Sustainable Dreams

Keeping the Peace


Being in a lower income bracket, I don't own my own land...(YET). I rent a small place within my town where I have less than an acre to raise animals and grow my gardens. While my landlord continuously says he don't mind what I do, I have neighbors close enough to cause grief. Building on my future of homesteading in this urban area has been tricky, but I have managed to keep up with those ups and downs to raising animals.

.Let me do a little bit of chicken talk to open this post up for argument and ideas!

At this point, I have 16 chickens. They are young, and only 4 are even laying age. I hatched many myself, and of those, I ended up with 5 ducklings. I will fill you in on the ducklings later in this post, but the chickens were and still are an issue with my neighbors.

My chickens obviously grew out of the brooder. I put them into a covered coop, but I didn't yet have their run made. I let them out of the coop for a while each day to forage. Im always outside, so  I stayed with them to keep them safe.

As my chickens grew, their area grew, and I knew it would be a problem after some time, but as long as I was out there, I could keep them in my yard. Thats exactly what I did.

The time came where these birds were too big to keep inside. I had no choice but to hurry and come up with the money for their run. Although it is not what I wanted, I was able to put a fence up around them in the back yard. So far so good for keeping track of them so far.

Now back to the ducklings...

When the ducklings were grown enough, and had adequate feathers to swim safely without supervision, I began building a coop for them in the front yard because thats where the pond is at. Thats where the neighbor is at that begged me to just let them go to the pond so she could enjoy them. I told her I cannot let them go until they were trained here in this coop. Otherwise theyd just stay in the pond and not use the coop at all. She begged and begged me to just let them go, that it wouldnt be a problem because she was raised on a farm and knew what to expect.

At first I watched her take pictures and videos of my ducks on the pond. For a couple of weeks, she fed them even after I asked her not to. She did that from her back porch! Because she fed them, they began going up to her porch. I did warn her and again, asked her NOT to feed them. They started shooting bottle rockets at the ducks, and shooting them with pellet guns.  Every time they tried to come up out of the pond they were tormented with fear.

Whether for food or for pets, my animals get treated very well. I can't stand to see people that believe it's better to be mean to an animal before they will talk like human beings. I made it a point to catch them all from the pond and process them for the freezer. At least then they wouldn't be tormented and abused. One of the ducks managed to get away before we caught it. When it came back a couple of days later, we couldn't catch it, so it had to be shot off the pond. I cried a lot that week. I loved to watch them there.

Our animals are kept in place for the most part now. The chickens don't get to free roam anymore, and their dogs are still in my yard almost daily. I push on and grind my teeth. I just want to get along as good as possible, until we are ready to move. I have thought up several ways to try to repair a neighborly relationshiip, but I'm not sure I can, so I just stay to myself.

Nobody has complained yet about the rooster! Knock on wood!!! I believe there are 3 others around me that also have them. That's a "yay" situation around here.

I do agree that your animals should stay in your yard. No one wants to deal with others animals on their property. I also believe neighbors should speak with decency to eachother before trying to murder the kids.  And what is good for one should be good for the other. Dogs are dangerous to my animals but I would never shoot him in the eye like they did to my chicken.....(please excuse my venting!)

UPDATE the day after this was first posted:
The same neighbor I have been walking on eggshells for have allowed their dogs to run and attack my rabbits through the cages. 2 rabbits have injured toes because the bigger of the 2 dogs tried to pull them through the bottom ot the cage. I saw it happening right away or my rabbits would have been so bad Id have lost them. Still...all I did was just scare them off and vent on fb. I so don't want to live in conflict with my neigbors but I also don't want to be a door mat because Im passive about it.

For the most part, I am very lucky our little town allows all I do here. If I were still in NY, I wouldn't even have any livestock animals. Alabama is awesome that way in most areas I hear. As with neighbors in the country side or in town, I think it is always best to respect eachother and communicate. Fighting and lashing out just causes problems and you may not want to be there after those arise.

I don't want to be here anymore, and my family has been here in this corner of land for over 10 years. This is the first run in with neighbors ever. I'll choose peace and say nothing more. I'll keep my animals locked up, but I'd hope if they broke out like they sometimes do, that those neighbors would be human enough to talk to me instead of abusing my animals again. I am always home, and usually outside doing something.

Well....I feel better now for today, but I wonder constantly what their next fight will be. I'm still looking for a rental or rent to own option. Until then...if I want peace, I have to ignore their hatred they throw around, and constantly be on guard.



Raising Rabbits on Wire vs. Solid Cage Floors

Housing rabbits has been a fairly controversial topic among rabbit breeders. Raising rabbits, whether for pets, show, or meat can be quite rewarding in many ways. It can also be expensive, so you want to get those costs down as much as possible, but you also want happy, comfortable animals if they are to remain healthy. This post compares the pros and cons of raising rabbits on wire floors versus raising them on solid flooring.


Feeding Chickens for Health and Disease Prevention


In my quest for a more natural, self sustaining life, I know that I do not want to use vaccinations, and other drugs to treat the animals that I raise for food. I want to prevent my animals from getting sick rather than treating them after they get sick. This requires looking to natural herbal remedies that have been proven effective in various studies for humans and animals alike. Let's discuss the 3 herbs I have decided to use together, as well as the power herb I depend on most.

Is it possible to build a homestead free?

You can see posts all over the internet that claim you can start or build a homestead with little to no money. Many of these sites say that you can do it for free. Here's where I call this bunk for the majority of people and families. Let's consider all the facts here.

Homeschooling is a DEEP subject!

Most of us that contemplate homeschool for our kids have had some type of disagreement with the school, the curriculum, or the value systems in public education. Maybe the child isn't getting the support you believe they should have. Regardless of the reasons many of us choose to homeschool, the one thing more difficult than deciding to take the plunge, is choosing the right way for your family. How do we go about deciding what curriculum to choose, or which methods are best for them?

Start a Strawberry Tower in a Bucket

Watch this video on how I grow strawberries in a hanging bucket strawberry tower.



I don't typically buy strawberries at the grocery store, or even at the local farm markets because strawberries are known for their high retention of chemicals such as Round-Up and other dangerous chemicals used by growers.

Inbox Dollars

We all want to earn extra cash. So why not do it the fun and easy way?

Inbox Dollars is not a qet rich quick gig by no means, but it does add up for very little work! It is one of my top picks where extra cash is concerned.

When to allow your ducklings to swim safely

When is it okay to let ducks out on ponds or deep water? That's a good question for those of us that are raising these water fowl for the first time.

Being newer to hatching, and raising my own birds from the start, I had to do quite a bit of research even though we had ducks while I grew up. I didn't know much in detail beyond feeding like yard birds, and collecting eggs. We didn't even have a swimming source for the ducks while I was growing up, so my learning process to keep them safe and healthy has really begun more recently.

DIY Animal Feeder Ideas Link-up

Make your own rabbit feeder fast and easy with what you already have!

Raising small or caged animals requires many feed dishes. If you raise animals than you already know how expensive store bought feeders are.

I have so many coffee cans around because they are so useful around the homestead. I only used a blade to cut the can, and duct tape to put it together! Since the first one in this photo, I have made many more just like it.

Gardening: Blossom End Rot

Blossom end rot in squash

For organic gardeners, it can be quite defeating to grow your garden and suddenly, all of your new fruit growth has been tainted with rot at the blossom end. So what now? What went wrong?