Chicken wire or hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jaj121159, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Building a meat bird tractor. I know Joel Salatin recommends chicken wire for the tractors so bugs can get into the tractor. I have had some predator problems in the past and the coyote populations seems to be on the rise in my area. (Had one right next to the house a month ago.) I was thinking about putting chicken wire behind the walls and on the roof, but putting hardware cloth on the sides.

  2. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    HARDWARE CLOTH - yes, I am yelling. We have way too many preds in our area and that is the only stuff that helps to keep our birds safe. More money but I can sleep better at night knowing that they are safe.
  3. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2010
    West Denver Burbs
    I've had good luck with 2" x 3" opening fencing. Have seen Mr. Fox on top of the coop but he's never gotten in. I also don't like the way chicken wire stretches and loses its shape.

    EDIT - if predators are a problem, you'll want to put wire in the bottom also to keep foxes from digging under the coop.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  4. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    I have two different tractors.

    My newest one employs 2x3 wire. First batch of birds went into it yesterday. Too soon to give you a report.

    My old one uses 1/2" HW cloth. 3rd batch of CX, plus it has raised turkeys and pheasants without a loss.

    Just a few tips.

    1. Build your tractor so the birds can get out of the weather in at least half of the structure. It rains here in Washington.

    2. Have the shelter side always facing to the direction where you get your weather from.

    Take care,

  5. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    I agree that a heaver wire is the better way to go, but keep in mind that gets expensive. I've found it much cheaper to use chicken wire and tether the dog near the chicken tractor (since my sweet little border collie still isn't used to the chickens, and views them as heinous intruders that must be killed, the tether is a necessity---lest the protector become the predator).
  6. NormansGal44

    NormansGal44 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    I found a great price for Hardware Cloth on Amazon. $86 for a 100' roll of 3' high 1/2" mesh. I don't think it is worth the risk. I am going to do a 2-3' apron of 2"x4" all around the Coop and Run.

    EGGTASKTIC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    I think the 1/2 inch hardware cloth may be overkill. That said Chicken wire is not the best stuff, although I do use some.
    I was having good luck with 2 foot tall rabbit guard as it has small opening on the bottom and larger on the top. My second choice is 1 x 2 welded wire. I think it is more coon proof then the chicken wire.
  8. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    Regarding the larger openings wire... makes for easy pickings for racoons to grab a chicken ( it has a human like paw)by reaching it's paw through the wire opening , pull it to the wire next to him/her and kill the chicken. [​IMG] Regarding the chicken wire... all it does is keep a chicken in and NO self respecting pedator out ! [​IMG] Too FLIMSY. [​IMG]
  9. Rapptors

    Rapptors Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 12, 2011
    Oh! I had no idea, whew, thankfully I haven't built our tractor yet. We have a terrible coyote and raccoon problem. I hear the rifle shots as my neighbors shoot the raccoons and coyotes... for some reason one has a problem with raccoons and the other coyotes... well, I blame the coyote one on ALL our problems, she feeds the raccoons, sigh! There is a shrubbery next to my house they run through on their way to my neighbor's farms from a designated green space ... right under my bedroom window. (The neighbor kids use my yard as a pathway too!)

    I am planning on doing the curtain skirt around the bottom of the tractor, I've read that is effective. I never would have thought the chicken wire wouldn't work, somehow I figured these guys would move to the middle if there was a raccoon poking it's paw at them, huh! I need to remind myself they aren't called bird brains for nothing!

    So this stuff: Garden Plus Hardware Cloth Black 24in x 25ft
    Item #: 43911 | Model #: 292425 (at Lowe's)

    I tried to put a link in but I am not so good... it was a paragraph long. Can someone clarify it for me? Hardware cloth, maximum gap for raccoons/coyotes. Is it metal or plastic? It says welded but it looks like plastic? The one I found at Lowe's was only $6.27 for 2' x 25'.

  10. NormansGal44

    NormansGal44 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Look for "welded" or "galvanized" in the description. Sorry but that is way too low of a price. It's pretty pricey. [​IMG]

    I ordered this (I got it for $86) and split it with my neighbor.
    Keep an eye on You could also sell the remaining wire on Craigslist...

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