Rabbit-Proof Your Fence and Gate With These Tips

Tired of Peter Rabbit and his kin snacking on the plants in your garden. Then, it may be time to reassess your fencing with rabbits in mind. Here are some tips to guide you:

1. Make sure your fence is high enough.

If you have a low fence, rabbits may be jumping over it. There are range of different rabbit breeds in Australia, and they all have different abilities. However, the record for vertical rabbit jumps in Australia is 76 centimetres. As long as you fence is at least this high, no untrained, wild rabbits should be able to jump over it.

2. Tighten the openings in your fence.

If rabbits aren't jumping over your fence, they may be squeezing through, and young rabbits can squeeze them surprisingly tight spots. Look over your fence and if you think its openings are too wide, you need to cover them. You can connect chicken wire, old intact screens or other small mesh over your fence. Depending on the style of fence you have, you can clip the mesh in place or use zip ties to hold it to your existing fence.

3. Thwart diggers.

If your plants look especially tasty, rabbits may burrow under your fence rather than over or through it, but luckily, you can prevent that too. You simply need to bury a bit of fencing material in the ground below your fence. If you are putting up a new fence or gate, you can buy a tall fence and basically bury half of it as you install it.

Alternatively, dig a trench next to your fence inside your garden area. Then, shove a bit of chain link fencing or chicken wire into the trench. Replace the dirt so that it stands upright. You can bury all of the fencing material, of you can let some of it stick up above the ground if you like.  

4. Keep the gate closed.

Once you have made all of those modifications to your fence, you only have one vulnerability to address -- your gate. Make sure that your gate is tall enough and also has small openings. Then, bury a bit of fencing below it -- do not let this fencing stick out of the ground or the gate may catch on it.

Finally, install a tight spring on your gate so that it closes automatically. That way if you ever forget to close the gate, the spring will protect your garden for you. Also, install a latch so that the gate stays closed once it is closed.