Rabbits may appear cute at petting zoos or on TV, but after a rabbit is in your lawn and eating your plants, the little bunnies no longer appear as adorable as they once did. Even if your lawn is surrounded by a chain link fence, pesky rabbits can still get inside the fenced area. Once you realize how rabbits can get through, then you can take measures to correct the problem and rabbit-proof your lawn.
The mesh size on chain link fences is bigger than one inch square, that is the greatest opening size required by a young rabbit to match. Hardware cloth or chicken wire has a fine enough mesh to prevent even juvenile rabbits from passing through it. You can attach it to the bottom section of the chain link fence to give protection against both young and old rabbits.
Rabbits dig to produce their burrows and nests, and they can dig under a chain link fence surrounding your lawn. Some chain link fences leave a small gap at the bottom the bunny can squeeze under without burrowing. To stop rabbits from getting to your garden below the fence, either install a fence which goes 6 to 10 inches underground or bet down the base of the fence to the ground. According to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, an anchored chain link fence will stop adult rabbits from sweeping into your lawn. Be sure to fold the bottom part that’s anchored toward the outside of the fence. The sharp tips of the ends of the string link will discourage rabbits from attempting to crawl or dig under the fence.
Fences lower than 2 feet are brief enough for most rabbits to jump over. If a jackrabbit strays to a neighborhood and gets chased by a dog, it might jump over a 24-inch-high fence to escape, but under most conditions, a 2-foot-high fence is enough to keep the typical brush bunny or cottontail from your lawn. To stop frightened rabbits from creating it over low heels, install a fence which measures at least 3 feet high.
Tips for Keeping Out Rabbits
Rabbits will attempt to pass under, over or through a chain link fence if they find your yard attractive. Wildlife biologist David Coates outlines to the University of Illinois Extension several changes you may make to keep rabbits out. Keep grass cut short and eliminate anything in which rabbits may hide. Eliminate groups of rocks, overgrown weeds or wood piles. Protect your vegetable and flower beds with a covering of 1/4-inch hardware cloth. Rabbit repellent products from garden centers may also work if you reapply them after rains. Surround young tree and tree trunks with chicken wire or plastic drain tile which covers the bottom 20 inches of the back to stop rabbits from gnawing around the timber.