Best Wire to use

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by slillie, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. slillie

    slillie Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm building a chicken run. I've heard that using 1/4 inch hardware cloth is the best way to go to control rodents from getting inside. Also I'm a bee keeper and have hives several hundred yards from where the chickens will be. Will there be any compatibility problems over the water source in the run? Would love thoughts on what's worked for others. Thanks so much for any help.
     
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    I think you will find 1/2" hardware cloth to more than adequate for the run. Quarter-inch is too expensive for large expanses.

    Make sure that you either bury the wire 12" on all sides of the run, or create an apron 12"-24" around the perimeter.

    It has been my experience that chickens will avoid bees and other stinging insects (although my most aggressive hen did kill and eat one once). If mine hear the buzzing, they raise a ruckus and alarm the rest of the flock. Unless the bees hog the water all day, I think they will just learn to deal with it.

    Won't the water be inside the run? If so, I doubt the a lot of bees would fly through the 1/2" openings to use it, especially if there are other water sources available. But, then again, I am not a bee person...
     
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  3. maryhysong

    maryhysong Chillin' With My Peeps

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    half inch hardware cloth should be fine for most rodents. However it will not keep out any kind of predator. You should also check it frequently in case rats or squirrels start chewing on it.
     
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  4. chickenkeeper12

    chickenkeeper12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have chicken wire on my run and I hate it so much. Little birds fly through and chipmunks get through. I would like to switch it to 1/2 inch hardware cloth but with the size of my run it will be to expensive. Plus I'm 14 years old and don't have a lot of money exempt for the essentials and some improvements. I would defiantly use hardware cloth.
     
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  5. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    I have never heard nor experienced a squirrel chewing through 1/2" hardware cloth, nor a rat. Are we talking about the same thing, 19 gauge welded wire? Have you actually seen this happen?

    This would be a new one for me. But that's not so unusual...

    EDIT: After looking at your hoophouse in your blog (again, it's nice!), you mention that it is covered with chicken wire, which is not hardware cloth. Is that the stuff you are referring to as not being predator proof? If so, I agree.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2013
  6. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    It's still pricey, but I've found Amazon's hardware cloth to be about 1/2 the price, even including shipping costs.
     
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  7. MamaHenSD

    MamaHenSD Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think many predators can chew through HW cloth and I agree that amazon's price is best.
     
  8. slillie

    slillie Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your note. Would it be effective to do the run wire in a 1x 2 inch black vinyl wire with the 1/2 hardware cloth around the bottom 12 inches of the run for rodents? Also I would do hardware cloth in ground around coop and run. Trying to make it as safe as possible. Thanks for insights.
     
  9. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    Covering just the lower part of the run with hardware cloth will save a considerable amount of money. However, anything that can climb, and is small enough to fit through the 1" x 2" openings above will be able to invade your run. (which includes predators with long "arms" that can reach through and grab your chickens, e.g., raccoons)..

    However, that may be acceptable, depending on the type of predators you are expecting and whether or not you lock the coop up at night.
     
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  10. chickenkeeper12

    chickenkeeper12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just checked amazon and the hardware cloth is $58 on there and at my local Home Depot and lowes its around $45.
     
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