Category Archives: Chickens & Ducks

Betrayal Of A Neighbor & A City – Nazi Style

I’m totally heartbroken. Today our little farm lost it’s fearless leader. No, our beautiful, protective rooster didn’t die or runaway from his duties as head of flock. He was targeted and forced out by a complaint driven city ordinance that bans all roosters from our city’s limits.

This rooster was the second generation rooster of our original rooster, Big Red. Our rooster Junior was one of the first to be hatched here on the property and lived here for over 2 years guarding our flock against predators after the death of his father.

Despite having had roosters on our property for over 5 years, this recent action was invoked by a neighbor complaint. We don’t know which one complained or why out of no where us keeping a rooster was suddenly an issue. Honestly it doesn’t really matter. We are devastated by the loss of our wonderful buddy but we are also heartbroken that our neighbor couldn’t come forward and discuss this issue with us first so we could work towards a resolution.

Additionally, we are both deeply upset by the timing of all of this, considering we all spent last week celebrating our nation’s independence and the freedoms that came from it. We as a nation were celebrating ALL freedoms, not just the one we agree with. In a country where people fought and die to protect the sacred right of every individual to have the right to the pursuit of happiness; we are saddened that our neighbor(s) couldn’t see fit to allow us that.

The state of our community needs to be addressed. Adult tattle tailing has become the norm. Here in the Bay Area. It wasn’t enough that our neighbors tattled on us but that the city official that came to our home and demanded our rooster’s departure also demanded that my husband release the addresses of other households harboring roosters. What happens when it’s not roosters but people? Neighbors turned their own neighbors over to the Nazis too and that was all done under city ordinances. So just because ordinances are in places doesn’t mean that they are right or lawful.

We put up with a lot to live here. That’s just our personal stance. We’d rather put up with it than have someone else tell us what to do on my own property. When you or anyone tries to regulate others, ultimately they do nothing more than open themselves to unnecessary regulation. Our gut tells us that this event wasn’t about the rooster, but more about someone else’s ego and their petty need for control. It’s more likely that this was about some other unspoken “grievance” that perhaps wasn’t against a city ordinance.

We hope that the rooster rescue that took Junior in today is truly a rescue and not just some meat factory where he will be lead to slaughter or worse an underground cock fighting ring. We will never know. We do know that roosters are exceptionally hard to find homes for and if he does manage to find a new home it won’t come quick or easy. We wish him the best and hope his story has a happy ending.

We are also now left to fear for the safety and well being of our remaining flock for without him, who will protect them from coyotes, warn them danger or nudge them into bed when it’s time. Our initial flock of 10 was all but one wiped out completely by coyotes in one late night attack and we know it will only takes minutes for it to happen again.

For some he was just a rooster, for us he was a vital part of our family and an integrated piece of our mini farm. He will forever be missed.

Top 10 Homesteading & Preparedness Books

With Homesteading, self-sufficiency & survival preparedness on the rise; it’s no wonder that so many great books have been published on these subjects. Here is a list of my personal top 10 favorite books to ensure your homesteading library is well rounded and complete.


Country Wisdom & Know – From the Editors of Storey Books

This book is in my opinion the bible of Homesteading. It boosts a whooping 8,167 useful skills and step by step instruction on various topics including animal husbandry including slaughtering, home brewing, basic construction, maximizing your garden harvest, food preservation methods,  building root cellars, basket weaving, making toiletries, and even home remedies. I think my favorite part of this book is that all the skills and crafts provided are shown in multiple how to diagrams and picture illustrations. If the apocalypse happened and my house was on fire, this would be the one homesteading book I would go in to retrieve. Trust me, you will want this one on your bookshelf!


The Kitchen Table Book – From the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing

This book has blown me away. No where else have I found a more accurate and  complete collection of home remedies and kitchen cures for just about every heath and household problem. Packed full of recipes and remedies from helping depression to boosting brain power this book has it all!  Not only does it feature individual fruits and vegetables including their healing properties; it also features a database of healing herbs and medicinal cures.  Each section has several processing recipes for each food mentioned. Healthy fruit smoothie anyone?Super fabulous bonus: Dabbled throughout the book are interesting tips and tricks to common household issues like how to clean a fireplace the right way.


Made At Home Eggs & Poultry – Dick & James Strawbridge

This is an excellent introduction to raising chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys for eggs and for eating. From hatching to slaughter to carving and cooking this book offers it all from start to finish. With insights and wisdom, this resource is riddled with lots of delicious recipes to inspire the cook in all of us. With vibrant full color pictures and step by step instructions, this is a beautiful addition to any homesteaders library.


Veterinary Guide for Animal Owners – C.E. Spaulding D.V.M and Jackie Clay

This book is a comprehensive easy to use reference guide that provides everything you need to know about caring for and treating pets and barn yard animals. It covers in depth information on sexing, breeding and disease prevention and treatment. This book has helped me take over tasks that normally require a vet appointment. With this book you can become proficient in administrating medications, assisting animal delivery and much more. A glossary in the back, helps with learning unfamiliar medical terms and procedures.


The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading – Sundari Elizabeth Kraft

Despite my disliking for the title, this book was one of my first and has grown to be a personal favorite. It is well written and full of useful information on small scale homesteading. Subjects include how to sell your excess harvest, raising animals for food, beekeeping, utilizing aquaponic techniques, small batch food preserving, soap making, homemade cleaners and my favorite topic: urban foraging. Each chapter includes several bonus tips and tricks to increase your success.


Extreme Survival – Akkermans, Cook, Mattos, & Morrison

Self-sufficiency in the wild, making tools, self protection and much more – this book covers it all! From how to survive a car accident to assessing dangerous environments, you can learn everything you need to know about survival. Living off the land is one of the key components of homesteading. Living off grid requires skills and knowledge of the environment including possible threats. This book covers topics such as foraging, bushcraft techniques, street smarts, and how to make escape and rescue plans. I highly recommend this book to anyone considering rural homesteading or off grid living. Plus it’s a beautiful large coffee table book that features color pictures and life saving insights.


The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving  – Elle Topp & Margaret Howard

I can honestly say that this book should be in every homesteaders library! This is by far my favorite cook book. Working on a mini farm, small batch recipes and the knowledge with this book are priceless. There’s tons of delicious recipes from butters to jellies to marinades and oils. This book is an easy reference to process and preserve your fruits throughout the year. It’s saved me countless hours in the kitchen!


Soapmaking For Fun & Profit By Maria Given Nerius

This book is hands down awesome! It’s got amazing recipes with easy to understand instructions and is packed with information on soap making! I picked this book up at a garage sale for a quarter and it’s money well spent! This book will not only help you understand the concepts behind soap making but will allow you to create beautiful and wonderfully smelling gifts for family and friends. You can even make a profit as it teaches the business aspects of soap making. I found this book to be especially helpful by creating lovely soaps that I could barter or trade with friends for their homemade items. This book started my interest in soap making which has since expanded into homemade toiletries and household cleaners.


Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook – Skyhorse Publishing*

Anyone interested in surviving an apocalypse needs this book in their library! This is hands down the most extensive and complete collection of medical information that’s easy to read for the average Joe. This covers everything from medical triage, birthing babies, treating diseases, wrapping wounds and so much more! It’s packed with pictures and step by step instruction to handle the most common elements and beyond. There’s also several handy reference sections for easy look up. I have read this randomly section by section and I’ve learned so much about medical care. In a situation where no doctor or medical professionals are available this book is a potential game changer.

*Disclosure – I’m not a medical professional and this should not be considered medical advice. It’s best to consult a medical professional before trying any medical care from this book. This post is purely for entertainment purposes only.

This concludes my list of some of my near and dear all time favorite homesteading and preparedness books. I hope you found this list complete and informative. As my collection grows, I will be posting an updated version every few years!

If you have any must have books that I need to add to my collection, let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear which ones are your personal favorites! Enjoy!!!

The Chickens & Ducks Are Laying Again!


We’ve got the first eggs of the season coming! We’re so excited! It will be awesome having fresh eggs again. Thankfully our winters here in California are not that long. An overturned pot makes for an excellent nesting box! As you can see both the chickens and the ducks like to share.