If you live anywhere outside a major urban area – even in the suburbs – you’ve probably got rabbits close by. And even in downtown areas, if there are small fields near you, rabbits could be a problem. Invading the lawns and gardens of innocent homeowners is how they tend to survive in these places.
As cute as they might seem in pictures and at Easter time, rabbits can do significant damage to your lawn, garden and landscaping. They will eat many different plants and flowers, leaving little more than the roots. But with a simple and inexpensive fence, you can avoid these problems.
You need to keep two things in mind when planning your fence:
1. Rabbits can dig
2. They can squeeze through some tight spots
Rabbits are normally found above-ground – they’re not burrowing animals. But they make homes by digging into the ground and making little tunnels or caves to shelter them from the elements. If your fence only reaches the ground, or just above it, rabbits can quite easily dig underneath it.
When you erect your fence, the best way to avoid rabbits digging underneath is to bury chicken wire or mesh fencing 6 to 8 inches below the fence itself.
The other consideration is the spacing of the slats in your fence. A small rabbit can squeeze through an opening that’s only a few inches wide, so make sure the slats are close enough together to stop them from getting through.
The cost of materials will have some bearing on how you build your fence, especially since putting the slats closer together means you’ll need more of them. If you’re on a budget, chain link might be a better choice. The holes in standard chain link fences are small enough to keep rabbits out.
Another option if you’d prefer a post and rail design but want to keep costs down is to use wider spacing and supplement it with chicken wire or mesh on the lower 2-3 feet. Rabbits can jump quite high, but they can’t jump that high and squeeze through the slats at the same time.
If you choose this route, make sure the mesh isn’t a material that can be easily chewed through. Rabbits can chew through vinyl and plastic mesh, so choose a strong material.
Another option for minimizing the cost of your fence is to build smaller fences are the most important areas of your yard. If you enclose your garden with a fence, for example, it can protect it from rabbits while not costing as much.
You could even plant an area with clover or some other quick-growing greenery that could be an enticing snack for the rabbits, and help to keep them out of areas where you don’t want them.