can a coon actually tear through new chicken wire????

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dufus, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. dufus

    dufus In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2011
    i have read reports on this site of coons ''going right through chicken wire''. honestly,, i find that hard to believe, as i have tried tearing it myself, and i'm not exactly a 100 pound weakling. also, i've had my son, who is 6'2'', 210#s, with BIG ARMS [ longtime weightlifter ] try, and he said, '' no way''. i have 26 gauge steel roofing panels, laid on their side, on 3 sides of the coop, so i have steel up to 37''. the other side has 2 layers of chicken wire, and a layer of 1/2 hardware cloth, it would take a bear to go through this. [ and we don't have them ] to begin with, they cannot reach up that high, on their hind legs, and get a decent purchase on the wire to tear it. but,, i have 10'x16' of yard with one layer of new chicken wire on top of it. so,, , theoretically they could get on the roof, and tear through. i'm gonna revise my coop this fall and winter, mainly due to chicken snakes,, and i want to cover all bases. what'cha think?????

  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    They bite/chew through the wire with their teeth, not tear with their paws. I haven't tested it here in that way since I never depend on it to keep anything out--have just seen pictures of holes chewed/torn in the middle of an expanse of it by predators. I never use anything other than 2x4 welded wire as the main fence, then layer either chicken wire or hardware cloth on top of that up to a certain height. I'd never trust chicken wire alone as a predator barrier, personally. Coons will grab through the openings and pull a chicken through, one inch at a time and eat whatever part he can pull through there.

    Chicken wire does rust over time, even galvanized. When it does, it's easy to tear with your hands. I've done it many times.
  3. Velvet Hairpiece

    Velvet Hairpiece Chirping

    Mar 4, 2011
    Louisville, KY
    I think the idea behind chicken wire being bad is that there are huge spaces, big enough for a raccoon to reach it's hand through, grab a chicken, and pull the poor thing through- at least partially. Also, they may be able to chew that thin wire. Dogs, or coyotes or other determined wildlife could just run through that chicken wire as well. It's so thin and flexible... hardware cloth is what you should use if you really want to keep your flock protected.
  4. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Songster

    I had chicken wire covering the top of the run until this spring. I know there were raccoons on top of the run, but they never ripped through the chicken wire.
    On one occasion they were able to move the boards the chicken wire was attached to and get at my chickens, but that wasn't the fault of the wire.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Blondie in GA posted this picture of a friend's chicken wire disaster on the forum and I'm just re-posting the pic here for reference for those who doubt. That isn't necessarily done by a raccoon, not sure if they found out the culprit, but you can see the big hole in the center of the expanse of wire plain as day. (from this thread:

  6. mulewagon

    mulewagon Songster

    Nov 13, 2010
    Snakes can get through the chicken wire mesh. They couldn't get out the same way if full of eggs or chicks, but that would be too late for your eggs or chicks!
  7. MamaRoo

    MamaRoo Songster

    Jul 5, 2011
    A ferry ride away, WA
    I don't know about racoons, but my neighbor's bull dog was ripping holes in my chicken wire. It took her forever, and I was able to stop her before she got very far, but she also has really strong jaws.

    I've had a chicken wire tractor for two years, and other than Toots, nothing has ripped holes in it. That being said, my birdies are in a wooden coop at night, so no issues with 'coon fingers reaching through while they're sleeping.

  8. lauriej57

    lauriej57 Chirping

    Sep 17, 2010
    Southwest Michigan
    Yes, raccoons can rip through chicken wire! I know from experience. It should be called garden wire, not chicken wire. All it does is keeps the chickens in.

    From what I saw, after our massacre here about 5 years ago, is that they must chew through it.

    The only place I have chicken wire anymore is for my apron inside and outside of the run, and I have it 3 ft high around my 1x2 welded wire on my small chicken coop and run, so that my chicks can't get out when I first start letting them outside in the run.

    They should outlaw the name "chicken wire" so newbies, like I was then, don't assume that it is safe.

    My run is 1x2 heavy gauge welded wire, and it also covers the top. I feel pretty safe with it, but I know a coyote could get through it if determined. I had 2 labs many many moons ago that chewed through the same type of fencing.
  9. Jolyn

    Jolyn Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    I lost some of my chickens when racoons tore through chickenwire on my coop!! [​IMG]

    It can and does happen. Wish i had listened when i had read about it on here!! I wouldn't have lost 9 babies, my favorite rooster and three hens. :0(
  10. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Yes they can chew right through it, remove staples holding it, break and lift boards it is attached to and open most latches easier than you can. Chicken wire serves only one real purpose...keeping chickens in. They will pull a bird's head off through it, eat what they want and leave you the mess to clean up. Youngsters and bantams...they will pull the whole bird through that 1" opening if they wish to and it is not a pretty sight, have seen it.

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