Why {Most} Roosters Are Mean

Ok, now that we've had a few roosters in our flock, I think I'm at least semi- qualified to explain this phenomenon, which gives roosters such a bad reputation.

I'm sure many of my readers can relate-- if not recently in their lives, then perhaps earlier in their childhood they can remember some rooster stories to make us all laugh. Of course, at the time, I'm sure it was no laughing matter!

Our buff orpington rooster, Foghorn, in his younger days.  RIP.

Roosters seem more than happy to perpetuate the myths of their terror-stalking ways.

One thing I've learned is that they ARE territorial.  And if you don't remind them who is the boss, they will happily take that role over for you and be the boss of everything around them, including YOU.

That was the mistake I made.  I let our roosters strike fear into me, and I avoided them.


Here's the best explanation I found on the internet and I hope it helps others realize the best way to make your rooster see things YOUR way.

Go ahead, click on over and read this. It's very interesting, full of good information, and it's a short read too.  What more could you want?

So what do you think after reading the above page?  Is this new information for you, or did you already know this? It makes good sense, doesn't it?

I already knew that it's a good thing to handle chicks (and guinea keets) as much as possible the first 2 weeks after hatching, if you want them to be tame. In our case, this is extremely difficult - we both work and we're gone enough that it's hard to be consistent in this endeavor.

Sally with her young chicks in May 2013 (2 months old)

In addition to our time crunch, our buff orpington Sally was diligent in watching over her chicks 6 months ago.  She made absolutely sure that we did NOT touch them in any way!

But I do believe even though we missed this crucial first step, we can still catch up for lost time by consistently reminding our rooster -- with a broom, a boot, or a spray of water from the hose -- that WE are the dominant alpha entities at this house!! The back porch is now off limits to him, and we boot him off every time we see him perched there.  (So far it seems to be working!)

Roo-boy, crowing his supremacy... um, no.
We'll be taking back our living area starting TODAY.

So I don't blame our rooster - he's just being a rooster, after all.  He wants to be King of the flock and everything else around him. It's in his DNA.  He can't help it.

We'll commute his death sentence for now, and give him another week or two of grace, and see if he accepts our alpha-ness. He's young; he still has the potential to learn a new game.

I hope he's smart and decides to play along, and play nice.  After all, he IS a pretty boy.  It's hard to see in the photos, but he's beginning to grow some green feathers in his tail -- gorgeous!

If he doesn't want to be nice, well, there's always chicken and noodles.  A 7-month old rooster would do nicely.

Making Homemade Mayonnaise ~ The Whole30 with Oz Girl

I'm halfway through my Whole30.... WOOHOO!!

I've done pretty good overall.  My toughest moment came last night when the hubby was drinking a few adult beverages, while I sipped my fruit-infused water.  ARGHHHHH!!!!  I wanted a glass of wine SO.BAD.

But I held out, hard as it was.  And I woke up happy this morning, that I didn't kill the last 2 weeks of progress.

Today I needed to make more mayonnaise, so that I could make some creamy Italian dressing for my salads.  I love homemade mayo -- so creamy and with a slight lemony taste!

{I'm not including a mayonnaise recipe here since there are SO many floating around out on the web. But I am including a link to the best mayonnaise recipe that I've found.}

While my Chocolate Chili simmered, I made my mayo. Let me just say this -- after making mayonnaise twice now, I'm thinking a food processor might be the better appliance to make mayonnaise.

The key to fluffy homemade mayo is 1) having your ingredients at ROOM TEMPERATURE and 2) streaming the extra light-tasting olive oil as thinly as you can.  And do be sure to use cheap, light tasting olive oil.  If you use extra virgin olive oil you will most likely be sorry - it will taste strongly of olives!!

It takes anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes to stream a cup of olive oil. While I'm streaming my extra light-tasting olive oil into the blender through the top removable cap, I get a lot of spatter even at the lowest "stir" speed.  So I try to barely crack the top cap open, letting the oil hit the edge of the rubber lid where it rolls down into the glass blender. And it would appear that others have the same spatter issue (read some of the comments on Melissa's mayo blog post).

This might give you an idea of the mess involved?!
Think OILY.

All that being said, the next time I make my mayo, I'm going to try using my immersion blender. It appears that it's way easier to make mayonnaise this way, unbeknownst to me.  So here's the link for you, my dear reader, that I just found. You will also get a very brief chemistry lesson if you click through to that link - very interesting to read!

Luckily, my second mayo creation turned out as well as the first time.  Fluffy, light and yummy, the way it's supposed to be.

It's really not this yellow in person.  Really, it's not.

What's really cool and neato is that the mayo recipe makes enough to fill a jam size canning jar, and then if I dig the rest of the mayo out of the very bottom of the blender, and up the sides of the blender, I get 1/4 cup more, which just happens to be the amount I need to make my creamy Italian dressing!

I know, pretty cool, huh?!

Creamy Italian Dressing (left) and fresh mayo (right)
I used red wine vinegar for my dressing - you could use balsamic or white wine too.

It's easy to make your own mayonnaise, really it is.  And so much healthier for you.  And just think of the modifications you might try.... I think I might add a little cumin to my next batch!  And I would also like to try a batch of aioli, which would be the mayo with garlic and basil added.

With my next mayo batch, I want to try this salad dressing recipe:  Southwestern Cumin Lime Dressing.  Doesn't that sound super delicious yummy?!

Only 15 more days to go with my Whole30!

And now, until the next blog post, I think I hear two puppies yapping my name.... they are so NEEDY.  :-)

Lucy and Molly, 6 months old now!

Day Four ~ The Whole 30 with Oz Girl

So I know everyone is wondering, have I given up on my Whole30 plan.........

The answer is NO.

It hasn't been easy, but in fact, I've been helpfully motivated by some lovely naysayers at work.  

Mind you, I didn't exactly tell anyone what I was doing. I just made an off-handed comment that I was trying to eat healthier, I had eliminated wheat and sugar from my diet for 30 days, and it's really hard to eat the right foods on a daily basis.  That's all I said.  And one co-worker said, quite snottily and with a hearty "I know everything" attitude, "You can't do it."  Another person said "you can't undo all the damage of eating wrong for years, you'll still have health issues".

Alrighty then. From this point forward, when I'm at work, I will adopt THIS attitude...

The less you reveal, the more people can wonder.

Yep, just light, airhead conversation with any of my oh-so-wise and knowledgeable co-workers from now on.

So with that out of the way, if you're wondering what I've been eating (and drinking) the last few days, here's an update.

I've had a bit of salad - baby spinach and a red/green romaine mix with Walden Farms Creamy Italian dressing.  Walden Farms' dressings were the closest to Whole30 compliant, as far as no soy, no grain/gluten, etc.  The label says "sugar-free" BUT at the end of the ingredients it lists sucralose. Ahem, someone needs to tell Walden Farms that IS sugar.  However, being it's at the end of the ingredient list, that means there's a minimal amount.  Bottom line - not thrilled with the taste, so I'm going to make my own mayo today and from there make some of the dressings in the "Well Fed" cookbook.

From Melissa Joulwan's "Well Fed" cookbook.  This stuff is awesome. You need to try it.  Really. Click the link, get the recipe. Here's a pic of mine, topped with some thinly sliced avocado.

I also made Caramelized Coconut Chips, again from the "Well Fed" cookbook.  Very easy, only 3 ingredients, and quite yummy as a snack.  You can get coconut flakes from Amazon (see links on recipe link page) or your local health food store likely has them.  That's where I got my bag.

Photo from Melissa Joulwan's blog, The Clothes Make The Girl

I've had fresh, pastured eggs for breakfast and some sausage patties, also from a pastured hog.  We bought half a hog back in March from the same farm where I get raw milk.  So we know what "our" hog ate. Heather at Faye Farms keeps her animals on as natural a diet as possible.

I've been eating fresh bananas, apples, strawberries and grapes. I also made some applesauce the other day, fresh homemade WITHOUT any sugar. Water, a bit of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and a smidge of vanilla. That's it, and it's freaking good.

I know I still need to amp up the vegetable end of the spectrum.  Veggies have always been tough for me to conquer, yet I know I need to make this conquest for the sake of my health.  I bought some kale the other day and plan to make some kale chips today or tomorrow.  Hey, it's a start.  :-)

What have I been drinking, you may wonder... especially since those who know me, know that I really don't like water.  (Luckily, I've never been a soda drinker so I don't have to deal with those cravings!) I usually flavor my water with Propel Kiwi Strawberry packets, and we just know those probably have a ton of sugar in them!

When I Google'd "ways to flavor water", I found this awesome link with so many great ideas. On Tuesday, I chopped up a cucumber and picked some mint leaves to make a very refreshing water beverage.  Today my water pitcher holds sliced oranges and lemons for a citrus-y twist.  Yum!

I started out drinking my coffee black on Monday.  It was tolerable.  But I really do love my half and half so I Google'd that also.... how to have creamer on a Paleo diet???  And I found this gem of a link, which uses coconut milk, coconut oil, and an egg.  IT WORKS.  I really like it.  It's not a so-so substitution, it's a delish substitute!  As you can see in my photo, it's rather frothy, but it's good!  And it will last in my fridge for a few days -- I simply popped it into the microwave for a few seconds to thin it a bit before adding to my coffee today.

I did notice some physical symptoms on Monday and Tuesday -- nagging headache, overall fatigue. I'm attributing this to my body wanting sugar and not getting what it wanted!  The book "It Starts With Food" tells you what to expect during each week of your Whole30; we are warned that days 1 to 7 will most likely not be pretty.  The most common withdrawal symptoms experienced by Whole30 participants are headache, lethargy and crankiness - commonly called the "carb flu".  Your body is adjusting to a new fuel source and we're advised to give it time to recalibrate.

I felt much better on Wednesday and feel pretty darned good today.  In fact, Ringo and I went for a 1 mile walk/run around the property this morning, using my new Walkmeter app on my iPhone (awesome app - check it out!)

Freshly cut pastures make a great walking/running course!

So that's a summary of my Whole30 life the last few days. This morning, I pinned a whole new slew of motivational quotes to my "Philosophies to Live By" Pinterest board.  I'm very motivated to stick with this!

I won't lie, it has NOT been easy.  It is a huge challenge.  On both Monday and Tuesday I felt like I was going to start hyperventilating as I walked around the kitchen, opened the fridge, opened cupboards..... what CAN I eat??!!  I didn't plan my start date as well as I should!  My Tuesday trip north to Wichita to Green Acres market fixed that, so I'm doing much better now.

Anyone else out there trying to do the Whole30, or something similar?  I would love to hear about your challenges, and any tips and tricks you might have discovered to help you stick with it.

Footnote:  I marked my end date in red on the calendar - October 9th will be the 31st day. My first big indulgence will be a glass of milk.  :-)

Day One ~ The Whole30 with Oz Girl

So my first day has been uneventful thus far. I will admit that I let some of my dietary favorites go days ago, so that today didn't feel like a very depriving day.

My last glass of milk was Friday evening. The milk was now gone, no need to buy more with my Whole30 looming.

I continued to put half-n-half into my coffee right up through Sunday morning. I do so love my creamy coffee. And yet today's cuppa of black joe wasn't the end of the world, or even awful. It was just different.

And sometimes we're so unaccustomed to different
that we don't want to accept it. 

I'm willing to accept different for 30 days, and see where I'm at when the end of that 30 days rolls around.

Tom-boy and I went shopping this morning for a few grocery items.  He needed lunch items - I needed paleo Whole30 items. Of course I didn't find everything I needed at our local Walmart or Dillon's.  I plan to go to a few health food stores in Wichita later this week to source some other items, e.g., pastured meat.

Some items can be found online, such as the unsweetened shredded coconut and coconut aminos that I needed. Every bag of shredded coconut in the store was sweetened - for shame!

For lunch today I made Tessemae's Buffalo Chicken Meatballs.  Pretty yummy stuff!  I found ground chicken marked down in price as the expiration date was 4 days away, so I bought two rolls - one to use now, the other to freeze. I wasn't happy with the brand (Tyson) since they are a mega-industrial supplier. I'll look for a better local supply at one of the Wichita health food stores later.

I also used Frank's RedHot Sauce because it's what I had on hand and I didn't see any major offenders on the ingredient label. However, I would like to try the Tessemae's brand of dressings at some point in the future and will look for that brand in Wichita.

I ate an apple while I packed Tom-boy's lunch for work.  I won't lie - it's very difficult to put Ruffles into a baggie for him and not eat even one, especially when one is very hungry (hence the apple!)  But I succeeded, and I pat myself on the back for that.

While I'm on that subject, let me just say having another person in the house who is NOT doing the Whole30 adds another layer of difficulty for me.  There are items in the house that I will need to exercise the very upper limits of self-control NOT to eat.  For example, there is a candy dish with bite-size Butterfingers, Almond Joy, Nestle Crunch, etc.

Butterfingers are my #1 fav but they will not win.

I can't just cleanse the house of "bad" foods but instead I must be ever-vigilant not to let sugar or grain ruin what I'm trying to accomplish here!

I know this first week will be the hardest. My body is going to rebel when it's not getting its sugar or grain fix, and so I may not be the happiest camper right now but I know the pay-off will come if I just give it time.  It's not much different than a drug addict trying to quit his drugs, or a smoker trying to quit cigarettes -- I'm giving up things my body is most likely addicted to, so this WILL be tough.

I am determined to succeed,
to stick with this for the duration.

~ don't forget to visit my "Whole30 With Oz Girl" page on Facebook ~


If any of you have tried the Whole30 before, or if anyone is doing this right now, please let me know.  I would love to know your strategy and how you're succeeding!

The Whole30 with Oz Girl


I have made the decision to kickstart my new, healthier eating habits by doing the Whole30 plan starting...
Monday, September 9th.

Since a few others have also expressed interest in this, I think it would be super duper if we could all motivate and encourage each other to stick with the Whole30.... for the whole 30 days, of course.

The most important thing for you to know is that this is FREE.  It doesn't cost anything but your time to read what the Whole30 is, and then make the commitment to do it.

Sooooo, I've created a Facebook support page ~ {go there now and like it!}

... we can share ideas, share recipes and photos, share what we're doing that day, resourceful web links, or just simply encourage each other not to give up.

This is so worth it.  Like the Whole9 website says -
"It’s only thirty days, and it’s for the most important health cause on earth – the only physical body you will ever have in this lifetime."
But do remember, this is really more than just 30 days.  After the 30 days are up, we can share what we've accomplished, and then continue to help each other stay healthy by eating healthy.  It's far too easy to slip back into old habits, and after making such a monstrous effort to change those habits, we don't want to even think about eating doughnuts or pizza or, or, or... ice cream again!  Ok, maybe once in a blue moon a little bit of ice cream wouldn't hurt.
The good news is that once you've abstained from the wheat- and sugar-containing foods, your desire for them diminishes immensely.
If you'd like to join our group, please leave us a comment here - let us all know what you hope to accomplish. Then head on over to our group Facebook page and join up with the community, not just to motivate and encourage yourself and everyone else, but to feel like you're part of something bigger.

I think we will enjoy this journey all the more since we won't be doing it alone!

The Basics
The Whole30 Program
The basics of the program - what you need to know. There are also links on this web page for a shopping list and a meal planning template.
The Whole 30 Paleo Poor Guide to the Grocery Store
Print the in-season vegetable/fruit guide here.
The Whole30 Daily
For $14.95, you'll get a new email every.single.day, to encourage you to stay on-track.
The Whole30 Testimonials
Need a really strong reason to give up your favorite foods for 30 days?  Then read some of these...

Book Resources
There are tons of paleo and primal books out there.  These are 4 of my favorites. Find these information-packed and motivational books on Amazon, or at your local library.
It Starts With Food
Well Fed
The Paleo Solution
Against All Grain

My Favorite Paleo Websites
nomnomPaleo.com  See her Whole30 Rundown for more recipes.
Mark's Daily Apple  I signed up for his weekly email -- once a week, that's all. Plus your free bonuses.
The Clothes Make the Girl That's her cookbook, Well Fed, listed above.

Extra-Special Recipe Link
Tessemae's Buffalo Chicken Meatballs
This recipe is definitely in my Whole30 plan - sounds delish and I can't wait to try it out.  The ingredients on Frank's Red Hot Sauce look perfectly acceptable for paleo, so I won't need to buy the expensive Tessemae's wing sauce - however, I may try one or two of their salad dressings.

So what are you waiting for?!  Join me!

Disclaimer: Most of the web links within this blog post do not provide any financial gain for me - these are simply my favorite resources and I'm sharing them with you.  Only the 4 Amazon books listed may provide a small commission for me if you decide to buy them through my links.