The Rabbitry at Hen & Hare Microfarm

APIS is the latin root for bee, and Harrold’s beauty product.

APIS is the latin root for bee, and Harrold’s beauty product.

A Straw Bale Rabbitry

Hen & Hare MicroFarm with APIS
Jessica Harrold

Hen & Hare MicroFarm works to provide healthy food to Boise area community members in a number of ways, including cutting pesticides from their process. Jessica Harrold and her husband Ammon hired EarthCraft to build a rabbitry for her rabbit livestock.

“We raise everything without any kind of spray, and I try to keep as many chemicals out of our house as I can. It just fits in with what we be believe. It’s nice to be able to source it local too. We’re sourcing our straw from two different farmers, one is my friend Henry of Winnower Farms who’s out in the Dry Creek Valley. The other is close to where my parents live. We’re getting half our straw from each of them,” said Harrold.


From the green building perspective we have seen straw as a product that doesn’t otherwise serve a purpose. In connecting with the vibrant farming community of the Treasure Valley we’ve had the opportunity to learn more about it from the farmer’s perspective. Harrold shared this important feedback, ”I never think of straw as a waste product because I use it all the time. It’s nice to be able to get the straw from the wheat product and be able to put it to good use. Straw gets sold all the time, as animal bedding for example, it’s not a waste product it’s a byproduct. If you’re buying local straw you’re definitely participating in the vibrant farming community.”

We are finding with good communication and entering into this discussion locally, a process is beginning with our hard-working sustainable food providers.

“You’re helping out a local farmer, and buying straw from two local farms,” Harrold said.

In order to provide the rabbits a humane environment Harrold chose straw bale as a preferred building material. Not only will the high performance insulation keep them cool all summer, and warm in the winter, it will also stay quiet. Additionally they’re surrounded in the most natural building material EarthCraft uses, straw. The building will circulate air keeping the environment comfortable for them. Our passive solar design cuts the need for additional heat.

In the discussion about rabbits and how well they typically do in our diverse climate Harold said, “They tend to do alright in the winter, their coats are naturally thick for that. It’s the summer we worry about. They’re very sensitive to noise, definitely. They’re sensitive to thunderstorms, we have a lot of firetrucks driving by. We’re also close to the air port so we hear a lot of Air Force operations going on. It will help them keep calmer and feel more secure. I always want to see my rabbits freely roaming about, but have to remember that’s not where they’re necessarily the most comfortable either. They like being in the ground and being protected because they are vulnerable animals. So if we can recreate what makes them comfortable I think we’ll be better off.”


This fall we’ll commence with the raising of the rabbitry!

Want to learn more about straw bale?

Learn more about Hen & Hare with APIS, check out this video!