Attached run - chicken wire/poultry netting OK?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MIChickandGuinea, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. MIChickandGuinea

    MIChickandGuinea Songster

    Jun 28, 2017
    Western Michigan
    I am building a new coop with attached, covered run (I mean the roof extends all the way over the outdoor run). I need to put fencing on the run, but I am having a hard time deciding what to use. For economy, chicken wire is the best choice, and it comes in 6' tall rolls, which means I would be able to fence all in one piece with no fencing joints to come undone and allow gaps.

    But is chicken wire strong enough to protect against dogs, foxes, coyotes, etc.?

    And is chicken wire safe for chicks? (Not that I expect to have little chicks in this coop, because if we add birds to our flock along the way, they'll have to be bigger before we can incorporate them with our already-grown ladies ... bu in the event of a total flock loss to disease or something, we may find ourselves with chicks again... )
    rjohns39 likes this.
  2. Ohmyheart

    Ohmyheart Songster

    Mar 27, 2017
    North Little Rock, AR
    Sorry chicken wire is only good at keeping chickens in. Dogs, raccoons foxes, etc. will tear through it easy as butter.
  3. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Enabler

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    You'll probably get a lot of different answers. When I built my cattle panel shelters, I covered them with 6' chicken wire and then went around the base with 2' of 1/2" hardware cloth. On my tractors, I use chicken wire and hot wires. If I had it to do over again, I would have used hardware cloth instead.
    CapricornFarm and nminusyplusm like this.
  4. Hivoltage

    Hivoltage Chirping

    Mar 25, 2017
    Newark Ohio
    Chicks will run right thru chicken wire. 1/2" openings are best to keep predators out.
    CapricornFarm and rjohns39 like this.
  5. ChickenGirl555

    ChickenGirl555 Songster

    Oct 22, 2017
    My Coop
    I use chicken wire and it is really easy to 'mold' to what you want, but won't protect well against large predators (dogs, coyotes, etc.). But if you are tricky and leave some sharp ends on the outside, maybe a predator will think twice before trying to I really get in. I don't have a problem with dogs since we have nice dogs in our neighborhood and the ones that always come In our yard (which we have no problem with) have seen the chickens multiple times and when one of their dogs, a collie, poked her nose through the chicken wire to calmly sniff, one of my girls got interested and pecked her, sending the dog back to her yard! :lau
    rjohns39 likes this.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Any wire you use will offer some protection. Chicken wire will keep a lot of critters out. What critters depends a lot on the gauge (thickness) of the wire used and how large the openings are. A large dog, coyote, or big raccoon can tear through most chicken wire. There are photos on this forum where critters, usually big dogs, have torn through lighter gauge hardware cloth. One key is whether or not they can get a grip on it to pull. That’s where opening size may come in, or how you connect the edges. If you leave an edge they can grip they may use that to rip it off. Often the wire is not the weak point but how you connect it or what you connect it to.

    Baby chicks, especially bantam, may be able to go through the openings in chicken wire. It is purely a function of how big the chick is and how big the opening is.

    Certain critters can get through the openings in chicken wire and some other types of wire. I had a snake get through a 1” opening in hardware cloth on my brooder and eat a baby chick.

    In my opinion there is no perfect way to build a run that will absolutely keep everything out without breaking the bank. I settled on using 2” x 4” welded wire for the run sides and used a smaller opening chicken wire on the bottom 18”. This will stop about anything short of a bear as far as the bigger predators but it does allow snakes, rats, and mice to get inside as they can climb. Some members of the weasel family can get in also but I’ve never had that problem. Since yours will be covered you don’t have to worry about large climbing or flying predators.

    You never know how secure your run or coop really are until they are tested. If it is sufficient you may not even know it was tested. Some people use chicken wire on their runs and go decades with no problems, others lose their entire flock.
    kaiwan, aart and rjohns39 like this.
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    We have weasels here, as well as a full compliment of other predators. My run is too big for me to be able to afford hdw cloth. So, it is 1" CW with a buried horizontal CW skirt. Sure, if I could afford it, it would be hdw cloth. And it would be covered with steel roof. But, that's not going to happen in my life time. So, I make do with CW, and bird netting over the top in non snow months. During snow months, I block off most of the run, only allowing access to the portion that is covered with green house tarp and welded wire.

    I am well aware that any decent sized predator could tear through my run. I check every night to be assured that my flock is shut in their pred proof coop.

    Electric fencing would be a good deterrent for my run. I have the materials to do so, but have not done so yet. As for chicks, they can squeeze through 1", or at least get their heads stuck! I simply keep them inside HDW cloth areas until they are big enough that the CW won't be an issue.
    Ridgerunner and rjohns39 like this.
  8. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb Chirping

    May 6, 2017
    Chester South Carolina
    I put 2"x4" welded wire over 1" chicken wire
    rjohns39 likes this.
  9. MIChickandGuinea

    MIChickandGuinea Songster

    Jun 28, 2017
    Western Michigan
    I bought 1"x2" welded wire. Much heavier gauge than hardware cloth and chicken wire, and (I THINK) openings small enough to keep out the major predators I am concerned about in our area. We don't have large snakes, and weasels are very rare. The things I have to be worried about are dogs, foxes, coyotes, possums, raccoons, hawks/owls. If we have any little chicks, we'll have to keep them elsewhere until they're bigger, or run a line of hardware cloth around the bottom of the pen. But I'm hoping I have made a usable, affordable selection.
    CapricornFarm, imnukensc and rjohns39 like this.
  10. ronzxcvb

    ronzxcvb Chirping

    May 6, 2017
    Chester South Carolina
    1x2 welded wire is some pretty tough stuff
    should be good unless its a hungry bear or they can dig under
    CapricornFarm and rjohns39 like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: