Our Animals

Our first pet was an akita dog. She was a wonderful companion for 14 years. Since that first akita, we have had four additional akita dogs as pets and one rescue akita. They are a truly wonderful breed of dog and despite their strong hunting instincts, are mostly, aside from a few glaringly bad incidents, excellent additions to the Sly Farm.

The Akitas

The first real farm animal addition to the Sly Farm was a chicken. Indeed, most of the Sly Farm can be attributed to this one pretty white leghorn chicken named Mrs. Fancy. Mrs. Fancy was one of the chickens hatched in my daughter’s kindergarten a few years back. All of the kids wanted to bring home a baby chick when school ended for the year. All of the sane parents said, “no”. We said, “sure, why not?”. Mrs. Fancy’s companion, Fluffy, was unfortunately a roo so he was unable to stay at the Sly Farm. We found him another home and added a Barred Rock and a Rhode Island Red to our flock.

The Flock

Since we have limited space but wanted to raise our own meat, we turned to quail. We started with Japanese coturnix quail, but have moved onto Jumbo Brown coturnix quail. They are fairly quiet and rather charming birds. Mostly.

The Q

Our aquaponics systems house koi and tilapia. The koi were originally purchased to jump start the first of our aquaponics systems and to start building the biological filter for that system while we looked for the ever elusive tilapia fingerling supplier. We finally found a tilapia supplier in San Diego for that first system. Eventually, we also found a supplier even closer in Laguna Niguel. We now have blue Nile tilapia and mozambique tilapia, although not in the same tank. We intend to set up a breeding colony soon.


The last addition to the Sly Farm was the rabbits. We primarily use the rabbits for their no-burn, no-aging-required fertilizer, but also raise a small number for meat. We have Californian rabbits and New Zealand rabbits. Only Big Bunny, the house rabbit, is capable of playing the piano.

For additional tips on rabbit care, see Big Bunny’s Byline, here.  Big Bunny’s Byline

The Rabbits