Everyday Shoes

Last week my crocs disintegrated, and the shoes I wore out to the coop are falling apart, which means that I only had a pair of “go to town” sneakers that I wear only when I leave home so they look nice. It was time for me to get more shoes.

I had asked EJ to stop at Goodwill on his way to work to see if he could buy some shoes for me. (He buys things on his way to work to eliminate unnecessary trips.) For those who may not know: People donate unwanted items to Goodwill, which then sells them at a low price. We enjoy buying from Goodwill because we’ve always liked being frugal–and it’s especially important with super-high inflation and warnings of supply chain issues. We are trying to buy ahead in case items become too expensive or scarce to buy. Also, we never know what we will find at Goodwill so it’s like treasure hunting. I asked EJ to specifically look for “coop” shoes and backless slip-on shoes. The “coop shoes” are only for walking out to the coop. When I come back into the house, I take them off in the laundry room so Hannah Joy can’t access them–otherwise she licks the chicken poop off them. Yuck. I keep backless slip-on shoes near the door in case I have to take quick trips outside or to the garage–to take Hannah Joy on/off her tether, for example, or when I am moving sprinklers from one place to another. EJ found THREE pairs of shoes: One for “coop shoes” (the pink shoes in the bottom row of the photo), and two backless slip-ons (the white and dark blue shoes in the top row). He got them for $7 each, which is far cheaper than paying $30, $40, or more for shoes. I told EJ he did a wonderful job finding me shoes.

I ordered a pair of new shoes on-line to wear for longer walks on the property–down the driveway to get the mail, for example. They arrived today. I think they are almost too pretty to wear, but shoes are for wearing so I will wear them! They are the top left ones in the above photo. They are comfy.

Before I got any new/used shoes, EJ glued my old coop shoes (battered shoes on the bottom right in photo) together with strong glue so they’d last until I got new ones. I decided I will wear them until they fall completely apart before switching to the new “coop shoes.” No use discarding them before I have to.

I forgot to include my “go-to-town” sneakers in the photo. Oh, well.

Earlier this week I consulted with EJ about whether he thought we should let out the chicks into the general population of the flock this coming weekend. We decided to hold off for another couple of weeks. They have almost all their adult feathers (especially the older ones), but EJ felt they were still a bit too young. They are only half the size of the adults. So we will wait. It doesn’t hurt to continue giving them their “chick starter” feed.

The younger chicks are getting a bit sassy, trying to peck me when I give them fresh food and water. When I got my first flock of chickens in 2016, I read that the reason some chickens get mean is because they think they outrank you in their pecking order so they are trying to keep the inferior human in their place. So I make sure they understand THEIR place in the pecking order by not letting them get away with sassing me. Because of this, I have never had any mean chickens. EJ laughs that our alpha rooster acts like a foreman reporting to his boss (me). He keeps his flock in line and respects me. So with the young chicks now beginning to sass me, I found a ruler-sized stick and I (not harshly) nudge/poke them away, treating them much like a higher ranking chicken would treat a lower ranking one.

The hens have several places in the coop where they like to lay their eggs. Mostly they lay them in the kitty litter boxes I set up for them, but they lay in other places as well. One place is now blocked by the chicks’ cages. I see several eggs back there, but I can’t reach them. So it’s possible we might eventually have some naturally hatched chicks. I don’t see any hen sitting on the eggs…but we shall see.

The bluebirds are starting their second family of the summer. It’s so much fun to watch them.

EJ asked me the other day if we are at war with the chipmunks. Chipmunks are very cute and entertaining to watch as they scurry about, but they are also quite destructive. We seem to have an abundance of chipmunks this year. The chipmunks really irritate Hannah Joy with their squeaky chatter, but I’m not quite ready to declare war. This is a brief video I took of them chasing each other.

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