you got to be jolting me

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you got to be jolting me

So today on the way home from work I stopped and picked up some Chinese food, including chicken and brocolli which was in brown sauce that had gotten on the plastic bag the plate was in.  And predictably the unavoidable happened, the brown sauce got all over my right hand.  I scrubbed my hand incessantly with a napkin because I knew I had to make one more stop on the way home.  I had to get my new baby chicks a chicken feeder and waterer so I could keep their cage cleaner than it is with the temporary bowls and such.  So i went into the farm supply store and grabbed what i needed and then some additional items so I could get out quickly.  The girl at the register was very nice and chatty.  I told her i had just bought 8 baby chicks from them a few days ago so I needed to buy them a feeder and waterer;  she held up the ceramic eggs i had also bought and gave me a strange look.  She said wow they grow up fast don’t they – meaning the ceramic eggs are used to encourage fully grown hens to lay eggs in a nest.  I smiled and said well I have older chickens too that are already laying eggs.  And I explained my purpose in buying each additional item as she scanned it.  I paid for all the items and she reached forward to hand me my receipt and she snatched her hand back initially with a quite “shocked” look on her face and carefully handed me the receipt as to keep her distance from me.  Her chatty demeanor had changed also and she wasn’t interested in conversation all of a sudden.  I kind of looked at her with a puzzled glance and shrugged my shoulders and walked out.  As I was walking out the door I saw streaks of peculiar brown sauce now partially dried on my right thumb.  Apparently in my rush to wipe all the Chinese sauce off my hand and finish my errands I had missed some.  I felt like i should go back in and explain the situation at once but I was too embarrassed so i continued onward to the car and drove off quickly.

the new baby chicks were a little cranky when they first arrived

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the new baby chicks were a little cranky when they first arrived

I have 5 chickens currently and two are so old they can barely walk.  I don’t normally cull/euthanize them as I let them pick their own time to go or unfortunately sometimes a predator decides for them.  Today, I decided to start a new flock so I bought 8 baby chicks from Tractor Supply – I’m keeping the old flock also but I’ll probably keep them separated.  I use chickens to help recycle kitchen vegetable food waste so we send less to the landfill.  I also throw leaves that I rake up from the yard into their pen and I let them free range as much as possible in fenced in areas I’ve created.  Chickens are much more efficient at composting than using compost tumblers or compost piles.

I try to let them get as close to my garden as I can depending on the crop type and I think they help control insects so I can keep my garden more organic and use less pesticides.  I only use pesticides when I have no other choice and sometimes even then I don’t use them.  LOL.  I’ve lost entire crops to insects sometimes because I didn’t use pesticides.  And when that happens I feed the lost crops including the insects (if possible) to the chickens.  Of course another benefit of having chickens are eggs.

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I find it ironic that the box i brought them home in is shaped a lot like a KFC box.  A few interesting notes about terminology.  If you buy straight run chickens of any breed then that means it contains males and females randomly since with most breeds you can’t easily distinguish between males and females when they are young.  If you buy pullets only then it only contains females.

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The low here in Florida tonight is 62 degrees Fahrenheit so that’s a wee bit chilly for young chicks as you can tell by them huddling close together to stay warm.  I hooked up a 75 watt incandescent light bulb to give them a tad bit of heat to get them through the night.  The government has cracked down on the old light bulb types so it’s getting harder to find them when you really need them for their heat.  The gov wants everyone to buy the new non-incandescent types that are more energy efficient and give off little heat.  I’m ok with that because it makes the country more energy efficient but it doesn’t make it any easier for me raising baby chicks.