Who actually likes mowing the lawn? Not me. Gas powered mowers are noisy, time-consuming, and belch more fossil fuels into the atmosphere per hour than the 11 cars. Yikes. Most of our yard can be allowed to grow wild and natural, but there are some portions, especially along the front patio that simply look better with trimmed grass.
Because one of the primary motivations for moving to our Appalachian homestead was the opportunity to live more sustainably and better connected with biologic systems, the question of how we would tend to our lawn became an exciting challenge to overcome with scrappiness and some new-found DIY skills.
Enter the rabbit lawn mower: a highly maneuverable device that allows our meat rabbits to graze our lawn. It puts them right at their food source without any risk of them escaping. No longer will be gather clover for the bunnies; now they can get it themselves! The best part is that Ian made it completely out of free scrap material that we gathered from our property and surrounding area.
The pivotal point of this project for us was finding free wheels. The lumber frame is pretty heavy, and dragging the contraption across the yard may have caused more damage than benefit in the long run. Rubber wheels at the local hardware store cost $40- far out of our predetermined budget of $0.
We came across a solution on our drive home from school one day. It’s sadly not uncommon for our neighbors to chuck their trash into the creek along the road, but this litter has a silver lining of occasionally being a gold mine for our homestead projects. Along the route were three toy four wheelers sunk deep in the mud. If you question whether these were abandoned, just know Ian’s been seeing them there since he first came to Big Laurel for a spring break trip five years ago. No one was going to miss one if we took it with us.
Making the actual rabbit box was easy for Ian, who claims that all his construction projects are really just variations of wooden boxes anyways.
He lined the bottom with a wider spaced wire so that the grass would be able to come through.
The recycled four wheeler wheels were a perfect fit and saved us $80!
And that’s it! We’ve only used the mower for an afternoon so far, but our rabbits seemed to have a favorable first impression. At least, they sat quietly and ate the grass below them. What else does one expect from rabbits? I’d consider this project a success…and we didn’t even browse Pinterest for inspiration first. 😀
Have you ever made a crazy homestead contraption like this before? Then please inspire me! Leave a comment about it and I’ll see if we can adopt it for our own homestead.