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Cheaper alt. to hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 4theloveofhens, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. 4theloveofhens

    4theloveofhens Songster

    May 26, 2010
    Any cheaper alternatives to hardware cloth that serve the same purpose? I know chicken wire is not good, but I saw some plastic looking hardware cloth and other stuff. I just can't believe how expensive it is and if I build a tall run, no way!
  2. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    I've used the plastic hardware cloth on two of my runs. 1/2" for the hens run and 1" for the meaties.
  3. 4theloveofhens

    4theloveofhens Songster

    May 26, 2010
    Quote:Is it just as durable to keep out raccoons, fox, cats, etc?
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I wouldn't use hardware cloth to fence around the run unless I had an enormous budget to spend. I think it's best used to cover the windows & ventilation of their sleeping quarters. Make that area the most predator-proof. Some folks attatch it with screws & washers, some will cover the entire edges with a frame of wooden strips.

    Other types of wire, welded-wire or even chicken wire, should work well enough for the run. You could run a few lines of electric fencing around it to make it even more secure.

    I think the plastic mesh is best used to fence off places where you don't want your chickens to go, like around your garden.
  5. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Quote:Is it just as durable to keep out raccoons, fox, cats, etc?

    No. But my girls are in the coop at night and the meaties are tarped and where 3 of the 6 outside dogs can see them, so if there's a fox or yote we'll know. We don't have any other predators to worry about... well, wolves and bears, but they don't come on the property much.
  6. BrewerBirds

    BrewerBirds Hatching

    May 5, 2010
    I originally was looking for more affordable options for a small 5'x10' run we have and went with the plastic. This is our girls first week living outside and using the run. Tonight I discovered 4 holes being made in the plastic. Don't know if it's the hens pecking that is breaking it, the pugs wanting to play, or something trying to get in, but I had some leftover hardward cloth that I've started replacing the plastic with. The plastic is more to keep the girls in and won't really keep anything out (if it even keeps them in).
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Plastic "hardwarecloth" is NOT AT ALL predatorproof. It will keep your chickens in, but it won't keep hungry predators out.

    IMO the best compromise between budget and security (unless you happen into a scrounged or discounted supply of something even better, of course) is to use heavy livestock-gauge 2x4 wire for the run fence, and add something smaller meshed on the bottom 2-3' (ideally hardwarecloth, but 1/2" chickenwire is very good too, and even normal 1" chickenwire or plastic mesh is really not *so* dangerous since all you're doing is preventing reach-through) and then make real sure to close the chickens into the henhouse every night by dusk.

    Rats and weasels can go thru 2x4 wire, but they can go thru pretty much ANYthing frankly (they will find gaps) and weasels are almost completely nocturnal; baby raccoons and baby possums can go thru 2x4 wire too, but they are almost completely nocturnal. The actual risk of this construction is apparently small (you don't hear about people having problems iwth it) and it is certainly more affordable than all-hardwarecloth.

  8. dipence71

    dipence71 Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    Murrayville, IL
    This is what I did. We have a fenced in yard in which is my coop and run, so what I did is use chix wire for the run but doubled it the bottom 4-5ft it is 8ft tall total and buried some to prevent dig ins. I also have 2 dog that run in the fenced in yard. It is not escape proof but they stay close to home when they dig out or whatever. So they keep most things out of the yard. We have had possums in the yard eating dropped fruit from the trees but the dogs keep them away from my chix so far.
    Unfortunately right now the fenced in yard part is down as we are building a garage and it was in the way. but we have been lucky so far.
    Harley(my 1/2 pug 1/2 weiner) helps herd the chix when one is being a brat and wont go back in the coop. LOL....

    SO if they are locked up at night I wouldn't (couldn't afford) to use hardware cloth for the run. Just my opinion.
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If you have a walk-in run, I would certainly not use hardware cloth for the entire thing unless your pockets are overflowing with excess $$$. I used the 2x4 welded wire over my entire run, and then just added 24 inches of hardware cloth around the bottom portion. MUCH cheaper that way, and very sturdy/secure against the majority of predators (I even used the welded wire for the top/run cover).
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  10. GAGE

    GAGE Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Our run is going to be 20 wide by 40 long, and I am at a loss on what to do to do and make it affordable.[​IMG]

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