? About Hardware Cloth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nordicacres, Mar 10, 2015.

  1. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    359
    45
    93
    Feb 16, 2015
    South Central MN
    We have a shed on our property that we will be repurposing into a chicken coop. It sits on a concrete pad that we would like to enclose to make a chicken run. They will free range during the day, but I'd like to leave the pop door open into the run at all times so they aren't stuck in the coop (not much of an early bird). My husband wants to run 1/2" Hardware Cloth three feet up from the concrete and then use some sort of galvanized fencing that was left on the property by the previous owners. I don't know the dimensions off hand, but I believe it is large enough for me to squeeze a hand through. Is this safe? The run will also have a roof overhead. We live in MN so not a lot of predators. We do have raccoons, skunks, possums (?), mice, etc. Thoughts?
     
  2. ErikaBear

    ErikaBear Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    21
    Feb 16, 2015
    I have been doing a similar project. We wanted an enclosure for our hens, so we concreted a few posts into the ground around the coop. We put some hogwire( basically super thick hardware cloth) around it and gave it a roof so that they could be our all day.
     
  3. ErikaBear

    ErikaBear Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    21
    Feb 16, 2015
    If the hardware cloth you're using is thin and kind of flimsy, it's possible that a predator could chew through it. It probably won't happen, but better safe than sorry!
     
  4. shorttimer

    shorttimer Out Of The Brooder

    96
    7
    31
    Aug 25, 2014
    Morro Bay, Ca
    You will be surprised at how small a space a raccoon can slither through. And if they get to your chickens, they'll kill all of them. Tighten it up. Mice will be eaten by the chickens.
     
  5. ErikaBear

    ErikaBear Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    21
    Feb 16, 2015
    I agree!
     
  6. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    359
    45
    93
    Feb 16, 2015
    South Central MN
    Alright, fair enough on the mice. I know they won't harm the chickens, but I certainly don't want them in/around it. We already have a mouse issue out here :)
     
  7. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

    2,833
    618
    301
    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    hog wire is basically fence with 4" square openings. about the only thing that will keep out is a dog type predator. Depending on how high it is, even then they can jump it or even climb it. Are you planning to cover the top with any kind of fencing at all? that would make it a bit more secure, but not much. I don't think I've ever seen anyone refer to hog wire as "basically just really thick hardware cloth" before, that's a new one for me, LOL

    if you'll study through the "coops" section, you'll find the most recommended way to enclose a run is hardware cloth. not easily 'chewed through' at all, but when you're looking at it before buying, get the heaviest gauge wire you can find (the lower the number, the heavier the gauge) and make sure it says it was dipped in the galvanizing after it was welded.

    Good luck with your coop and run, and post pics!
     
  8. FrankA

    FrankA Out Of The Brooder

    66
    6
    33
    Mar 8, 2015
    Long Island NY
    I would think that if you can put your hand through it one of your local predators can get in as well. You may want to bite the bullet and hardware cloth all the way up and over. Post pics!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

    2,833
    618
    301
    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    really that kind of depends. She could probably squeeze her hand through standard dog fence or horse fence. But it would be a decent wire to go with. I've used it on previous runs with no problems, other than the rat snake that got through.......it didn't stick around long either once all 12 of my chickens a time got to pecking at it, LOL. I did go back with some hardware cloth after that though
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,952
    3,115
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A fence with 2’ x 4’ opening swill keep out most serious predators. Snakes, rats, and weasels can get through almost any small opening. It’s extremely difficult and can be quite expensive to build something that will stop them. Weasel attacks are not that common but when they do attack it is often a massacre. My coop would not stop weasels (let alone the run) and I’ve never had a problem with weasels. Snakes will eat baby chicks and eggs but it would take a huge snake to eat an adult chicken. Rats can eat eggs or even chicks but usually they are after the feed.

    You said you would have a roof. Good. If those openings are any bigger than 2” x 4”, I would not use it by itself. Skunks, possums, raccoons, mink, and foxes can squeeze through some pretty small holes. You could try lining the inside with chicken wire, which isn’t real expensive. That will provide a lot more protection, but a big raccoon, dog, or coyote could tear through it if they decide to try. Sometimes chicken wire just breaks when something big gets hold of it, sometimes it comes untwisted.

    Your joints and connections are potential weak points, be careful how well the gate closes and how strong that hardware is, and be sure to provide dig protection.

    Personally I’d be very reluctant to leave the pop door open with anything less than 2”
    x 4” wire, end even then I’d want to line the inside with chicken wire everywhere, not just the bottom section. My run is very predator resistant, not totally predator proof, so I lock mine up securely every night in the coop.

    Whether you leave that pop door open is a personal choice. How much confidence do you have in your run and how precious are your chickens to you. Some people do not do much for predator protection. Some chickens sleep in trees. They may go years without a predator attack or they may be wiped out tonight. It’s something that you really don’t know will happen until it happens.

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by