Originally Posted by teach1rusl
Will the chickens be shut inside a housing at night, or will the housing be open to the run/pen 24/7? What kind of critters live in the wildlife preserve???
If shut inside a housing at night, then I'd go with 2x4 welded wire for the entire main pen, and 1/2" hardware cloth added along the lower perimeter walls (to prevent reach-ins). But if they won't be closed inside a housing at night, then I'd go with hardware cloth all over, as smaller predators like weasels and such could make it through the 2x4 welded wire overnight...
Now if bears are part of the nearby fauna, then I'd probably look at chain link or cattle/hog panels reinforced with smaller wire to prevent reach-ins...
I plan on putting them up in there coop at night, but if we are gone on the weekends, I want them to be able to go to their safe hardware cloth basement to have some outdoors. The run would be just for the daytime when we would be home to put them up at night.
Wildlife we have are snakes, mice, hawks, eagles, foxes, coyotes, opposums, beavers, deer, skunks, armadillos, chipmunks, squirrels, owls, and probably raccoons (but have never spotted one).