Last year in October I bought four boxes of fabric face masks. I was not anticipating pandemic; I was using them for collecting chicken waste in an experiment I was running at Mezzacello. I call them Chicken Diapers. The premise is very simple; The ear straps go over the wings and the face mask proper goes behind the chicken. An elegant solution to chicken waste issues – especially after I have sterilized the hen yard and I have guests coming through. I don’t want poo everywhere.

The diaper is of course temporary — like all diapers. I should also point out that the “chicken diapers” I had collected changed back to face masks immediately when they were needed. In fact this is a used mask. I needed a demonstration model. The masks are useful like when I need a clean space or I make a visit to a school or such. Chickens are pigeons that lay bigger eggs. They do tend to crap everywhere. I laugh now. But I can’t believe how valuable those chicken diapers became in the early days of the COVID19 scare.

The business end of a “chicken diaper” Jim Bruner | Mezzacello
The strings around the wings. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello
She is completely ‘unbovvered’. Jim Bruner | Mezzacello

Any farmer worth his salt will tell you everything has value. Being an urban gardener and farmer requires a lot of equipment and resources. And it’s hard to keep it neat and organized. It’s what makes the livestock and potager gardens (North Korea) at Mezzacello look so messy. But I can honestly say in this case, I am so happy I saved these chicken diapers. Now I need to figure out how to keep my ducks in line. Those hens have really big booties! The Kim Kardashians of poultry.

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