Probiotics in Pet Foods


Recent trends in pet foods has seen an influx of probiotic bacteria being added in many popular brands of dog foods. However recent studies by the U.S. government have shown that most of these foods, when tested at the consumer level, do not contain all of the claimed organisms listed in the ingredients and some contain additional related organisms not listed. In some cases, living enzymes were not contained in the foods at all. So, why has this bacteria been added to the food in the first place?

There are many articles and websites touting the benefits of adding probiotic bacteria to pet food, most claiming this bacteria encourages healthy gut flora and aids digestion, improving the overall health of your animal. What they don’t mention is this bacteria is extremely sensitive, unable to live in heat or dry environments, which means kibbled dog food in particular is unable to support live bacteria. In fact, the process that most dog foods undergo during production is enough to kill off this bacteria as well as most of the nutrients from the original ingredients.

So if I can’t rely on the probiotic bacteria that has been said to be added to my dog’s food to maintain a healthy gut flora in my dog what can I do for my dog? There are many options for supplementing your dog’s digestive system without spending the extra money to buy a dog food brand with added probiotics. For example, plain yogurt is an excellent supplement for your pet’s food to supply them with a healthy dose of probiotics. Gut flora is also benefited by adding fresh, whole fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet, the live plant matter adds both soluble and insoluble fiber which probiotics thrive off of, often called prebiotics. Be sure to research thoroughly if a particular fruit or vegetable is ok for your dog to eat before adding it to his diet.

By naturally maintaining healthy gut bacteria in your dog, you can keep him from getting sick, from feeling irritable, and it may even calm him down!


Natural Homemade Mouthwash


We made a simple natural, homemade mouthwash this week using purified water and clove essential oil. It is a simple recipe and only takes about a minute to mix. Simply add around 20 drops of clove essential oil to each cup of purified water. We recycled a glass bottle but any glass container will do. This recipe should keep indefinitely.

We chose to use clove essential oil because of its historical significance in dentistry for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-septic qualities.  Clove oil is an effective agent in eliminating bad breath. It is also used for soothing toothaches, sore gums, mouth ulcers, and even healing cavities. If the clove oil mouthwash is swallowed on accident, it is no issue as the oil will improve digestion, is effective against stomach related problems, will improve blood circulation, control blood sugar, and boost the immune system!


Starting Yellow Bird Acres Urban Farm

Yellow Bird Acres Urban Farm

Yellow Bird Acres Urban Farm

Yellow Bird Acres Urban Farm has been developing a vision for quality, local pet food & supply in Calgary, Alberta. Our goal is to make  it easy for everyone to feed their animals fresh, quality food for lifelong health and happiness. Help us achieve our goal, donate towards our start-up costs.

Our current expenses to start up our urban farm is Provincial and Municipal licensing. We are looking at an approximate cost of $280.00 for total license costs. Another requirement for our urban farm to operate safely and efficiently is more space for refrigeration. Prices for proper refrigeration units may vary.

Help us provide fresh, nutritious, local food for your animals, we want to be your local farmer!




Radish (rad-ish)

Raphanus Sativus

How to Plant: Plant is free draining, well dug soil down to about 6 inches. This soil should have no stones in it. Radishes require slightly cool conditions to prevent them from bolting and going to seed. Sow the seeds about 1 inch deep, 2-3 seeds per inch. These seeds should germinate within 5-7 days and thin after two weeks to prevent bolting. Radishes do not compete for space well and need the extra room to grow larger root bulbs. Radishes will be ready 5 weeks after sowing and must be harvested asap. A layer of mulch surrounding the plants may deter root pests.

Every part of the radish plant are edible raw or cooked and the seed pods and flowers are extremely delicious. The leaves of the plant contain more vitamin C, protein and calcium than the root portion. Radish is rich is folic acid, zinc, b-complex vitamins, and phosphorus. Radish is also rich in anthocyanins which are said to be effective in fighting oral, colon, intestinal, kidney, and stomach cancers. Radish is also low in calories, cholesterol, and fat making it an ideal diet food. Radish juice helps sooth the digestive tract and detoxifies the body. Radish can also help ease congestion in the respiratory system, helping asthmatics. The plant is benefitial for the gall bladder and liver fuctions, containing sulfer based chemicals that regulate the flow and production of bilirubin and bile.

It has been these health benefits that have seen radish used in medicine. It is an effective treatment of jaundice as it is able to half the destruction of red blood cells and increase the supply of oxygen to the blood. It is also a natural diuretic and is very rich in roughage, facilitating digestion. Powdered seeds are used to treat leucoderma, soaked in vinegar, ginger juice, or cow’s urine then applied to the area. Smashed raw radish root can be used as a face pack and cleanser. It has anti-pruritic properties and can reduce pain and swelling caused by insect bites. Radish juice mixed with black salt and taken as a drink can bring down body temperature and relieve inflammation caused by fever, and as it is a great disinfectant, will fight the infection that caused the fever. It is also a good mouth and breath freshener.

Radish sprouts are a rich source of vitamins A, B, C, E, & K, minerals potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. These sprouts contain a 26% protein content and naturally occuring estrogen, similar to human estrogen, making them helpful with symptoms related to PMS, Menopause, hot flashes, and fibrocystic disease.

 Yellow Bird Acres offers heirloom radish seeds that are perfectly suited and adapted to Zone 3a.

Foraged Apple Crisp

The wonders of fall, when nature gives us rewards in the form of wonderful fruit! Unfortunately most of this fruit in the city gets left to drop and rot, left for the birds. We at Yellow Bird Acres take the time to appreciate these gifts, we forage for these forgotten treats and create wonderful eats!

Foraged Apple Crisp

Wild Foraged Urban Food

Foraging for food in the city connects you to your neighborhood in ways most people can never imagine. Keeping your senses sharp to  find that diamond plant in the rough wild areas around your home or even in your own alley is rewarding and gives more reason to protect your local wild plants. Check out Northern Bushcraft to learn more about the wild edible plants of Alberta.

Pleased to meet ya fella!

Yellow Bird Acres

Urban Farm

“Why, land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts. It will come to you, this love of the land. There’s no gettin’ away from it if you’re Irish.” -Gerald O’Hara, Gone with the Wind

Welcome to Yellow Bird Acres!

Our goal is to create an urban farm that exists in harmony with nature; to learn from natural processes to improve our own sustainability and reduce our impact on the earth through various means. As we do not yet have the acres, we make due with our urban farm in the heart of the big city of Calgary, Alberta. We continue to learn through study and experimentation on our small plot not only to prepare ourselves for a larger plot but because we believe it is an important lesson to make the most out of what we already have instead of wishing for more. This blog is to document this progress and we hope you enjoy our trials and tribulations, perhaps we can all learn something from them!

Fella Tree by Laine Sloan

Drawing by Laine Sloan