rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Post Office”

NO Rooster Necessary

So the “Rancherette” arrives at the post office unannounced with two cardboard boxes of chickens for shipment to Oklahoma. Why these birds wanted to go to Oklahoma in the first place is beyond this Texan’s imagination. I mean no disrespect to the great citizens of Oklahoma, but the best thing ever to come out of Oklahoma was the musical, “Oklahoma”. I’m a sucker for musicals.  I love that musical and Shirley Jones singing. Then there is Mickey Mantle and Johnny Bench.  And I must never leave out Native Americans, the backbone of the state. However, it is not Texas, I’m just sayin’.  And I am now trying to dig myself out of a hole. Before I get mauled on social media, I maybe should change the subject.

As I was saying, the “Rancherette” is shipping “Mille Fleur D’uccle bantams and Silkie bantams to Oklahoma. These birds are show quality and are headed for distinction. “The Rancherette”, herself is a person of distinction and especially in the chicken world. She is an expert, knowledgeable and very professional at raising chickens. The “Rancherwriterpoet” is not a biased person, he is however, rather smart.

Well, she queued at the post office, (which one shall remain anonymous for fear of retribution from the USPS) to ship the birds. While waiting in line, several people were inquisitive about what was in the cartons. Never missing an opportunity to discuss chickens, the “Rancherette” was quick to respond. The conversation went something like this, “Chickens”, she said. And that was all she needed to elaborate about what was in the cardboard boxes. I venture to say, before she left the building, every person in the place knew so much more about chickens than before they came in. They also had in their little hands, “The Fuzzy Chicken Farm” business cards in case there should be any further dialog.

When she approached the counter, the clerk recognized her and mentioned how much she likes chickens.  The “Rancherette” mails all her chickens from this post office. As you might expect, the hens are cackling, I mean the ladies are talking chickens, when the clerk commented that she would like to have a few chickens so she could have fresh eggs but she did not want a rooster. She thought she needed a rooster in order to have fresh eggs. This obviously opened the door (to the coop) for a discussion about when a rooster is needed and when not. In her calm and mentoring demeanor, the “Rancherette” explained that a rooster was not needed for a hen to merely lay an egg. The clerk was dumbfounded at this information.

This is going to take a lesson in chicken biology at which the “Rancherette” is very well versed. I can imagine that the subject was covered in full explicit detail so I want further complicate your day by revealing those elements. If I did, this would need to be rated X. Needless to say, the line behind the “Rancherette’ grew longer as the seminar continued. I find myself wondering if there was participation from those behind her. There was certainly curiosity. I am confident that viable information was presented by a Master Professional and all went home having learned that a rooster is not necessary for eggs or you can buy eggs at the super market. I don’t believe they have any roosters in the back.

Next week, there will two more shipments of birds to some far away land like Idaho and Illinois. Idaho has potatoes and Illinois has the Cubs. The “Rancherette” can’t wait. She will be holding another tutorial at the same USPS facility. She anticipates another great discussion about chickens. Hopefully she does not have to repeat last week’s lesson.  The “Rancherwriterpoet” was not there for confirmation of this conversation, but the expression on the “Rancherette’s” face as she was relating this was hilarious. I found this to be very informative. If you can’t stand the cackling or crowing stay out of the coops.

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It is another damp, dreary day here in North Texas. Yesterday, it rained all day, then all last night and is continuing today. But I am not complaining, at least not about the moisture. Although, I could stand for it to be a bit warmer than 52 degrees. I realize that temperature is warm to some of you folks outside the state of Texas.

We have been in a drought situation for the last three years in our area. Our pond dried up months ago, except for a few inches in the bottom. Even those precious inches are covered by algae. But I am not complaining about the moisture. On days like today, it is almost impossible to find any projects I can do that are not rained out. However, the “Rancherette” can find plenty to do.

Just this morning we get a call from the Post Office. They notified the “Rancherette” that there was a package waiting to be picked up. So, she braves the cold and wet rain to go to the post office and pick up her package of eggs. (She knew eggs were in the package but the post office did not know, otherwise they could have been scrambled).

I know, most people get their eggs from the grocery store. There is a variety of eggs available at the grocery store. Organic, (whatever that means) low cholesterol eggs, large eggs, medium eggs small eggs, brown eggs, white eggs, egg whites only, artificial eggs, just about any kind of chicken egg you want. But, my “Rancherette’ marches to the beat of a different drummer. She buys eggs and has them delivered by the U.S.P.S.

I suppose I should tell you these are Silkie Chicken eggs. I know you cannot buy these eggs in the grocery store. These eggs are specifically purchased for the sole reason of incubating them. You know, that process where as the chicken, when hatched, does not know his/her mother, since they will hatch from a machine. I can just see it now, when grown and feeling abandoned, the chicken will search the internet to see if he/she can discover his/her birth parents.

Now, if you have a broody hen, she could become an adoptive mother. Just not quite the same as a birth parent, however, And your hen may not be broody, depends on the hormones (doesn’t everything?) but still the chick would not know the father.

Well, the “Rancherette” brings home the package of eggs. The shipper has bubble wrapped each egg and placed them into a box filled with shredded newspaper.The grocery store doesn’t go that far. Their shipper puts them into a foam container. You know how at the store you open the foam carton and inspect each egg to see if it is broken? Well, that happened with this package of eggs, too. I must say, they are packaged very well. So well, in fact, that each egg is hidden in the shredded paper and she had to look carefully through the package, hunting for the eggs. One would have thought she was on an Easter egg hunt. I should have got her an Easter basket.

The shipper had marked each egg as to which family tree it belongs. B stand for Buff, L stands for Lavender, PT stands for Paint and so forth. Those are colors of different varieties of Silkies. However, these are still eggs and have yet to be hatched. We also have to hope the rooster knew what he was doing.

In about 21 days or so, the “Rancherette” will become a surrogate mother to a flock of Silkie chicks. We won’t be able to determine how many boy chicks or how many girl chicks will hatch until a couple of months down the road. They keep those things well hidden. However, when they eventually hatch, you will be the first to know. Since I am a non-smoker, I will not be passing out cigars.  I may be a surrogate father and as such, maybe I will pass out some Chicklets gum.

I’m thinking that maybe I would like a slab of bacon to go along with my eggs. But I can’t mention that or the “Rancherette” might want to start raising pigs. I can just hear her now, “Oh, they are soooo cute! That would lead to me building luxury pigpens, with special pig feeders and all the other luxurious items that pigs enjoy, like mud. There is plenty of that today.

Me, I just want the bacon. I can get it delivered by mail.

Have a wonderful day.

Officially, A Rancher

In order for this to be explored in context, I must repeat a portion of my first blog, “Puttering around East Texas”, published in May 2011. You may check the archives if you wish to read the entire blog.

In that blog, I said this:

“I have one of those quite placid names. It evokes no imagination, no illusions, nothing that would conjure up an interest in reading the words before you.  Thus, it became rather difficult to name my blog. I certainly want others to read what I have to say, (as if I really had something to say).

However, in order to do that, the name must immediately grab the reader’s attention. Therefore, it must be “unique”. I settled on rancher, writer, poet.

First, I am not a rancher; I just thought it sounded good. I am however, a writer and a poet. You, the reader, will have to decide if I can use the adjective, “good”.

 

I have these images of a cowboy roping and riding with a six-gun at his side. He wears a cowboy hat, a plaid shirt and denims. He sits tall in the saddle and talks funny. He hustles his cattle across the wide-open range, disperses rustlers and evil land grabbers, and is always trying to protect the fair maidens from harm. He has sons named Adam, Hoss, and Little Joe.  To me, that is a rancher.

Well, now it is official. I am, at last a rancher, at least by marriage. My wife and I were married in May 2009; however, until recently I did not realize I had married a “rancherette”. I knew that she was a dog breeder and an animal lover when I married her. I am fine with that. With eight Standard Poodles, and a couple of rescue dogs, we were in the “business”; however, I do not think this qualifies me as a “rancher”.

Thus, I was unprepared for what “the rancherette” did next. Did you know, one could order twenty-five chickens online? They mail them to you.  They arrive at the post office. They come in a little box with holes in the side. United States Priority Mail. To the post office. Two-day delivery. The postmaster called this morning and said the birds had arrived, could we come pick them up because they were cheeping and wanting to come home.

I thought perhaps they could have given them flight plans and flown, but they don’t yet know how to read or fly.

These baby chicks, mailed only a day after they are hatched must be taught how to eat and drink. Dip their little beaks in water so they know what water is and poke their little beaks in food. One might wonder why their momma did not teach them. Well, it is because they were taken away from their momma even before they were born, uh, hatched. You see, they have these little trays called incubators and the eggs go into those little crates as soon as they are laid. There, thanks to technology, the little trays automatically turn the eggs every so often until the eggs are hatched.

So, they don’t ever get to know their momma. But, not to worry, us humans can substitute for their momma.

So, in the tub, they went. The “rancherette”, took each little critter, one at a time, poked his/her head in the water. Funny thing about that gender stuff. We don’t know which is which. Won’t know until they get big or start crowing, whichever comes first. Anyway, they took one little drink and was hooked on the stuff. I don’t think they had ever had a drink before. Then she gently stroked each one and poked his/her head to the food. Guess what? They were hungry. You would be too, if you had never tasted any food before.  Luckily, for me I married a “rancherette”.

Hoo boy, now I am a “rancher”. There is such a thing as a chicken rancher, isn’t there? Osmosis, you know. You should see me in there herding those little critters. Git along, little dogie, git along. Them little rascals are sure hard to rope, but I’ll learn. I can’t wait ’til they get bigger.  The “rancherette” ordered twenty-five, but got twenty-seven. One died, so that left us with twenty-six. I looking online for baby names, now. Maybe, I’ll just use the alphabet. 

Maybe you might be interested in becoming a “rancher!” this is a picture of the “herd” They are called “Silkies”.  I gotta go build a coop now. Cluck, Cluck!  Help me out here, Little Joe.

baby chicks first day

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