Ok. Let’s try and keep this short (LOL, it wont be).
First, there is 10,000 character limit per post and I have almost 23,000, so this is in parts. Links to next part will be at the bottom.
If you want to view non side ways versions of the photos, open the image in its own tab or window. For some reason when I view the images they were correct orientation, but in voat some are not.
If you are on a mobile device, there is 116mb of media here.
@Voopin__Voopin pinged as requested.
I own just over 2/3 of an acre. Just under 3000m2. About 3300 square yards. I have property elsewhere that has many other plants and animals on them, but it’s not really something you go and "just grow". So this post is about what is on my personal land attached to my house. We have been here for a few years and we have been constantly working this place. It's a long process as I rarely have time and the house was a jungle when we bought it. Some of you might think, wow, that is a lot of land (in comparison to a house in inner suburbia), there is no way I could do anything like this. But I would disagree with you. Sure, you cant have 20 fruit trees, but the one you do have can be damn good. We aim for as much variety as possible in as such small places, so everything here (except for maybe the dog pen), can be retrofitted to a smaller space.
As such, there are 2 main rules for this property. If you can't eat it or it has no use, then it has no place in the garden. Second, if it requires way too much upkeep, no point, because we cant do it. And we have experimented with a lot of plants and a lot of deaths have happened due to this.
Animals are an important part of a garden for anyone that wants to grow things in their backyard. Even if you don’t want to eat animals, they provide a means of removing organic materials and kitchen waste and provide manure. If you don't want to eat your animal, make sure you pick one that lays eggs or you can sell as a pet. Always make sure you can make or save money somewhere or there is no point to anything you do. This applies to everything in life. Including your hobbies. Ask me elsewhere if you want more on this.
My animals (some minor graphic detail below. If you are pussy, then you will be educated):
Deer hound cross point and rhodesian ridgeback cross mastiff.
I actually can't stand dogs, its like having a small child that never grows up. They annoy the hell out of me, but my wife loves them so I make the most of them. Dogs with other animals, especially in a place with predators or where people who would steal from you, is essential. Yap yaps do not count. There are plenty of small dogs that have the hunter/guard instincts in them that are not retarded and drive your neighbours insane. I would recommend nothing smaller than a fox though. Always train your dogs from day one to not consider your animals a target for playing or eating. Our yellow dog we had as a puppy and our brown dog is a rescue dog, approx. 2 years when picked up. Both dogs do not attack anything that we introduce to them first. If something comes onto the yard that we didnt introduce them to, they go off like a rocket (that is, chase it and destroy it (if they catch it)). Including people (Good times). The Dog house is made from pallets and spare sheets from a construction site. The fence is made from used temporary fencing. Cheap, easy and mobile. You can apply this to other animal pens too.
We have/had new zealand whites.
Young bunnies that sometimes start fights go into the small cage here. Later all the older males go into black cages below. In the photo is a young male and in the back was our last two females.
Main breeding cage / lawn mower, we used to keep 2 females and their litters in there. This is hard to do, but not impossible with preparation. In our case we got two sisters.
This is an old dog cage with some ground liner plastic over it and a box inside to hide in. Really cheap to make. New Zealand whites do not need much room to move around, but they do need room to at least stretch in and jump around bit. They get quite lazy, but do have bursts of energy. Currently sitting out here as its being quarantined due to disease.
We used to have multiple rabbits, but due to reasons such as freak design flaws in a cage and disease, all we have left is our biggest girl (first photo). Obviously, I can't breed them anymore. I had to put down our last male as he got one of the many lethal diseases that exist in Australia. We inspected the native rabbit population for a long time before we got them and there was no sign of any of the diseases, so this sucked a lot for us. Manure is plentiful, grass is always short (if you have mobile cages) and they breed well. They keep in the cold and are easy and cheap to feed. I give my girl a small bowl of commercial pellets one day and massive handfuls of grass picked from the yard the next. They are also WAY smarter than you would expect. We would consider them on the same level of cats, without all the retardation. You can litter train them and they will ask for pats and so on.
Here is a video of one our girls making a nest for babies.
We are waiting to see if our last girl is sick (takes some time to show symptoms) and if she is sick, we'll put 3 small chickens in her cage for eggs. Most likely bantoms or game hens.
When you have a sick animal or a seriously injured animal, DO NOT TAKE IT TO THE VET. Unless it is a prized breed example or a fantastic parent, do not waste your time or money. If it is an injury, put it down yourself and eat it. If it is an illness get rid of it ASAP. Most likely it is contagious. For our rabbits we put a broom behind their head and snap their bodies upwards to break their necks. Its fully humane, instant and doesn’t cost a fortune like an injection.
DO NOT BURY DISEASED ANIMALS IN YOUR BACKYARD. Into the bin. It sounds harsh, but you can not leave diseases around the place.
Home. Look familiar ?
I bought these only a week or so ago. After our rabbit fiasco we are trialling them out. They are very much like chickens but do not take to the cold very well, so if they survive the winter we will buy another 10 or so and breed them for eggs and meat. They are staying in the smaller rabbit cage, which is actually a single medium size cage. I could easily fit another quail in here. If I was to take them inside or it was a warmer climate, I could fit maybe 6-8 in here comfortably. Right now they need the warmer inside area to get out of the weather. These birds are adorable. I love them and they make great noises (not loud though), but they are as dumb as dog shit. Never in my life have I seen an animal so domesticated that it wont even run away from you as you push it around, but will freak out as you stand there watching it. The guy who i bought them from just put them on the ground at our feet as he sorted them. You can keep these ANYWHERE. Even on an apartment balcony or in your laundry room.
We are planning a large pen for these. This is where they will be, behind our main orchard.
We are going to pull down a crappy carport we have to build a large pen for them. Also picked up additional posts second hand from a construction site. Way cheaper.
Here is their pond. Picked up for $50 (AUD).
There is already an orange tree here (at the back, hard to see) to build the pen around. The ducks will live with a bunch of citrus trees to protect them from pests. They wont eat the trees or fruit because they do not like citrus. Ducks do not rip up the grass and their poop will fertilise the trees for us. Just in the back corner there we will be putting some bee hives. Only cleared that area recently. This is important because this close to the ducks on purpose. Ducks eat bees. There will be a pond and bees like water. So what is happening here is that the ducks will be keeping the bee population down. In theory, this should prevent swarming of the hive. The biggest problem with ducks in a confined place is that their water needs constant cleaning. I will be setting up a water pump under the spa bath to pump out their water into a special garden bed that will run along side the pen. The garden bed will collect the dirty water and hopefully let cleaner water back into the pond. Its a big project, so its going slow.
We will be getting cayuga ducks. We will also buy the occasional goose or duck that comes up at markets or in classifieds. Let them live comfortably for a bit then kill them for meat. Without a large place to keep them you can't really do this.