Chickens, Rabbits and Fish, Oh My!

Raising Chickens, Rabbits And Fish

Micro-farming In Suburbia

Author: Danielle "Dani" Schaeffer

When we decided to move into this house, we knew that we would be sacrificing, yet again, the land that would help us to reach our goal of becoming self sustaining.  We have come up with some 'creative solutions' for getting the best of both worlds, like finding or starting a growing co-op locally, but today as I was reading my favorite survivalist forum, I saw a thread about raising rabbits.

Although we are in suburbia, our lot is a double lot, so there is some room for a garden, and with raised bed gardening and trellis gardening options, we can pretty much grow enough fruits and veggies to feed our family.  A chicken coop big enough to house about 6 chickens, more than enough for us, will fit quite cozily into the back corner of the yard.  We also have a pool that I had been considering turning into a hydroponic garden.

This morning when I visited SurvivalistBoards.com I decided to pay a visit to the 'Urban Survival' sub-forum, which is where I discovered the topic of raising rabbits. Rabbits hadn't even occurred to me, but once I thought about it, they don't take up much room at all, and they breed pretty quickly.  There are even ways to prep and can rabbit meat for future use, and what we can't can, we can always sell.  I've never eaten rabbit, and I really have no idea what 'gamey' tastes like, but from what I understand, farm raised rabbits are not 'gamey' like wild rabbits are.  I'm not sure if I would or would not like 'gamey', as I've never tried it, and from what I've read, rabbit, while tasty, is not a sufficient source of fat and can't be lived on alone.  What I read did advise to start with chickens for meat and eggs first, which I will, and then start with rabbits.

The next interesting find from this thread was 'aquaponics.' Another member, responding to the raising rabbits post, was raising fish and veggies using aquaponics.  I never thought about fish either,  but I do have a pool, which happens to be a swamp at the moment, and that I really did want to do something with.  I would prefer to set up an above ground inflatable pool for the kids in the summer time so that I can remove the ladder when I'm not out there.  I know that some (*ahem*) enterprising and engineering youngster like my own almost 4 year old will still find a way, but it's more peace of mind that the in-ground pool I have.

Luckily, I started learning about raising chickens almost a year ago, so I feel pretty secure in starting with that, but now, I'm thrilled to have found two new 'self sustaining' ideas to research and start planning for. Although, today is dedicated to making some more syrups, researching what kind of foods will produce the fastest in my part of the world in the season we are in right now, and starting to prep the ground for it.  The chicken coop building begins later this week.  Hopefully, we'll have video.

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