How to fence your garden for rabbits
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Rabbits make wonderful pets. They're gentle and friendly, enjoy being stroked and don't make much noise. Rabbits can also do a lot of damage.
It's important to securely fence in the area of the garden where they are living, both for their own security and the welfare of the plants and household items that rabbits love to munch and chew. Properly fencing a garden for rabbits takes a bit of thought and planning. In the long run it will keep the rabbits safe and allow everything outside the fence to stay safe from the rabbits' chewing.
Decide which part of your garden will be the rabbits' area. Theoretically, the rabbits could have the run of the garden, if it is fenced, but they will be safer if they have only a part of the garden. They will be easier to keep track of and will not be able to escape as easily if the gate to the main garden is inadvertently left open. In addition, if the rabbits are in their own enclosure-within-an-enclosure they will be safer from other animals.
- Rabbits make wonderful pets.
- In the long run it will keep the rabbits safe and allow everything outside the fence to stay safe from the rabbits' chewing.
Buy fencing material. Wire-mesh fencing or a chain-link fence work well because rabbits cannot chew these materials. Buy fencing material at a garden centre, a plant nursery or through a fencing company.
Measure the area to be fenced and buy the appropriate amount of fencing. A chicken-wire mesh fence will work, though a chain-link fence will be sturdier. Buy a gate at the same time, along with a secure latch.
Follow the instructions for the type of fencing material to be used. All fences will need stakes to anchor the sides and the gate.
- Wire-mesh fencing or a chain-link fence work well because rabbits cannot chew these materials.
- Measure the area to be fenced and buy the appropriate amount of fencing.
Attach chicken wire over the top of the cage to keep feral cats and other animals and birds of prey from getting into the enclosure.
Erect a fence that is at least 60 cm (2 feet) high to keep the rabbits from jumping out or other animals from getting in.
Add an additional 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) of fencing height to embed the fence in the ground. Rabbits burrow and dig and the fence must be embedded into the ground to prevent the rabbits from tunnelling out. This will also prevent other animals who might attack the rabbits from crawling under the fence to get in.
Attach the gate to the stakes at the fence opening. Make sure there is a secure latch on the gate.
- Attach chicken wire over the top of the cage to keep feral cats and other animals and birds of prey from getting into the enclosure.
- Rabbits burrow and dig and the fence must be embedded into the ground to prevent the rabbits from tunnelling out.
- Rabbits like secluded spaces so make sure that the enclosure has plenty of nooks and crannies where they can hide. A crate, turned upside down, can provide shelter for the rabbits as well as a place to put food to keep it out of the rain. Rabbits are also very heat sensitive so plenty of shade is a must in the garden. Plant lettuce, alfalfa and clover for nibbling -- this will make the rabbit run a rabbit-heaven!
- Animals such as cats, foxes and dogs all eat rabbits as prey. Also large birds such as hawks and owls hunt small rabbits for food. The enclosure should not be built near trees or a fence or wall that can be used by cats to grab a rabbit. The enclosure should be covered with chicken wire or wire mesh to prevent birds from swooping into the enclosure. The bottom of the fence should be securely embedded into the ground to prevent other animals from slipping under the fence.
Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.