town_427Rabbits dig holes!

You can take that truth to the bank and deposit it.

Of course, we had to learn this lesson the hard way.

As I’ve said before, we don’t believe in putting urban farm animals in cages.  We have rabbits, guinea pigs and quail all living together in large aviaries in our backyard, and they all get along smashingly well and we love it.

But rabbits dig holes!

Let me change that…..

Rabbits dig elaborate tunnels!

And if you aren’t careful, rabbits will dig right out of the aviary and set themselves free.

We know!


We actually approached this problem with what we thought was a solution when we were building the aviaries. We were told to sink the hardware cloth at least twelve inches underground to prevent rats from digging in and eating the food, so we did that.

Turns out rabbits can dig deeper than twelve inches.  I was outside one night about a month ago, just doing a final scan of the backyard before I went to bed, and one of our rabbits came hopping over and stood next to me…..on the deck….outside the aviary.


So I filled in the hole, and covered it with large rocks, and sunk iron bars into the ground all along the perimeter of the aviary, and a couple weeks later the rabbits tunneled out again.



We have since figured it out. It took us some time and cost us a bit more money, but we finally reached the intellectual level of “smarter than a rabbit,” and I’m quite proud of us. J

The solution was quite simple for anyone with any common sense. We laid chicken wire along the bottom of the aviary.  Rabbits can’t dig through chicken wire.


I hope you got a good laugh out of that story. We did.


For those of you who are year-round gardeners, here’s a to-do list for October:

  • Divide perennials
  • Harvest winter squash and pumpkins
  • Mulch garden beds
  • Plant berries and bare-root plants
  • Plant garlic
  • Rake and store leaves
  • Save seeds
  • Set out slug traps
  • Sow cover crop seeds and fava beans
  • Take down trellises and teepees

Happy gardening and farming!



17 thoughts on “Learning the Hard Way on an Urban Farm

  1. And, all my life I thought we only had to be smarter than a bear! This is something I have never heard about rabbits. They are so little, it makes me wonder how they dig so deep. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. The fact is they do it. I did get a kick out of visualizing you looking lovingly over the garden, making sure all is well in the animal kingdom and then, there’s this one lone rabbit sharing the view at your feet, ready to turn in with you. Hilarious!


  2. Hi Bill…
    Great article, so pleased to here you and Bev are having fun. I would love to do much the same, but chose a small town with bylaws restricting certain activities. Have continued success in your ventures…

    Hugs from Canada


  3. Oh, Bill, when I read about that rabbit at your feet I burst out laughing! HOW CUTE! Like the little rascal was almost showing off for you that ‘me, the bunny, got free, hehe’ :). You will laugh about this for years even though you were not laughing at the time. God love those animals of yours! Love the to-do list. I used to have a flower garden when I lived in the country, I had my to-do list also.
    This was such an ENJOYABLE read, as are all of what you share.
    God bless and thank you! Sparklea
    PS I haven’t checked my emails since my trip to NYC, dreading that! I try to keep my inbox down to 15 a day, can’t imagine how many now. My daughter told me today she is so behind in her emails she has 10,000 messages. Glad I was sitting down!


    1. Lea, if I were faced with 10,000 emails I’m afraid I would just erase them all. I would be so frustrated I wouldn’t be able to deal with it. 🙂

      I’m glad you are enjoying our adventures. It’s never boring here and that’s for sure. We’ll have it looking very nice by the time you visit us.

      blessings always



  4. Love that, gotta be smarter than a rabbit! I used to have rabbit but I kept them in cages on a shelf made of trees that had fallen int he words that we lived on way back. I remember the day the wild dogs knocked them off the trees shelf and waking up a the crack of dawn yelling for everyone to get up and we had to go chase rabbit and bunnies. I think I wrote about that somewhere. Rabbits ar very clever, indeed.


  5. Not all rabbits would dig a hole, only those checking on their masters late in the night, if they’re OK. Thanks for healthy laugh, my friend.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s