounds like urban myth to me. If I hadn’t heard it from you I would not have believed it. Hope all continues to improve for your dear Cuddles. And I agree that time does heal, usually.Glad you are doing well. Chickens and heartache, sounds like the stuff of a country song. Best wishes.

  13. Penley says:

    Men eh? What are they good for? Chickens on the other hand – fabulous creatures. So glad Cuddles is doing betterish, I hope she can feel the good vibes emanating her way from over here in sunny Queensland. All the others too of course!

  14. Grammy says:

    I was confident that you’d be fine when you woke up alone, because Betty wouldn’t have raised a girl who couldn’t pull through it. When you’re good and you know you’re good, you can only conclude that the fool who walked is a sorry soul and make what you like of your own life. And so you have, and the rest of us get to hang out and watch you being cool.

    I hope you tell Cuddles regularly that she’s got a fan club, and that nobody cares if she gives you eggs because her cuddles are enough. Maybe she’s decided she’s a cat. If so, let her be your feathered feline — no one’s going to quibble with that.

  15. Alexandra says:

    I’m just a random stranger on the internet (who’s been reading your blog for years), but I really want to tell you how happy I am that you (and Cuddles!) are doing well.

    Also: Skeevy is such a great word. Love it.

  16. Lynn says:

    Thank you for Cuddles update ,so happy she is doing better. Hope you did something special just for your self to say you rock . You make so many of us laugh on a daily bases . I just wanted to say thank you Karen .

  17. Amy in StL says:

    I’m so glad Cuddles is better. I can’t have chickens since my mom is afraid of them so I chicken farm vicariously through you. As for the two years, time does really heal all wounds. After five years I can occasionally say my ex’s name without using the adjective creepy. It’s a work in progress.

    • Liesl says:

      I feel you on that Amy. Though creepy is replaced by ‘psycho’ in my case, as in my psycho ex-boyfriend. And I broke up with him back in ’08. I might consider skeevy though. Skeevy is a good word.

  18. Ritz says:

    Meanwhile back on the range..
    …Idris has been dating a Bentley, and he’s looking pretty damn good, too.

  19. Tigermom says:

    Good to hear that Cuddles is trying to and apparently succeeding in mending herself.

    I’d say you’re pretty well mended. Can’t believe it’s been two years…

  20. Tracie says:

    Unpleasant, squalid, or distasteful. Yes, I did have to look it up. And, I’m sorry, but…yes, his name was Chris.

  21. Pati Gulat says:

    You are an awesome inspiration to all of us who have had to or will have to get over hurt. You’ve kept your sense of humor and made us laugh when you wanted to cry and you ever threw some chicken drama into the mix. Your blog is they only one I follow faithfully….. As for skeevy…. I’m gonna have to start using that with some real frequency, cos I’m really digging on it !

  22. That post had tension. Tension with a capital T. I was totally stressed out by the time I finished reading it. How will I sleep now, thinking about Cuddles and her egg lay/layless situation? I need updates. STAT!
    Chewing Her Nails in the GTA

    p.s. Happy Anniversary!

    Have a good weekend, Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Imagine how I feel Elen, lol. I started to feed her cat food yesterday! She will NOT eat her feed. Hasn’t wanted to eat it since she was sick last year. She’ll eat it fermented, but gets bored with it. Then she’ll eat it if I grind it up, but gets bored with it. Then she’ll eat it if I wet it, but gets bored with it … and on and on. She doesn’t want any feed, but will eat all the kitchen scraps in the world if I let her. Problem is she can’t survive on scraps. Chickens need protein, minerals, etc. So believe it or not cat food has that. It’s not the best thing for them because of how it’s processed, but it’s better than her not eating anything. ~ karen!

      • I can’t even!
        I love how Cuddles is a cuddler.

      • Cynthia Jones says:

        Maybe in her pea-sized primitive chicken brain, she knows something we don’t. I say let her eat the cat food. I am sure you give her a quality one.

        What a relief it must be for her to have her innards working properly and all her chicken shakra’s open and doing what they are designed to do.

        Cuddles to you and a big hug. It is not easy to remember pain but I guess the anniversary’s become like a ritual or rite of passage. I think we humans need those. Take care of your self. (((hug)))

        PS I wont say anything about the silver fox. Promise. I dint. :)

  23. Auntiepatch says:

    Has it been 2 years? How can that be? Time flies when you’re having fun!

    Pet Cuddles for me! She’s such a sweetie; just like her mama.

  24. Kim says:

    Aww Karen I sincerely hope all is well with cuddles. I KNOW you are ok but we always remember what hurts us so….you are strong, you are awesome, you are better off without. On this anniversary you are a better Karen. sigh…as women we never forgive….we try. Suck it up buttercup! You are fine. You are BETTER than you were before! (remember bionic man and woman) Love you! All the best!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Kim! I am good! I’m really good! Idris hasn’t called lately but … ~ karen!

      • June says:

        Did you hear that Idris Elba is filming a series for the Discovery Channel titled “Idris Elba: No Limits”? Just in case you’re interested.

  25. Mel says:

    Phew I was worried about Cuddles, thanks for the update! And happy anniversary… I wasn’t worried about you at all, because you are a tough cookie who, when life gives you lemons, you throw them at skeevy people.

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