Tag Archives: Urban Homesteading

The Boys’ Bunny Business

Sky Bear & Prasad playing "veterinarian" together

Heat, heat, heat! This has been the hottest Kansas Summer of my lifetime. It’s been over 100 degrees on so many days this Summer, so they have to check on the bunnies often. They cool down by lying against large, frozen water bottles, and staying in the shade.

little rabbit run in process

Prasad's big boy, Forest (Flemish Giant)

It’s been a struggle finding time to bear the extremely hot temps. I finally got the bunny run framed, and most of the wire on. The floor is lined with chicken wire to prevent burrowing by both bunnies and predators. The wall between the two bunnies is heavy rabbit wire (the kids keep saying they’ll be able to give each other kisses through it). The roof will be the final touch, but due to the heat we’re not planning to have it done right away. Until that’s completed, the bunnies will use the run by day, and be locked up at night. It won’t actually be a roof, but a wood framed wire lid that folds open so we can stand up inside and clean easily. Prasad and Sky Bear are responsible for 100% of the cleaning, care and feeding, and they’ve both been doing a great job.

Both bunnies get 2x a day of free hopping time all over the yard (15-20 minutes at a time). What I love most about them is the fact that they follow me everywhere. They like to keep track of humans, and stay by our feet. Sometimes I forget Forest is hopping around, and I’m suddenly started by something against my leg. Very sweet animals who happen to produce the world’s greatest fertilizer pellets!

Sky Bear holding his 3 month old baby, Meadow


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Filed under Chicken & Rabbit Gardening, Do-It-Yourself, Kids, Kids Pictures, Rabbits, River Living, Seasons

Small House, Big Doggie: Welcoming a Great Dane

Daniel and I both love, love, love dogs. For over a year we’ve been wanting to rescue an adult female Great Dane. They’re screaming that earthy doggie energy we’re addicted to, and lots of it! We’d already decided a year ago to name her Gypsy, after Daniel’s childhood sweetie, a beloved Saint Bernard. Great Danes are extremely gentle, loving, and calm dogs with the most pleasant disposition. They’re also nonchalant and laid back regarding small farm animals, so they’re the perfect all around breed for urban farmers. She’ll respect all the little animals, and serve as protection while she’s outdoors. Not to mention, our active Boxer, Hanu, will finally have a playmate. We’d been looking at Danes listed online by rescue organizations, but every time we inquired, the dog was already spoken for. Finally, we found our girl through Crossroads Dog Rescue. We met her today and fell madly in love.

Smiling Gypsy at her foster home. She's having surgery on her infected cherry eye and spaying this coming Monday

Mama Gypsy's post-pregnancy figure. She'll firm up and reach a healthy 120 lbs. in no time!

Giant Gypsy greeted us with the calmness I expected, and her eye contact was very sweet and strong. Daniel was a blob of melted butter after the visit; we got back in the car to leave, and when I looked over I had to scrape him off the seat! Really, it was that bad. We both just knew she would be the perfect addition to our family. She’s 1 year and 3 months old– still a puppy for a Dane. Her previous owner exposed her to a male Coonhound and she ended up pregnant, so she recently finished weaning 8 puppies. Her youthful figure will return soon, and her dry, thin hair will come in rich, thick and shiny black. We’re told dogs lose hair a lot during pregnancy. She’s 81 pounds, but the vet says she needs to gain weight… possibly up to 120 pounds by the time she’s 2. She’s been through a lot at her young age.

Gypsy will have surgery Monday to eliminate the cherry eye infection, and get spayed. She’ll probably transition home by the end of next week. We’re looking forward to giving her a life of love, healing and growth. Oh, and Gypsy will be taking over Sorin’s place in Amelie’s bedroom! I just love the thought of them rooming together. Time to shop for/make a ginormous dog cushion! 🙂

Posted by: Jill

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Filed under Family Happenings, Great Danes, Urban Farmsteading

Injured Duckling Quarantined

injured Chameli

Poor little Chameli! We had a duckling emergency this morning due to one of them getting pecked on the head by an adult male drake. Yes, Mortimer did it. I don’t hold it against him at all, considering these ducklings are new and he’s very, very territorial. He even challenges our dog, and runs up and down the fence to challenge him. It’s my fault this baby was injured. I should have placed cardboard or small-holed wire all around their pen. They moved outdoors on Monday into a large, steel dog pen. It’s what we used for the baby chicks in Spring and it worked perfectly. I assumed the ducklings would be fine, but the holes are large enough for the babies to barely squeeze through, and Chameli got stuck. While stuck, Mortimer started pecking away at her head and she couldn’t get away. By the time I stepped outside this morning she was a bloody mess.

Daniel and I cleaned her up in a bath, then held her in a soft blanket for thirty minutes and compressed the wounds. The bleeding stopped, but the skin is open in two places and we don’t know if they will heal correctly. I keep applying antibacterial ointment. If anyone is experienced with this and has any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. You can see one wound we couldn’t wrap up, and the other larger wound is under the tourniquet. She’s grooming herself, but hasn’t eaten yet. She’s resting quietly, alone in an indoor cage away from her sister. When I walk up to her she’s very needy- she comes to me and wants to nestle. I’m praying the wounds scab over so the skin can grow back.



Filed under Ducks, Family Happenings, Urban Farmsteading

Duckling Video & Update

Prasad getting love nibbles from Adelaide. They’re 10 days old now.

I don’t know why, but these new ducklings seem a lot more preoccupied with humans than our last ducklings. Maybe baby Runners are like that. They’re especially attached to me. When I walk into the room, they walk over toward me, squeaking for attention. Then when I leave the room and am out of sight, they scream and scream for me. Of course, it subsides after a minute or so, but it’s intense. They’re crying for Mama, and they think she’s me. They don’t do that with anyone else in the family.

I’m still adoring them. It’s such a joy to see them grow each day, and they do grow very fast!

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First Homegrown Green Beans

Picked today. YUM!!!

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Filed under Food, Organic Food, River Living, Urban Farmsteading, Veggie Gardening

Backyard Pullet Eggs

4 1/2 month old pullet's egg on the left, adult duck egg on the right

I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of the first egg laid by a hand raised chicken. Hens are not called “hens” until they are one year old. Until then, they’re known as “pullets.” We weren’t expecting pullet eggs for another month, so Ermengard is an early bird!

The scale isn’t apparent in the photo, but her little egg yolk was the size of a quarter. Pullets start out laying small eggs, and become larger as the pullet grows. As adults, the bigger hens lay larger eggs. From Prasad’s review, this tiny delicacy was “very nice, supreeemely delicious.” Not bad for Ermengard’s first egg. Sorin wants the next tiny egg, so I guess we’ll have to create a waiting list.

Posted by: Jill

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Filed under Chickens, Ducks, Eggs, Food, Natural Food, Organic Food, Simplicity, Urban Farmsteading

Firsts on the Farm

check out our very first cucumber, hand-picked today. Isn't it gorgeous?

First egg from one our first baby chicks was laid today (pictured on the Left)! It was most likely from 18 week old Ermengard, a Buff Orpington. Isn't it cute?! The egg on the right is from our adult Rhode Island Red, Marge.

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Filed under Chickens, Eggs, Natural Food, Organic Food, River Living, Urban Farmsteading