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Composting Toilet Life Hack!

 

Living with a compost toilet for 2 years and we have a few tricks that work for our budget, lifestyle, and overall peace of mind! Here are just a couple of many tips on using a compost toilet, the media to use, and how to keep it dry while traveling! Now….I gotta go clean the shitter….. 🙂

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Homestead Growing Pains- When Rooster’s Attack

Homestead Growing Pains-When Rooster's Attack!

These are not my first bruises, cuts, scrapes, etc. from living on the homestead or with animals in general. They are inevitable! Fences have cut me, nails have gone through my boot, chicken/turkey/rabbit feet have scraped me, my head has been bruised from knocking it on fence posts or beams form things we are building, and yes….oh yes…my rooster has attacked me. 🙂 It is quite amusing though watching him flap his wings and get all riled up, sort of floating into the air spurring his sharp “talons” at me (or the girls) in effort to make us go away. Unfortunately, “going away” means inside the house, and that is not satisfactory as there are things to do outside! Another reason for the Chicken Tractors! Anytime Roo fusses (every few weeks), I simply grab him by the feet and let him hang upside down. I have tried kicking him away, but that just makes him way more arrogant. Better to nip it in the bud. I have walked outside to take my girls to school, holding coffee, and this little b****rd jumped me from behind! I spilled my coffee on my shirt and since I had to turn around and go back inside he had the nerve to crow over and over again upon his victory! Ugh! 🙂 So, the other day when we were building some tractors outside, he go me through my jeans, and the bruises came a couple of days later. This pic is of the outside of my right thigh. He got me with both feet at the same time. It honestly didn’t and doesn’t even hurt (unless you poke them like my husband likes to do to torment me and my easily bruised skin!) but I thought I would share some of the adventures of owning a rooster…this was exactly what I warned my husband about when we discussed it a couple of years ago. Now the chickens are all put up in a tractor..except for Roo. His predecessor has taken over the Throne of the Barnyard, and now his time on the Crab Homestead has ended. He will be processed soon, but in the mean time he still looks to terrorize sporadically..probably all the pent up….umm…frustration. And he hangs out by the chicken tractor anyway. I kind of feel bad for him because he was “shut out” but he can still visit with them. Then I look at my leg and think, “No I don’t feel bad.” 🙂

Either way, I still can not be mad at Roo b/c he did a damn good job defending our ladies from skunks and hawks. And he stands up for the little biddies to the hens who like to peck. Overall, he will always have a special place in my heart as all of our animals do. And so for that, We Thank You.

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A Chick Comparison- Oh how they grow!

Here is a quick video on the New Years Chicks (8 wks) compared to the 4 wk old chicks born at the end of January. I moved them to the big chicken coop today, separated them from the 8 week old chickens with chicken wire stapled down the middle. The 8 week old chickens can still get outside, but I just wanted them to stay away form my little biddies as they seem to try to establish their pecking order with the little guys. I think it is bullying, lol, my husband says it is nature…tomatoes-tomawtoes. I am acting as mother hen and protecting them!

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My Roosters

At first, I was scared to get roosters b/c you hear all the bad sides, “They attack you,” ” super territorial”, etc. Well, in order to get baby chicks, and to have a complete circle of sustainability, I had to suck it up. So, we got a rooster with a batch of hens and they grew up together just fine. Eventually, when he got to be about 6 months old, he was territorial. He started to attempt to spar me or my husband when we would go feed or get eggs….so here is a quick tip on how to squash this bad behavior:

Grab him by the feet and hold him upside down until he stops squirming. This is a dominance show of force. After hanging there all embarrassed for a minute he will chill out. Be consistent too!

After doing this once, he would leave us alone for a while until he forgot who was boss again. Periodically we would have to go through this and still do, but it helped me not be scared of him..he probably could smell it! lol! Something that did not help was my kids began to get “attacked” by this guy, so they started going outside to his pen (before he was totally free range) where he and his ladies lived with their nerf swords and the top of a big waterer as a shield. This made him more mad! He really did not like new things, like if I was holding a drink in my hand he took it as a threat. But I would go out with them and snatch him up and let them hold him upside down. He stopped messing with them eventually. Why do I keep him around, you may ask? Because he fought a hawk and a skunk to protect his hens…and that is just fine in my book. He may be aggressive but he does his job. Here this stud it below! He just started getting his tail feathers back after his fight with the hawk.

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Roo the Head Rooster. He is the head honcho in the chick yard. He doesn’t mess with the turkeys, and only sometimes messes with us. Just grab your rooster by the legs next time he is trying to attack you and let him dangle a little bit until he calms down. Straightens them out every time 😉 lol

Roo had some little roos (ok lots of little roos) in our first 2 hatches last year, so we decided to keep one. He gets chased by Roo some days when he is on his bad side, but it only took one sparring match to settle that hierarchy! I was scared to have two because of the fighting, but it was squared away quickly 🙂 This guy’s mom was a Rhode Island Red hen so he was the prettiest of all of the roosters we hatched. I had to keep him! i am pretty sure he is the father of our new red chicks we hatched this last month.

Heir to the Throne of Hens. My pretty rooster from a Red Hen and Barred Rock Dad. I heard if the dad would have been the Red he could be called a black sexlink. Eitehr way, he is gawgeous and timid, so my pic is kind of far from him.
Heir to the Throne of Hens. My pretty rooster from a Red Hen and Barred Rock Dad. I heard if the dad would have been the Red he could be called a black sexlink. Either way he is gawgeous and timid, so my pic is kind of far from him.

Word of advice: Don’t try to keep two roosters in the same pen. Our style works b/c they have 3 acres to run around on. So my younger roo can get away from Daddy Roo. Also, at least 6 hens per rooster. We have 9 right now for both roosters and it works, but just be mindful with this ratio!

Happy Rooster Dangling!:)