chicken wire or hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TubbyChicken, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    If my birds will be cooped at night would it be alright to use chicken wire on the run? If I use hardware cloth would it be ok to give them access to the run at night...(If they were given access at night I will be sure to bury cloth along the bottom and completely secure the roof of the run.)
  2. Bi0sC0mp

    Bi0sC0mp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2008
    well do you have a problem with predators .. thats the first thing .. second if you put chicken wire then hardwarecloth and bury and all like you said you will be fine.. but realy best to lock them up at night alot safer
  3. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 10, 2007
    Chicken wire won't hold any thing out of your run. If predators get access to your run, possible they can get into your coop? If you let your birds in the run during the day, a dog could very easily rip thru the chicken wire. If you let them out during the night, a weasle or mink can find an entrance thru the smallest gap in roof or wire. It's best to use hardware cloth and lock them up during the night. They go in to roost anyway, so just close up the pop door and people door up tight and you'll sleep better!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  4. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    Chicken wire is only for keeping chickens away from each other. Even during the day you will have preditors that can easily tear through chicken wire.

    I will never forget sitting by the brooder with my chickies and seeing a racoon slink by the glass door and lear in at us. This was during daylight hours. They are MOSTLY night time preditors, but they will come during daylight. It really gave me the willies. Many people have lost chickens that way.

    Even with hardware cloth I would still lock them up at night.
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I agree with the last couple of posts recommending hardware cloth; this forum is full of nightmare stories of predators knocking through chicken wire. We chose hardware cloth despite its greater expense, and I still make sure my girls are in the quadruple-locked coop at night.

    This forum is also littered with stories of, "I came home late/went away for a few hours/kids forgot to lock coop just once ~ and I walked in to find . . . "

    Everything, everything loves to eat chickens. Heavy breeds simply cannot fend for themselves, and 100% survival rate means protection all the time. Those with larger farms, and those with tolerance for a certain amount of livestock loss, may allow more freedom, but for my current suburban backyard purposes I go with heavier security.

    Good luck!
  6. TubbyChicken

    TubbyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    We will definitely be going with hardware cloth...Raccoons are a major concern for us. Are the savings really that substantial to warrant the risk with chicken wire? Does hardware cloth come in different sizes?
  7. chick4chicks

    chick4chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    N.E. Pa.
    Yes, hardware cloth does come in different sizes. 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch. It also comes in different widths.
  8. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    Here's how I think of it...

    Hardware cloth can be expensive, which is one thing that puts people off about it...


    Monetarily, losing birds you have invested a lot of time and money in (think of the food you fed them to raise them, etc.) adds up if you keep losing the birds to predators, causing you to have to replace them. If you're planning on raising any types of rare birds or looking to start a breeding program, I can't imagine why you'd risk it.

    Emotionally, losing an animal you really like, especially in the graphic way some predators destroy them, can be very taxing. If you have young children and the chickens are going to be their pets, it might be very traumatizing for them (not that I'm against kids learning "the facts of life"... it just seems right to protect a beloved pet).

    Even if you lock your birds in the coop at night, hardware cloth is the "first line of defense" to anything that might be headed for your pop-hole door. It just makes it that much harder for predators to get in.
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:YES . My Coop and run are attached and they have 24/7 full access . but once they decide to go inside the chicken coop late afternoons , trust me , they will not exist the coop until break of day .

    My flock goes in and out as they wish . Break of day you can look out the window and they are all lined up existing the coop one by one . they only go back in the coop during the day to lay and right back out .

    My chicken coop and run have a trench 2 ft. deep all around the outside perimeter and buried wire 12 inches deep . Coop is 2 ft. high built on cinder blocks. They go under the coop for shade and to get out of the rain .

    So , flock has full access and totally predator protected .
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I would never use just the chicken wire, even for a daytime run. There have been plenty of stories on here about dogs ripping through it and stories of daytime dog kills. I think a few people here have used chicken wire layered with a stronger welded wire on the outside, for daytime runs. I don't know what it would cost to double fence a run like that, compared to only buying the hardware cloth.

    If you want to keep your pop hole door open at night, then I think you have the right idea on hardware cloth, burying wire or some other plan to prevent digging and covering the run. You need to use hardware cloth or a sturdy cover for the top of the run, also. To just keep hawks out during the day people are successful with lighter materials that a really big coon will go right through. To keep the smallest species of weasel out, you need to make sure that all openings are less than 1". That's one of the reasons 1/2" hardware cloth is so good for covering openings in a coop. Also, make sure you attach the wire very securely. You need more than just a lightweight staple, that could be pulled out of the frame.

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