Building the Perfect Rabbit Fence

So you need a rabbit fence… If you live anywhere outside a major urban center, there are probably rabbits not far away. Even in cities bordered by small fields, these animals find a way to survive.


One way they do it is to invade gardens and lawns of the homeowners nearby.

Cute as they are, rabbits can chew bare holes in the lawn.

They also love to munch on several different types of flowers, often biting the stalks down to the ground.

Fortunately, with only modest effort and expense, you can build a rabbit fence to keep them out.


Considerations for a Rabbit Proof Fence

There are two key things to remember when trying to rabbit-proof your garden or lawn. One, rabbits can dig. Second, they can squeeze through openings that appear smaller than their bodies.

Rabbits are often found above ground, to be sure. They’re not gophers. But they make homes by digging small tunnels and caves in the Earth. That shows that any fence that does no more than skim the surface is unlikely to keep these creatures at bay for very long. So, when planning your fence, plan for that.

Similar to building deer fences, part of building a rabbit fence always involves deciding on the height you want the slats or chain link and posts to be. That in turn is dictated by your preferred look, legal restraints, the cost of materials and so forth. But be sure to add an extra foot not only for the posts but for the slats as well.

That will make building the fence a bigger effort. Setting fence posts is difficult enough, but there is generally only one for every eight feet or more. Sinking slats (or chain link) a foot under the ground is certainly harder than simply laying fence across it. Whether the effort is worthwhile depends on how serious you are about keeping the rabbits from digging under.

The second aspect of building a fence is equally important. Rabbits can squeeze through an opening only a few inches wide, small ones even less. Keeping them out requires spacing the slats close enough to prevent access.

Here again, the cost of materials, the effort required and your intended design will influence how close together your fence slats will be. Chain link fencing is a standard size, and will keep them out, so it’s not an issue here.

One way to offset both a higher cost and maintain a desired look is to space slats however you like, but supplement the lower two to three feet with mesh or chain link. Rabbits do hop far, but they can only leap up a foot or so to get through a fence.

A mesh can also add a nice design element at only moderate cost. But keep in mind that rabbits can chew easily through any plastic or cloth. If the fence is to be of any value in this situation, it needs to be a sturdy material, usually metal.

To keep the expense down on your rabbit fence, an alternative plan is simply to limit the extra protection only to gardens and flower beds. Planting an out of the way section of yard with clover will encourage them to favor that area. They will still feed elsewhere, but it improves the odds. That will reduce the number (and height) fence slats or chain link needed.