While rabbits can be cute, furry, and enjoyable creatures, you may not find this to be the case when they are wrecking your garden. You have put up a tall fence to combat their hopping, but their love for digging has them getting into your garden from underneath. So, how can you keep rabbits from digging under your fence?
To keep rabbits from digging under your fence you will need to set up a barrier in front of the fence. It will involve digging a trench under the area the fence sits and placing chicken wire and other materials for a strong foundation. You will want to measure the length of the fence so you can purchase an ample amount of supplies.
I will be exploring a rabbit’s ability to dig by discussing how far rabbits can dig underground. Next, I will offer solutions for creating a fence rabbits will not be able to get under.
How Far can Rabbits Dig to Get Underneath a Fence? Rabbits Have a Very Strong Digging Ability. In the Wild, They Often Live Underground in Burrows. Since Digging is a Natural Instinct of a Rabbit’s, They Can Dig Fairly Deep into the Ground. A Rabbit Will Dig One Foot on Average, Even Digging as Far as 18 Inches Underground.
It is a rabbit’s natural instinct to dig. As a prey animal, they must find a safe place to hide in order to evade their predators. Whether this is underground in their burrows, or in a nest.
Not only is digging beneficial for a rabbit in terms of survival from predators, but digging is a healthy way for rabbits to get exercise. Domestic rabbits are often times seen digging in their cage. It is a natural and healthy part of their existence.
As a home owner whose plants are being damaged, it may not be of interest to you why rabbits choose to dig. However, it is important to learn an animal’s habits so you can work with them and coincide peacefully within your habitat.
While building a fence around your garden may have you feeling like you’re protecting your garden, unfortunately, that may only be the first step. When rabbits are the critters responsible for feasting on your plants, it is important to understand their habits in order to combat their actions.
Since rabbits are able to dig 12-18 inches underground you will want to adapt your fence accordingly.
How Can You Prevent Rabbits from Digging Under Your Fence? Unfortunately, just a Fence Around Your Garden Will Not Be Enough to Keep Rabbits Out. You Will Need a Way to Protect Underground as Well. Investing in Some Supplies to Build a Barrier is a Great Way to Begin Prevention.
You can rabbit-proof your fence with these steps…
You will need:
- Measuring tape
- Chicken wire
- Wire cutters
- Wooden stakes
- High tensile wire
1. To begin you will want to measure your fence so you know the amount of chicken wire you will need.
Note: Your chicken wire should be no less than 48 inches wide. It should also have a mess size of 1 inch or less.
2. Roll out the chicken wire to the length you measured for your fence.
Note: If your fence is less than 10 feet you can install the wire in one length but fences longer than 10 feet are easier if done in sections.
3. Dig a trench that is 6-8 inches wide, and at the least 6 inches deep. You may want to dig it deeper to be safe as rabbits can dig farther than this. This is a matter of your own preference.
Note: The trench should be on the outer side of your fence. It should be close to the fence and not directly against it.
4. Bend the bottom part of the chicken wire so it is formed in the shape of an “L.” Place the end that is bent into the trench, so the chicken wire is positioned with the bend away from the fence.
5. Fill the trench you dug and placed the chicken wire in with soil. You want the chicken wire to be buried to no less than 6 inches.
Note: As you fill in the soil, pat it down to ensure the soil is compacted around the chicken wire.
6. Add extra support to your chicken wire by driving wooden stakes into the ground every 2 to 4 feet along the entire fence.
Note: The stakes are best when at least 48 inches tall and are driven several inches into the soil.
7. Stakes should be secured by tying them to the chicken wire with high tensile steel wire, or by fastening with garden staples (V-shaped staples hammered into wood).
Make sure you check your fence regularly and make repairs as needed.
Although Having Rabbits in Your Garden Can Be an Inconvenience, Adapting Your Fence So they Will Not Dig Under it is Fairly Easy. Having a High Enough Fence Will Luckily Protect Your Plants from Hopping Rabbits, However, Digging Rabbits Also Require Preventative Measures.
Most people realize that rabbits can hop, which is why they install tall fences for their gardens that only cover above ground. Many do not realize rabbits can dig, much less how far rabbits can dig.
Since rabbits can dig up to 18 inches, the fence must be updated to combat that.
A mixture of chicken wire, wooden stakes, and high tensile steel wire or garden steels will give your setup the strength it needs to keep rabbits out.
Digging is a natural instinct of rabbits, and they are not meaning it to be harmful or destructive. Since this is their natural behavior it is up to you to implement barriers to keep them from destroying vegetation.
Overall, rabbits do not need to be a nuisance for your yard or garden if you are willing to put in a little bit of work and upkeep with your fencing.