Chicken wire on top of run?


In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 22, 2013
Southwest Oklahoma
We are enclosing our new run this weekend. It is 16x17, 6 ft tall, with 4x4's cemented in. The sides will be enclosed with hardware cloth. My question is: Is it ok to use chicken wire on the top? We have some leftover from a previous project, and that would mean we wouldn't have to buy more hardware cloth. My understanding is that chicken wire is not usually the first choice because predictors can reach in and grab birds, but the chickens won't be hanging out 6 ft off the ground. Thanks for any input.
I wouldn't use chicken wire its not safe

the sheer weight of the coon, fox or wolf etc will cave it in and there you go no work and they got a meal

I used hardware cloth on mine and its fine except the rain makes it muddy

so now im going to give it a felted solid roof
My run is made out of dog kennel panels. We reinforced all the sides with chicken wire. For part of the top we used a few very large pieces of thick plywood bolted together & for the rest we used chicken wire but layered it. Everything is clamped together & pretty secure. Have had a few visitors but so far nothing has gotten to them. There is definitely more secure options out there but I haven't had any problems with my set up.
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-very much depends upon predators. We reside in an area that has a large amount of aerial predators - hawks. We do not have raccoons. Our entire run is enclosed with chicken wire. It is only to keep the birds in, and keep the hawks out. They are enclosed in a sturdy coop with hardware cloth (over the windows) in the evening. (They are not out in the run while nocturnal predators may be about.)

If you are seeking to protect from raptors, chicken wire is fine. If you allow your birds in the run during evening hours or live where raccoons, opossums, coyotes, etc. can get to the run - I would definitely use hardware cloth.
Thanks for the input. We have no racoons or opossums (if you can tell by the avatar -no trees). There are coyotes around, but we have two donkeys that free range on our 7 acers. The coyotes have never come on the land because the donkeys gaurd it very well. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, the donkeys do sleep and the coyotes would think chicken was a tasty dinner. The hawks are my greatest concern. Do you really think coyotes could get on top of a 6 foot run?
Nope. I think a chicken wire top should be fine. A coyote can get over a 6 ft. fence, but the likelihood of it getting on top of the run and coming through is pretty slim, IMO. You want to make certain that the coyote doesn't dig under the run - main concern, there.
LOL Now my husband is considering a coragated metal roof. That would definately keep out critters. As for digging under - we are burying about a foot of hardware cloth and.... I have so much extra lumber that I scavenaged from local construction sites (taken from trash pile with permission) that I am building a 3 ft. board walk around all the way around the coop. I am looking forward to being done. The girls need to move out of the garage and I want a weekend without a hammer in my hand.
We started out with a corrugated metal roof on our run. It was nice, but then my husband thought the chickens would like more sunshine. So, he replaced two of the sections with clear pieces that are shaped the same as the metal. The chickens love their new sunroof and they still have shade! I just wanted to plant that seed for you. If we'd thought of it from the beginning, we would have saved some money.
Chicken wire would probably be fine but I would consider a solid roof over most of your run to keep out rain and the sun. Plenty of shade is important during the hot seasons. Metal roofs are great but also pretty expensive and the heavy gauge stuff is very very hard to cut. I use exterior bead board (prepainted on one side which is basically baked on and durable). Not real cheap at $23/4x8 sheet but it will last many many years and strong enough for heavy snow loads. Donkeys with the chickens is a great set-up to deter predators! Hopefully your run and coop are fortified against leaning livestock. Our goats tug and lean on everything!


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