Wag More Style Sticker In Our Etsy Shop

In honor of the women’s movement as well as just for fun, we have come up with a “wag more” style sticker available in our Etsy shop:wag more dick less harvey weinstein #meetoo fuck bill cosby fuck brett kavanaugh

 

Celebrate diversity!  Show your respect for the women’s movement!  Show support for #meetoo movement!  Show support for funny puns!  Whatever your interests, this sticker is going to look great on your car window, laptop water bottle or whatever else might need this rockin decal.

wag more dick less harvey weinstein #meetoo fuck bill cosby fuck brett kavanaugh

With Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein and Brett Kavanaugh we could all use a little less dick.  Available in pink or white, each wag more style sticker is approximately 3.75″ x 5.75″.  Cut from outdoor rated adhesive vinyl.  Installation instructions on the website here.     Decal available for purchase here.

 

SVG Cut Files For Sale In Our Shop

We here at Wellinformedliving.com are developing SVG cut files for sale through our Etsy shop!  These unique one of a kind files are perfect for your Silhouette or Cameo cutting machines to make handcrafted cards, stickers, stencils for etching and more!  Your imagination is the limit!

Since we are a little chicken crazy, our first example is chicken-themed chicken SVG:

SVG cut file for sale

This is a great cut file for anybody into urban homesteading, or raising chickens.  This could also be a great file for a Mother’s Day card.

 

Speaking of Mother’s Day, we have a cut file specifically for that:

SVG cut file for sale

How about Valentine’s Day style SVG file?

SVG cut file for sale

We also have some very interesting hippy or Grateful Dead SVG files available for t-shirt printing, stickers or whatever inspires you!  Our SVG cut files for sale in our shop could be the inspiration you are looking for!

 

grateful dead svg

Please visit our shop for all the details and pricing.

Keep Backyard Chickens From Escaping And Destroying The Backyard

We’ve had our chickens for about 18 months now and they are a joy in most cases.  Raising chickens has been rewarding in many ways: We get the freshest eggs that are healthier than store-bought, the poop supercharges our compost and soil, and they are immensely entertaining.  Nothing warms the heart more than calling for your flock and to see them come running.  I’m sure every person who raises backyard chickens knows this special feeling. With all the joy our flock brings us, they have also presented us with some unanticipated problems.  They destroyed areas of our lawn over the winter and they were a challenge to keep in the backyard.  I’ll show you how to keep backyard chickens from escaping and destroying the backyard.

Keeping Your Chickens From Escaping

When it comes to escaping,  I was curious about the chickens being able to fly out of the yard.  We have an 8-foot hedge around the backyard and a fence on one side. Since they have been outside it has not been a problem and we chose not to clip our chickens’ wings.

My next task was to keep them from walking through a hole in the hedge.  I ended up putting poultry netting all around the perimeter of our hedge after trimming.  I assumed it would fill in and we wouldn’t notice it as much.  It worked great for a while.  One day we called to give the chickens some cabbage and 3 of our 5 came running.  We found the other two in the front yard.  I checked the perimeter and could not find a hole or break in the poultry netting.  We had used several rolls of the one-inch netting that was 3 foot tall.  Where one roll ended and another started, I had used tie wire to join the sections securely.

I could not figure out how the girls had escaped!  And they continued to escape and roam the alley behind the house and stroll through the neighbor’s yard.  I would come out of the house and our chickens would be hanging out in the front yard, nibbling on whatever they could find.  It was beyond frustrating.

One day while working in the backyard I finally witnessed a chicken escape:  One of the chickens was casually pecking on the ground next to the poultry netting.  She just continued pecking and essentially lifted up the netting from the bottom and walked under the fence! The fence was originally secured tight against the ground and taught. After pecking around the perimeter for months there were sections where the chickens had essentially lowered the grade just slightly so there was enough space to fit a chicken if they had their head down and pushed on through.  Quite the revelation!  I needed to secure the netting to the ground as well and hopefully, the girls would stay in the yard.

Landscape Staples To The Rescue

Keep Backyard Chickens From Escaping And Destroying The Backyard-landscape staple

The solution to my problem was landscaping staples.  These are around 6 inches long and are for a variety of uses but mostly to hold sod in place when installing a lawn.  Google landscaping staples to find a place to purchase some.  I installed one every 2 to 3 feet by hammering the staple into the ground securing the poultry netting against the ground.  We haven’t had a chicken escape the perimeter since we installed these.  I am a very happy camper.

Keep Backyard Chickens From Escaping And Destroying The Backyard Part Two:  Save Your Lawn!

Chickens will scratch just about anything to the point of scratching away your lawn.  To keep your backyard chickens from destroying the backyard you can do a few things:

  • Don’t mow as much and keep your lawn longer than you’re used to.  The chickens do less damage this way.
  • Fence off areas of the yard that you can’t bear to lose

Another solution I came up with is a movable screen that prevents your backyard chickens from destroying the backyard where ever they are placed.

I started out with a basic frame out of 2×2 lumber that was approximately the size of some hardware cloth I had lying around.

While we are talking about hardware cloth and poultry netting, I can not recommend some decent wire cutters or mini bolt cutters enough…they are absolutely essential for me and raising backyard chickens.

Once I had my frames screwed together, I attached the hardware cloth to the frames with screws and cut off the excess.

 

I place these around the backyard where our chickens have done damage to the lawn.  A little seed and some time and the backyard trouble spots in the lawn have grown back since the chickens can’t scratch the ground under the frames.

There you have it, a few ideas to keep backyard chickens from escaping and destroying the backyard.

Applying A Sticker With Transfer Tape

If you have purchased a sticker or decal from us through our Etsy store or another source, the first time can be a bit confusing.  Most custom stickers with multiple sections come with transfer tape.  Here’s how to install one:

This is how your sticker looks with the transfer tape.  The tape is stuck onto the face of the sticker.

 

Peel the backing off the back of the sticker leaving the vinyl decal in place on the transfer tape.  This picture has the adhesive side of the decal facing up.  Note that the image is reversed because it is being viewed from the bottom or back.

Apply the sticker on whatever you’re placing it on….in this instance, we are placing it on a car window.

Using a credit card or some other kind of scraper rub the decal onto the mounting surface working out sir bubbles.

Now we can peel the transfer tape off and leave the decal in place.

Check out our stickers and other designs at our Etsy shop….

 

A Rotator Cuff Exercise That Provides Instant Relief

As we get older and our bodies take longer to heal, things start to catch up with us. Vision gets a little blurry and information is a little slower to call up in our minds. Some of us like myself, have physical aches from either accidents or repetitive stress injury caused by work or hobbies.

I have played guitar for most of my life. Years of a guitar strap holding a guitar have given me some pain in my left shoulder. The pain was so bad recently that I could not lift my arm past about halfway without searing pain. The pain was becoming constant as well, no matter how I held my arm or rested it.  I feared a rotator cuff injury.

Over the years I have looked for information online to relieve these pains. One quick realization I found was stretching. Simple yoga and stretches do wonder for back, arm and shoulder pain. It took a while, but I can now touch my toes after years of not being able to. This simple stretch provides a lot of relief to me. Another instant pain relief exercise was the pendulum exercise that can be found at mountnittany.org.  I do this exercise whenever I have arm pain.

Neither of these, however, were providing me any kind of pain relief from my most recent shoulder pain.  I would classify it as classic rotator cuff pain:  Aching shoulder pain,  poor sleep from lying on the affected shoulder, arm weakness and it was hard and painful to lift my arm or move it behind my back.  I recently took a vacation where I was away from my guitar and the physical demands of my work for a week.  The pain never got any better and I had resigned myself to having to go get it looked at by a specialist.

Rotator Cuff Pain Relief In An Instant

I was in so much pain one day I spent a ton of time searching the internet for some kind of release when I ran across Dr Loren Fishman’s discoveries on yoga and shoulder pain.  He basically got some relief for his own rotator cuff injury by doing a handstand.  Not all of us can do a handstand obviously and there are stretches that can mimic what’s going on during a handstand.  I found a video that teaches one of these stretches and tried it out.  Instant relief of pain.  Let me say that again:  Instant relief from the pain.

Here’s a link to the page on massagelibrary.com that I found so helpful.  There is a video that shows the technique and a downloadable, printable pdf of the exercise.

Mealworms-Crack For Chickens!

If you have chickens around your house, you probably know about mealworms.  These crunchy dried worms are the secret (along with fresh fruit) in getting chickens to do what we want them to!  If the birds get out of the yard, or in the garden somehow, mealworms will grab their attention and they will come a-running!

Mealworms….chicken crack.

Check out a short video of our girls going nuts for mealworms:

My Homemade Deodorant Problems

deodorant problems

I’m constantly trying to reduce processed foods in my diet.  In addition to not putting junk in me, I also try to not put junk on me.  I have used your basic castile style soap for years.  We use no scent laundry detergent.  We got rid of any kind of anti-bacterial soap or dish washing liquid years ago.  My household is trying to cut down on junk.

In our Twitter feed, one of our followers is a natural deodorant manufacturer.  I was checking out their webpage and was interested in their take on a natural deodorant.  Basically it was coconut oil, corn starch and baking soda.  Seemed simple enough.  It included coconut oil.  I love coconut oil.  It’s lauric acid is antibacterial and antiviral.  I searched the internet for homemade deodorant recipes that included those ingredients.  I actually had some old Muddy h2o Pit Powder that was mostly corn starch and baking soda and some coconut oil with lemon eucalyptus essential oil that I was trying out as a natural mosquito repellent (don’t bother).  I decided well, these are basically the same as the ingredients in the recipes I was seeing online so I figured I would just mix the two together and see how well this stuff worked as a deoderant.

For the first couple of weeks I had no problems!  This stuff was awesome!  I did not smell even if I had sweated profusely throughout the day.  The mixture had kind of a paste like texture that was easy to apply and the coconut oil seemed to melt/absorb into my skin and leave no greasy residue whatsoever.  I felt as if I had discovered the all natural solution to stink.  I felt bulletproof and smelled great as well.  I was so excited about my deodorant.

My Homemade Deodorant Problems

A couple of weeks go by and everything seems well until I wake up one morning with a pain in my armpit.  I was getting what looked like a pimple on my right armpit.  No big deal, my partner suggested it was an ingrown hair.  It sure looked like it. Except it was really kind of sore and painful.  And red.  Angry red.  After a few days if went along its pimply course and I thought it was all over.  The pain subsided and I figured that was the end of that.

About a week later, I was waiting for the hard mass of the pimple to go away and I woke up to the pain in my armpit again.  Upon investigation I now had two bumps/lumps/pimples/whatever they were in my armpit.  At this point I began to wonder if I might be having a reaction to what fragrances might be in the Muddy h20 Pit Powder.  It surely couldn’t be the all natural coconut oil, baking soda or corn starch.

I stopped using the deodorant around this time and went back to my time tested Tom’s of Maine deodorant.   A few days later I had at least six bumps starting to sprout under my arm.  This was getting serious.  And painful.  These bumps were swelling up and were stretching my skin to the point that moving my arm was pretty irritating.  And pretty gross looking as well.  Just Google image search “bumps under arm” and you’ll get the point.  I was a little beside myself.  I didn’t want to go to the doctor unless I had to.  (I don’t have much faith in the medical system at this point unless I’m having an emergency or need an operation in which case I think western medicine does pretty good.)

My Homemade Deodorant Problems Solved?

I was pretty convinced that the deodorant I had made was the cause of all of this.  I started using this new awesome deodorant and got some painful bumps where I applied it.  Therefore, the paste was the cause of the bumps.  I remembered from the original manufacturer’s webpage a mention of detoxing.  Basically the idea was that some individuals had a physical reaction to natural deodorants because the natural deodorant was pulling all the poison that had accumulated in one’s body over the years to the surface and was being expelled.  Basically, it was my fault that I was having a reaction because my body was so unpure…..  Well, some searching led me to a post on lisaliseblog.com titled “Why Your DIY Baking Soda Deodorant is Causing a Skin Reaction”.

homemade deodorant problems

Huh.  Imagine that.   The post explains that baking soda has a ph of around 8.3 and most skin friendly stuff has a ph of 4.5 to 5.5.  So, it seems like I was creating a pretty bad ph imbalance for my armpits at the very least.  I had sprouted a whole family of bumps under my arm of all sizes.  The first thing I did was to keep a lemon with me and rub lemon juice on the area to try and get the ph back to where it should be.  I also hoped it would help a little if these things had any chance of getting infected.  In addition to the lemon juice I also applied coconut oil.  It helped soothe the pain and with it’s antibacterial and antiviral properties I figured it couldn’t hurt.

So….What’s The Homemade Solution?

Eventually things started getting back to normal to my relief.  The message was obvious to most except me: “just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s safe”.  As for a homemade deodorant that won’t cause you pain, there is a great looking recipe on LisaLise’s page I’ll be trying.  Go to http://www.lisaliseblog.com/2013/05/how-to-diy-deodorant-without-baking-soda.html to check it out.

 

A Unique Way To Cool Off Your Chickens

When temperatures start to soar in the summer, you need to find ways to keep your chickens cool.  Make sure there is plenty of water available to your girls.  High moisture treats like watermelon can go a long way to cool off chickens.  When it gets really hot, I start using the freezer to help keep the chickens happy.  One thing our birds like is frozen corn.  I’ll take a can of corn and empty it into a piece of tupperware, freeze it and pop it out and give it to the birds.  It takes a while to get a piece of corn, but helps cool them off and keeps them occupied.  Ice cubes in their water helps quite a bit.  Lately we came up with a unique and easy way to implement this by freezing their water bottle…

Cool Off Your Chickens With A Freezable Waterer

We have a bunch of nipple waterers for the chickens all over the yard.  Their main source of water is a gravity fed system that I posted instructions to here.  In addition to this we have smaller individual bottles here and there.  It seems like the birds almost prefer the individual bottles outside the run.  One of the easiest things to do is to get a plastic bottle of water and install the poultry nipple in the actual bottle cap, drill a hole on the bottom of the bottle and hang it upside down.  I like to hang these in bicycle water bottle holders mounted in various places.  Here’s a few pictures:

water bottle chicken waterer

water bottle chicken waterer

Here’s the sweet part….we have a few bottles and use a regular bottle cap and freeze a half full bottle of water.  Make sure the water doesn’t leak out the hole in the bottom while it freezes, pull the frozen bottle out of the freezer and switch the cap to the nipple cap.  Top the bottle off with water and you’re good to go!

cool off chickens

 

Gravity Fed DIY Chicken Waterer

gravity fed diy pvc chicken waterer

I’m not sure what to call this-a poultry waterer, pvc waterer, gravity fed pvc waterer, automatic chicken waterer?  How about we just call it a chicken waterer with some nice advantages…

After raising chickens for a while, most people realize the benefit of getting the waterer off the ground of the chicken coop.  By having the water source above your chicken’s head, the water stays cleaner (no poop or bedding in the water) and doesn’t get knocked over and all over the coop.  Almost all chickens can be trained to use a poultry nipple waterer-a screw in nozzle found at most feed stores that screws into pvc pipe or the bottom of a plastic bucket and lets water flow when the nozzle is pecked at.  Chickens are attracted to the bright red color and learn how to use them in no time.  I installed a gravity fed watering system for our birds that uses poultry nipples in pvc pipe being fed from a food grade 3 gallon bucket.  It holds enough water for several days at least and has the advantage of being able to disassemble completely for cleaning.

Chicken Waterer Parts List

For this project I used:

  • 2 nipple waterers (enough for 6 birds)
  • 3/4 inch pvc pipe
  • 3/4 inch pvc endcap
  • 3/4 inch pvc threaded connector
  • Pvc cement
  • Food grade square bucket with lid
  • Threaded brass faucet
  • A bulkhead fitting
  • A section of garden hose and threaded fittings
  • teflon tape

All my couplers were 3/4 inch to accommodate standard garden hoses.  The bucket I used was square which made for an easy installation of the bulkhead on the vertical sidewall.  I’m not too sure if mounting the bulkhead/faucet assembly on the side wall would work on a standard 5 gallon bucket because of the curve of the bucket.  You could mount it on the flat bottom of the bucket if you had a way to hang the bucket from above.  Through researching food grade buckets online, I discovered that all plastic containers labeled HDPE are food grade.  This can ease your mind if you can’t verify if a container is food grade or not.

Chicken Waterer Assembly

pvc poultry waterer

I used a drill press at my work to cut the appropriate hole in the bucket with a large paddle bit.  After marking the pipe, I drilled the holes for the screw in poultry nipples.  The drill press and a sharp brad point drill bit allowed me to get the holes and consequently the nipples in line.

I used a bolt with the same basic thread pitch as the nipples to start a thread in the holes of the pvc pipe.  Once I could start the poultry nipple in the pvc, I wrapped the threads with some teflon tape and screwed them into the pvc pipe with a crescent wrench:

poultry nipple diy waterer

After gluing the end fittings on with the pvc glue, the actual watering assembly was complete:pvcpolutrynipple

The bulkhead basically screws in place:

bucket chicken waterer

A little teflon tape and the faucet gets screwed onto the bulkhead:

chicken waterer

I cut a section of garden hose and attached the appropriate couplers and basically screwed the whole thing together.

bucketchickenwaterer

I wired up the pipe in the coop temporarily since our chickens aren’t full grown yet.  When they are all grown, I’ll make a more permanent mounting system.  I placed the bucket on a cinder block so it was higher than the pipe and let gravity do its thing:

gravity fed diy pvc chicken waterer

Here is a link to my previous post on the chicken coop.  There second video contains a quick shot of the waterer in action.  Our coop is coming along nicely and we are enjoying every minute of it!

The Finished Backyard Chicken Coop

Well it’s been a while since I posted anything  of late so I figured I would do a quick update on our backyard chickens.  They have been out of the brooder (and the house!) for about 6 weeks now.  The heat lamp has been removed, and the chickens use both of the roosts inside the coop nightly.  The chicken’s combs are just starting to come in and they are getting quite big!  We have also been letting them run freely twice a day for an hour or two.  The birds have acclimated so nicely and it is a real joy to just hang out and watch them peck and forage for bugs and slugs.  I will post a video in the future of the flock free ranging.  Most importantly, I completed a run that is attached to the coop and we have a dust bath as well.  I am pretty close to done on the coop and am thrilled to have it complete.  The only thing I might add right now is a pvc gravity feeder…

Here’s the first video I posted of the coop:

 

 

And here’s another current video of the coop with the attached run:

Thanks for all the great input on our Facebook page!  Check out the new chapters in our backyard chicken farming adventure and share with your friends !