Jo(e)

I currently have 38 chickens in my coop.  That’s more than I ever planned for, and it was ok until they got big.  Holy smell, Batman!  But it’s ok, because 15 of them will be leaving at the end of the week, leaving me with exactly as many as I’ve ever wanted.  (And approximately 10 more than I ever thought I’d actually have.)

The chick's first field trip into the garden.  That's Joe in the grass at the bottom.

The chick’s first field trip into the garden. That’s Joe in the grass at the bottom.

How did I get this many you ask?  Well, I had 6 laying hens and decided it was time to expand.  So I ordered 25 1-day-old chicks with the plan to split them with a friend.  The day before they were to arrive, we went to the feed store to get supplies.  There were day-old chicks there, and boy were they cute!  When you have 25, what’s 5 more, right?  The next weekend my friend went to the feed store with her 4-year-old.  Chicks were still there.  And they were still so cute!  What’s 7-ish more at that point?  And did I mention that I received not one, but two free “exotic” chicks in my shipment.  Then, another neighbor somehow ended up with a single chick after a trip to the feed store.  Chickens cannot live happily by themselves, so I adopted it, naturally.  What’s one more, right? (So I guess the moral of this story is that you don’t look at the cute little fuzzballs in the bins at the feed store in March.)

Sitting on the food.  Time to get a cover!

Sitting on the food. Time to get a cover!

Any who, up until this last batch, they’ve each had names, but now there are so many of each breed that I can’t keep them straight.  But there are one or two that stick out from the chicks that I accumulated this spring.  The most memorable, and the favorite of all visitors, is Jo(e).  (S)he was one of my “free exotic” chicks, which usually means rooster, and that’s what I’m leaning towards, but I just can’t tell!  When we unboxed the shipment, we immediately noticed Jo(e).  His head had a small cotton ball on top of his head.

Jo(e) dressed up as a 90's boy-bander.

Jo(e) dressed up as a 90’s boy-bander.

Too cool for school!

Too cool for school!

Checking out the new digs!

Checking out the new digs!

As he grew, it only became more pronounced, until now I’m really not sure if he can even see.  I have to say he’s not the brightest chicken in the coop, and that’s saying a lot.  Chickens are not the smartest animals in the world.

We love watching him grow, although the other chicks are not a fan.  He’s different, and his hair’s kind of out there, so they pick at him.  He’s currently growing out his bald spot.  At least he’s got that capability!

On the catwalk!

On the catwalk!

Strutting his stuff.

Strutting his stuff.

He takes his job as protector very seriously, laying in the middle of the door to the coop every night counting each chick as she comes in for bed.  It’s so pitiful to see him slowly get pushed out of the way by the larger, pushier chicks.  Eventually he finds a way to get back in the doorway to keep watch at night.  Though I’m not sure what he’d ever do if danger actually made it’s way in, probably run and hide!  Maybe when he gets a little older…

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Free Write

As I sit to write the first blog for Writing 101, I’m really unsure how to proceed. Stream of conscious is really difficult for me. I usually end up thinking of my to-do list. Things I need to be doing, not this hobby.
1. Write my second blog post for my back-up plan website. I have #1 written and saved in drafts. I really need to get two more written and scheduled. On that note, I need to make sure they are going to the right page when I hit publish and not my homepage. It’s WordPress, but I’ve not done a retail site before. I had someone else design this one, and I’m really glad I did. It was done much better and much more quickly than I would have done.
2. Answer emails for my real job. I have about 5 in the inbox.
3. Finish cleaning the kitchen. ‘nough said.
4. Write reviews for the wineries and restaurants we visited in Fredericksburg over the weekend before I forget. By the way, I loved the house we stayed in, but didn’t get any pictures. It was perfect for us and the two couples we were with. We didn’t get any group pictures, or any pictures at all really. Good job, blogger!
5. Unload the chicken feed and bedding in the back of my jeep.
6. Clean out the coop and lay fresh bedding.
7. Figure out how to remove the dad-blasted grasshoppers that showed up in my vegetable garden over the weekend. I can’t even tell you how frustrated I am about this. They destroyed almost the whole garden last year. I need hints for getting rid of them organically. I found a garlic spray that I’m going to try, and I need to replace my cilantro, so maybe those two steps will help? I used white flour last year, but it didn’t seem to help. I have a sprinkler that waters every morning, and I just can’t get out there before work to reapply. I don’t think the spray will work very well for the same reason. I know I should have worked the soil to get rid of the eggs over the fall, but I was so burnt out and disappointed that I just couldn’t.
8. Got my first NatureBox in the mail today. I need to put all those snacks away, too. Need to write my Birchbox reviews.
9. Need to get a glass of water. I’m kind of thirsty. I’m slightly dehydrated. I was putting all the groceries in my car this afternoon and my foot cramped up. While I was essentially standing there. Why do we have to get older? This sort of thing would never have happened even five years ago.
And now I have 7 more minutes left and I’m totally through my to-do list. Short term, anyway. There’s a longer list, but that’s just overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be nice if the list actually went as quickly as the typing did? Thirteen minutes to go through it all. But I have to admit that I extend my time outside as much as possible. It’s starting to get hot (hello, Texas summer!) but I still love the chance to be in the sun. I’m in an office or the car for the majority of my day at the real job, so the opportunity to be in the sun is welcome. Probably why I love my Jeep! Those Freedom Panels come off at every chance!
And now, the timer’s gone off. Time to get to work!
Thanks for stopping by! And, please let me know if you have any ways to get rid of the grasshoppers! If it’s something I’ve already listed and you’ve tried it, let me know how it went. (But I will not pick them off by hand. YUCK!)