I'm going to be expanding our chicken run this summer and as a way of saving on cost I'm wondering if it would be acceptable to run hardware mesh around the bottom 3' of the run and then use chicken wire for the rest of the run. This would mean any ground critters would have to deal with the mesh but then the chicken wire would keep out the other birds. Has anyone else done this and is this an option worth considering?
Hardware Mesh Question
will 3' high of hardware cloth be able to keep a raccoon that has jumped up onto the chicken wire out?
I have not had issues with coons, but we've always had an outside dog, that runs most critters off.
But I do know firsthand the abilities of a raccoon, and their jumping ability.
not knowing where you are located or the type/amount of predators you may see, it's difficult to give advice, as to the level of protection you may need.
I know many folks here say that even domestic dogs can chew thru chicken wire, that being said, there are many breeds or mutts, that can easily stand up on the hardware cloth to reach the chicken wire and potentially expose your chickens.
Not sure about jumping, but I had one that climbed the fence and got in at the corner in a weak spot in the chicken wire, then climbed down and was eating one of my birds.
I have since rebuilt my runs using 2"x1" welded wire all around. On the bottom, 24" there is 1/2" wire cloth. I have no chicken wire anywhere as it is too weak. I do not worry about the 24" above the welded wire cloth as there is no way for the masked bandit to get in, and he can not reach in anywhere where a bird can be perched.within 20" of the fence.
Good luck, but I would not risk using chicken wire.