I'm planning out my coop and I noticed metal hardware cloth is $50 for 25 feet while the plastic hardware cloth only costs about $15 for the same amount. How awful would it be if I used the plastic stuff in place of the metal stuff? Has anyone tried it? We're running on a tight budget so I was thinking about using the plastic stuff anyway and then replacing it with the metal stuff over time.
metal vs plastic hardware cloth.
I originally intended to build using wire on the bottom two feet and plastics higher up but based on the responses I got here after asking I decide to go with the metal wire mostly because rodents can easily chew threw the plastic. I bought hardware cloth, the per foot cost get lots lower if you buy a large roll. The 3 ft X 100 ft was just a few dollars more than the 3ft X50 ft so maybe you can find someone in your area, here or on creigslist who is also building a coop and split the cost?
Not sure what you're going to use the hardware cloth for, but we once used plastic chicken wire as a fence, only to find that our chickens strategically pecked at it until there was a hole big enough that they could escape through it. So if plastic isn't safe from chicken beaks, it probably won't deter predators either.
I am using mental (1/4x1/4) hardware cloth. I got it from a masonry supply store and It's pretty heavy duty. All the built coops I looked at used hardware cloth. The openings in chicken wire are to large and also it's really hard to work with and keep tidy, so I am only using it on the lower 24" of the run to re-enforce the hardware cloth.