Originally Posted by Em Ty
1/2" hardware cloth lets all the poop fall through. I'd replace the 1/4" with 1/2" as it's much easier to keep clean than the sand.
I had to quit using wire because winter temps and drafts made it impractical. It was like maintaining a box within a wire box. I've used sand bottoms, but sand IS sort of a pain to clean and I don't like how it absorbs/or doesn't. Also acted like a thermal mass, a cold one in a bad way for me.
I used a bed liner material on plywood to waterproof it. Then put a layer of pine bedding on it. My pens allow me to open and easily clean. I'm not sure I'd ever go back to wire, unless it was just walls for a pen on the ground, or I switched to a battery system for commercial style production, in an area with much nicer winter weather, or completely inside an insulated shed, small building etc.
I like my animals happy. They seem much happier on pine than on wire. Less stressed and are able to 'bathe' in the shavings like they would in sand. Just my opinions from experience and preference.
If someone went with wire, I agree with Em Ty, that 1/2" hardware cloth, Not 1/4", is the much easier to clean option.