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As we watch the price of eggs go up, up, up, this infusion nurse tells how her chicken raising adventure is paying off.
By IU Health Senior Journalist, TJ Banes, firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve all heard of the fairy tale about the goose who laid the “golden egg.” But how many have heard about the nurse who hatched a project influenced by one of the fledglings from her own nest?
It was in fact, Amanda Tames’ youngest son, who decided raising chicks would be a great FFA project. Tames approached the idea skeptically - raising chickens, was not her first job.
Nursing became a second career for Tames when she obtained her degree in 2018. For years before that, she worked for a CPR training site. “My mom was a nurse and I’ve always been around the medical field but I think I resisted nursing for so long and then knew it was what I really wanted to do,” said Tames. She joined IU Health five years ago. While completing her nursing degree she worked as a patient care assistant at Riley Hospital for Children and then worked as a nurse at Riley. For the past several years, she has worked with IU Health’s Specialty Infusion Team.
Today, as hospitals across the country celebrate “National IV Nurse Day” Tames shares her role. At the end of 2022 she became a unit supervisor. She also shares how she said, “yes” to her son and added a few extra chicks to her brood.
Members of the IU Health Specialty Infusion Team are responsible for administering at- home medications for a variety of conditions. Some of those include Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and neurological disorders. Tames can see anywhere from two to five patients a day depending on the amount of time needed per an infusion treatment. The home visits also include charting and monitoring patients.
“I have a lot of repeat patients so I really get to know them,” said Tames. Married to her high school sweetheart, Tames and her husband live on two acres in Clayton, Ind. They are the parents to four children.
It was her youngest who decided raising chickens would be a good project last spring.
“I said we’d 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 rescued so we ended up with 12 hens and rooster,” said Tames. “I had no idea what I was doing.”
Lucky for her, another infusion team member, Wayne Moore, had been raising chickens for some time. She was a preceptor for him when he joined the infusion team and he coached her through raising chickens. Moore has been a nurse for 12 years and started at IU Health in May 2022. He’s been raising chickens for almost three years.
“I got the itch to do it when I had a client raising chickens and they let me try a few eggs. I really enjoyed them,” he said. He and his wife average about five eggs a day.
“I ask Wayne all kinds of questions like how much room do I need? How do I keep the water from freezing? Is this normal? Is that normal?,” said Tames. “I’m always picking his brain - like how do we protect them from hawks? So many things I have no idea about.”
After purchasing 11 hens, building materials, fencing and miscellaneous supplies, she estimates her first egg cost about $1,000. That first egg was small but as the hens have continued laying throughout the winter, the eggs have gotten larger. And with the price of grocery store eggs going up, Tames has happily shares her crop with friends.
And how does her son fit into the project? “He’s in charge of cleaning the area and putting down fresh straw,” said Tames. And there’s something else he’s working on. “He wants me to get a couple of goats.”