2x4 Welded wire with a 2-3ft hex chick wire skirt?


8 Years
Mar 12, 2011
Hestand, KY
Needed help with a run design and saving as much money as possible.

My run will be plenty big enough, but my question is about protection. My plan was to use 2x4 welded wire either 12.5 gauge or 14 gauge. I need suggestion on which. The 12.5 for a 100 foot roll 6 feet high is around 150 bucks (more or less) but the 14 gauge is a little over $90.00. Do I need the heavier duty or will the 14 gauge be plenty strong?

Also I want to put a 48in-36in skirt around the bottom portion of the run of 1 inch hex chicken wire. 12 inches will be buried. So should I get the the 36in and have a 2 foot skirt or should I get the 48in and have a 3 foot skirt? Cost difference between the 36in compared to the 48in is a little over $20.00. The rolls come 150ft long. The 2in hex is significantly cheaper, but I don't know if a 2in hole will be too big.


8 Years
May 6, 2011
Austin, TX
We have a 2 foot skirt, but we also have 2 rows of 12"x12" pave stones on top and all around the coop. We figured burying any fence was over kill. We opted for the skirt over burying any fence because I read it was more important to stop something from even digging near the coop. Sorry I can't answer your first question.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
14 gauge wire is not necessarily a big problem per se IMO, however it tends often to be accompanied by poorer-quality welds. If the stuff is being touted for garden type use (as opposed to livestock) then I'd be suspicious of its ability to stand up to a serious predator. 12 gauge may be real livestock-type fencing, or it could be corn-crib type stuff which sometimes (not always) has terrible quality-control in its welds. Although I'd take poorly-welded 12 gauge over poorly-welded 14 gauge, LOL. You have to use your judgement, hopefully SEEING/handling the stuff in person.

As for the skirt, I'm not sure of exactly how you're using the term, I almost get the idea that you mean just that you'll add chickenwire to the bottom 2-3' of the run fence (to prevent reach-through) and then bury more below that? As opposed to having a horizontal section of the wire on the ground outside the run fence to prevent digging?

If the former is indeed what you mean, 12" of buried chickenwire will be a lot of work and yet NOT actually very good at preventing things digging in. You'd be far better off IMO with just a 2'-high reach-thru barrier and then bend the wire to also have a 2' wide horizontal apron/skirt/whatchacallit around the foot of the run fence. Search "apron" for instructions on building an effective one. Made with chickenwire it will not be AS predatorproof as if it were welded wire but will still be a whole big lot better than nothing, and for sure worth doing. Also WAY easier than burial, and potentially longer-lasting.

Good luck, have fun,


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