Five Tubular Fence Modifications to Keep Out Rabbits, Foxes, Deer and Other Animal Pests

Posted on: 29 April 2015

You have a beautiful tubular fence around your garden, but unfortunately, although your fence is sturdy and versatile, it is not keeping out pests such as deer, foxes and rabbits. If you want these creatures off your grass, out of your garden, you can keep them out with a few simple modifications to your existing tubular fence.

1. Electrify it

One of the simplest modifications you can add to a tubular fence to keep out unwanted animals is electrification. To add electrification, buy strands of electrified wire. These strands connect to a small transformer and battery that gets planted in a discrete spot near one of your fence posts.

You can wrap the wire in a number of configurations. You can run it up along a tubular fence post, diagonally down the fence panel, up the next post and so on, or you can opt to run strands parallel to the ground along your fence sections.

Some fence owners opt to make the electric wires more memorable by painting them a certain colour or by buying coloured electrified polytape.

To be legally compliant, electrified fences to deter animals need to be connected to a low output energiser, and you must put warning signs on the fence. Check with your local council or state authorities to ensure your fence electrician methods are legal.

2. Tighten the gaps

Although electrification deters many creatures, there will be rabbits and foxes who outsmart your wire by crawling under it and through the tubular slats of your fence. To stop these crafty critters, you need to tighten up the gaps in your fence.

Most tubular fences involve strong tubes running vertically along each fence section. Even if these tubes are relatively close together, bunnies and some foxes can still squeeze through them. To tighten up security, buy rolls of chicken wire or metal screen and lay it over your fence.

You can plant poles and create a second fence flush with your original fence, or you can use zip ties to attach the chicken wire or screen to your existing fence.

3. Bury a barrier

In addition to squeezing through tubular fence slats, foxes and rabbits may also burrow their way under a fence. To prevent this from happening, dig a trench along your tubular fence line. Trim chicken wire to a height of approximately half a metre, line the trench with the chicken wire and fill in the gaps with dirt.

4. Make it taller

Securing the area underneath the fence helps with foxes and rabbits, but for deer you need to think of the area above your existing tubular fence. While electrified wire will deter some deer, others will quickly figure out that they can jump your fence.

Whether your tubular fence is a waist-high garden fence or a full-sized privacy-height fence, most deer will be able to easily jump it. For example, fallow deer, one of the most abundant deer species in Australia, can easily jump about a metre and a half, gracefully from a standing position.  

To keep these deer out, you need to make your fence taller, and a fence contractor may be able to help. For example, if you currently have a tubular fence with semi circles along its top connecting the tubular slats, a fence contractor may be able to remove the semi circular pieces and replace them with a series of tall decorative tube extenders.  

You could opt for decorative prongs, metal tubes adorned with small balls at the top or a range of other designs. Regardless of the design you choose, these additions should ideally make your fence at least two metres high or higher, making it impossible to leap.

If a fence contractor cannot change the height of your existing tubular fence, you can make it taller by adding tall wood posts behind it at periodic intervals or you can add a roll of razor wire along its top. Alternatively, you could take advantage of the fact that deer cannot jump high and wide at the same time, and you could add a trellis to the top of your fence to effectively widen it – this approach won't work on a waist high fence, but it works beautifully on a privacy-height fence.

5. Add deer grids

If you have sections of your tubular fence that you cannot make taller or wider to thwart deer, consider adding deer grids along these sections. Exactly like cattle guards, these grids contain metal poles laid into the ground. Although you can drive or walk over the grids, the deer cannot walk over them without getting their hooves stuck and tripping themselves. Deer grids are especially effective near gates.