As we watched egg prices go up, up, up, this infusion nurse told how her chicken-raising adventures paid off.
By IU Health Senior Journalist, TJ Banes, firstname.lastname@example.org
We have all heard of the fairy tale about the goose that lays the “golden egg”. But how many have heard of a nanny hatching a project influenced by one of the chicks from her own nest?
In fact, the youngest son of Amanda Tames who decided raising chicks would be a great FFA project. Tames approached the idea skeptically – raising chickens wasn’t her first job.
Nursing became Tames’ second career when she earned her degree in 2018. For many years before that, she worked for a CPR training site. “My mother was a nurse and I’ve always worked in the medical field but I think I was against nursing for a long time and then learned that’s what I really wanted to do,” Tames said. She joined IU Health 5 years ago. While completing her nursing degree, she worked as a patient care assistant at Riley Children’s Hospital and later as a nurse at Riley. For the past few years, she has worked with the IU Health Special Infusion Team.
Today, as hospitals across the country celebrate “National Nurses Day IV,” Tames shares his role. At the end of 2022, she becomes the supervisor of the unit. She also shared how she said “yes” to her son and added a few chicks to her litter.
Members of the IU Health Specialist Infusion Team are responsible for home medication management for a variety of medical conditions. Some of these include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and neurological disorders. Tames can be seen in two to five patients per day depending on the amount of time required for each infusion treatment. Home visits also include charting and patient monitoring.
“I have a lot of repeat patients so I really understand them,” says Tames. Married to her high school sweetheart, Tames and her husband live on two acres of land in Clayton, Ind. They are parents of four children.
It was her youngest child who decided raising chickens would be a good project last spring.
“I said we would start with six. We went to Tractor Supply and ended up with a dozen. Then someone posted on a Facebook group that they had a rooster that needed to be rescued so we ended up having 12 hens and roosters,” Tames said. “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Luckily for her, another member of the infusion team, Wayne Moore, has been raising chickens for a while. She was his instructor when he joined the infusion team and he trained her on how to raise chickens. Moore has been a nurse for 12 years and started working at IU Health in May 2022. He has been raising chickens for almost three years.
“I like to do that when I have a customer who has chickens and they let me try some eggs. I really enjoyed them,” he said. He and his wife eat about five eggs a day on average.
“I asked Wayne all sorts of questions like how much room do I need? How do I keep the water from freezing? Is this normal? Is that normal?” Tames said. “I always ask his opinion – like how do we protect them from hawks? There’s so much I don’t know.”
After buying 11 hens, building materials, fences and miscellaneous items, she estimates her first egg is worth about $1,000. That first egg was small but as the hens continued to lay throughout the winter, the eggs grew larger and larger. And with the price of eggs at the grocery store going up, Tames was happy to share her harvest with friends.
And how does her son fit into the project? “He was in charge of cleaning up the area and placing fresh straw,” says Tames. And there’s something else he’s working on. “He wants me to get some goats.”