My Chicken Ate My Earring! August 16, 2017

Believe it or not, even chicken keepers like to glam it up every once in a while. For a gal like me, this includes a pair of diamond earrings that my husband gave me when we had our first child. But I had no idea that my chickens would like my earrings just as much as I did!

Big Mama, the Barred Plymouth Rock

One day I went out to sit with my flock. My favorite hen, Big Mama, flew into my lap and nestled down for a nap. (If you haven’t trained your chickens to be lap chickens, I highly encourage it!) I was busy looking around, doing a visual inspection of my flock when I felt a surprise tug at my ear.

Reaching up, I could feel that my earring was gone. When I looked down Big Mama was standing in my lap with my diamond stud clasped in her beak.

Oh, no!

Diamonds are a chick’s best friend

This next step is where I went wrong. I should have carefully lifted my bird and calmly retrieved the earring from her beak. What I did was scream like a mad woman and fling my arms into the air, causing my flock—and Big Mama—to fly away in terror.

Where was the earring?

In a panic, I looked around and even started crying, scaring my six-year-old into crying along with me. We both began sifting through piles of gravel and sand looking for my tiny stud. We must have been a sight! But in the end, we came up empty handed.

My chicken ate my earring

Clearly Big Mama the chicken ate my earring, right? That must be what happened. I wanted to catch it when it came out the other end, so I isolated her in my chicken infirmary, a modified dog crate.

But after a while, I began to worry that she would keep the earring in her digestive tract since chickens will normally consume rocks and grit to aid in digestion. Faced with this concern, I called our local vet (who happens to be my uncle) and persuaded him to let me bring my chicken in to be X-rayed. His practice doesn’t normally take chickens, but luckily, for me he made an exception.

Trip to the vet with my earring-eating chicken

With Big Mama loaded up in the car with us, we headed to town. I sat in tears in the waiting room while Big Mama was taken back. In a while, they brought her back to me along with the X-ray; no earring.

Say what?

My Uncle did say that she was the nicest chicken he had ever seen, but I wasn’t in the mood to accept a compliment on her behalf.

But if my chicken didn’t swallow the earring, then where did it go?

Buried Treasure

I didn’t want to give up on finding that earring, so I searched the internet and found a couple of local treasure-hunting enthusiasts (yes, you read that right) who would come out and help people look for lost jewelry. I messaged them, and within a day they were in my yard with more metal-detecting equipment than I knew existed.

They spent the better half of an afternoon searching my yard for the earring. They even scanned my flock! Holding a bird while someone ran a metal detector over their body must be one of the strangest things I’ve ever done.

Unfortunately, even the treasure hunters came back empty-handed.

It was not that my chicken ate my earring or even that she dropped it. Evidently she just made it disappear into thin air.

My chicken is a wizard.

I genuinely thanked them for coming out and treated them to cold Dr. Peppers.

Defeat

Defeated, I wrapped up my lonesome earring and stowed it away in my jewelry box. I had my husband lock up the chickens that night. I was too bitter to face Big Mama, and it took me a couple days to forgive her. But forgive her I did. It was my fault, after all, for wearing jewelry in the coop.

my chicken ate my earring--or not!

Guilty but forgiven

 

I wish I could tell you that I eventually found my earring, but that’s not the case.

I knew raising chickens was going to cost money, but I didn’t know it would be that expensive! So please, learn from my mistake and take off your jewelry before entering the coop.

And if all else fails, stay calm!

3 Comments
Andrea Mosqueda June 15th, 2020

My rooster ate my pearl off of my ring this morning. I feel your pain it was a ring that I got in Disney world at Epcot for my 14th wedding Anniversary. I am very sad. I am currently stocking the rooster that we have locked up in a dog kennel and searching through every pile he drops. I am beginning to think it will get dissolved. I am very glad it wasn’t my diamond off my ears or my wedding rings.

Andrea Mosqueda June 15th, 2020

*Stalking not stocking do you think it will even some out?

Cheri Heath October 22nd, 2021

One of my chickens plucked the earring right from my ear and ate it the other day before I could react. She likes to sit on the back of my chair and check my hair for bugs, I never thought she’d go for an earring. It was so fast, the post was still on the back of my ear.

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