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2" x 2" mesh - new to forum / new to chickens!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by saltdean norm, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. saltdean norm

    saltdean norm In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2009
    Sussex, UK

    I'm new to the forum and wanted a little bit of advice on the run I'm planning.

    I've just bought quite a large well made coop from a demolition sale, its about 6'x4'x3' with two rows or perchs and two egg /nest boxes. It was a bargain…just £10.00 including some feeders!

    I'm going to build a fully enclosed run that the coop will join onto, probably 9' L x 8' W x 4' H. The bottom of the frame is going to be railway sleepers partially sunk into the ground with a 2' skirt of aviary mesh dug down a few inches under grass level. I was thinking of using 2" X 2" zinc weld aviary mesh (1.6m gauge).

    We have a number of foxes and badgers in the area and I've seen both in the garden in the past. I'm not worried about smaller predators, I figure they'll find a way in whatever mesh I use. What do you think about using the 2"x2" mesh compared to the 1"x1" mesh? The cost saving is around 20%. The frame of the run is going to be very solid 4"x4" posts and 2"x4" top plates.

    I'm going to be getting 4 chickens and they'll be locked away in the coop each dusk. They'll be let loose in the garden during the day, but only when we're around so maybe 3 or 4 times a week.

    Thanks in advance for any tips or help….the other posts I've read on the forum have been really useful so far!


    Saltdean, Sussex UK

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    First off, welcome to BYC, so glad you found us...

    ... it looks to me like you have it planned very well and I imagine that 2" X 2" will work fine. I have 2" X 3" but I don't have as many predators. I buried mine on the periphery about 6 inches deep. Good luck!
  3. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    thats fine but you will have to put a finer mesh (like 1/2 X 1/2 inch around the loxwer 3 feet so that coons and other predators can not reach in and grab a meal.
  4. Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  5. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    The wire for the run is something that you don't want to skimp and "save" on because it's going to be used for many years. You want to buy the safest from the beginning; that'll save you from a lot of future loss of money, time, and chickens. Make your run out of 1/2- X 12-inch wire. See my BYC page for some suggestions.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am not convinced that 1/2" hardwarecloth produces any stronger run than HEAVY GAUGE larger mesh wire (no larger than 2x4"). The only difference is that weasels and rats can get in (and if you use literally 2x4" wire, no absolute guarantees vs baby raccoons or baby possums)... but quite frankly weasels and rats can probably get into your run no matter *what*, unless you go to extraordinary measures and are very careful with ongoing inspection and maintenance.

    So to me, 2x2" is quite reasonable. IF you can get it in suitably heavy gauge. The welded 2x2 fencing most commonly sold here is awfully weebly and thin-gauge for me to want to trust it with chickens (I have it on my cats' outdoor run, but I would not consider using it for the flock). If you have a source of much heavier stronger stuff, then absolutely, go for it [​IMG] Preferably with the addition of smaller mesh on the bottom 2-3', as others have described, to prevent reach-through incidents.

    Good luck, have fun, welcome to BYC,

  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    The point of the 1/2 by 1/2 mesh isn't strength, it's to prevent a predator from grabbing through the mesh and pulling parts of your birds out. Chickens will pile up in the corner of the pen when frightened, and the predator just grabs them and tears them to bits. I've even heard from people who have had doves decapitated through 1/2" by 1" wire.

  8. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Ahappychick and Elmo nailed it. Coons will reach thru and decapitate a chook. it is easier for tem in a small coop as the birds will panic and crush against the sides in their panic. Here in E Tenn I met a guy who had two coons do a tag team on his 8 ft wide run. They took turns stampeding the chooks from one side to the other and dismembered three before he could run them off. This happened in broad daylight. He was buying 1/2' hdw cloth when I saw him. You say you have badgers? they are awesome diggers, so you should bury 2x2 galv. mesh down2" deep and 2 ft wide all the way around. I would use a fence charger too, and put several courses of the hotwire around the run/coop enclosure. Forget chicken wire for keeping either coons or badgers out. Coop cannot be too strong either, especially for badgers. And remember, coons have an opposing thumb like humans do so they are really adept at operating latches and hooks. If I had badgers around I would be afraid of a tractor.
  9. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    Quote:One other thing to consider is snakes. A good-size snake can get through 1/2 X 1/2, and that might not be much of a problem in a run with no small chicks present. In a COOP it's a serious problem if they're after eggs. That's why I only use 1/4- X 1/4-inch wire over my coop windows. Any snake that goes through that would be killed and eaten by the hens.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The point of the 1/2 by 1/2 mesh isn't strength, it's to prevent a predator from grabbing through the mesh and pulling parts of your birds out.

    Yes, that is why if you use larger mesh you should put smaller mesh along the bottom 2-3' of the fence, as I and others always state.

    There is no particularly large advantage to using the smaller mesh on the ENTIRE run, except the special cases mentioned in my earlier post.

    Snakes? It is exceptionally rare for a snake to go into a coop and steal eggs. And quite easy to do something *about*, if it should by extreme rare chance *happen*. (Obviously you do want to snakeproof anything with chicks in it, as that's a bit more of an obvious target for a hungry snake).

    Anyhow, snakes are not really a problem in England, the o.p.'s location [​IMG]

    I just think it is a mistake to think that small mesh used for the *whole* run is any meaningful improvement (in most cases) over having it on just the bottom 2-3', or anywhere else a predator could reach a chicken.

    And remember, this is worry-about-everything cross-all-t's-and-dot-all-i's *me* talking, here <g>


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