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Pets vs. Livestock: The Paradoxes of Farm Animal Ownership

For the past few weeks on our property we’ve had a chicken with a phlegmy, body-wracking cough and a chronically limping dog.

Poor Wendell has been on three different vet visits and undergone multiple x-rays of his stiff leg. Some were taken while he was unconscious from heavy-duty (and costly) anesthetics, all to see if he was a candidate for an eye-wateringly expensive reconstructive surgery to remove cartilage from his shoulder.

The chicken? She’s in the compost pile.

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A Guide to Meat Rabbits: A Sustainable Food Source

Confession time.

We’ve been eating rabbit. Lots of it.

Ian butchered our rabbits several weeks ago, and since then we have eaten them grilled, curried and  stewed. Every meal has been delicious so far and we even managed to serve some to our adventurous friends over Labor Day. I love the slightly gamey taste of our rabbits and the fact that each one is a perfect portion for two people. Our first livestock have been a complete success!

Butchering our first animals is a BIG DEAL. So why hasn’t it made it into this blog yet?

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Brand New

Our Brand-New Baby Bunnies

It’s finally happened! Our two female rabbits gave birth within a day of each other and we now have eleven baby bunnies. I’d take full credit for this miraculous event, but in reality we didn’t do squat besides let nature take its course.

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DIY on a Dime: Rabbit Lawn Mower

Who actually likes mowing the lawn? Not me. Gas powered mowers are noisy, time-consuming, and belch more fossil fuels into the atmosphere per hour than the 11 cars. Yikes. Most of our yard can be allowed to grow wild and natural, but there are some portions, especially along the front patio that simply look better with trimmed grass.

Because one of the primary motivations for moving to our Appalachian homestead was the opportunity to live more sustainably and better connected with biologic systems, the question of how we would tend to our lawn became an exciting challenge to overcome with scrappiness and some new-found DIY skills.

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diet dissenter

Being a Diet Dissenter- Meat Rabbit Edition

I don’t know whether I’m naïve or too good at surrounding myself with people who think like me, but strongly negative responses to my back-to-nature lifestyle have caught me completely by surprise. One topic that has recently raised particular contempt has been Ian and my decision to raise meat rabbits.

When we first got our rabbits a few weeks ago I giddily wrote a quick Facebook post and shared it in a few homesteading/simple living groups. The response back to me was very tepid. This was right around the time Facebook introduced the “emotional spectrum of likes”, and suffice it to say my status got a lot of the faces filled with tears and boiling rage.

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