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chicken wire vs hardware cloth

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by <3ChickenS<3, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. <3ChickenS<3

    <3ChickenS<3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 12, 2011
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    I've read a lot of posts saying chicken wire isnt strong enough or they lose their chickens due to predators getting through. i have fox, raccoons, coyotes, snakes and I'm sure a lot more... Not much for daytime predators other than my own dogs and the neighbours 15y/o dog. Will chicken wire be strong enough as long as my girls go into their coop at night with their automatic door?
    The wire will be dug down, but what is the minimum depth it should go?
    Need help asap as construction begins tonight...
     
  2. jfishfam

    jfishfam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Indiana
    I'm not sure, we used chicken wire, but it was over dog kennel fence. It has worked for us. I know hardware cloth is a lot more experience, unless I haven't found the right place to buy it.
     
  3. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I have chicken wire on our run but I also have an 8ft fence around my yard. My chickens go in their coop at night. The coop has hardware cloth. I've heard you can apron the wire out and cover it with dirt. My DH dug in around 12 inches with our wire. So far no problems.[​IMG] We live in the city limits so other than dogs, daytime predators aren't a problem.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    <3ChickenS<3 :

    I've read a lot of posts saying chicken wire isnt strong enough or they lose their chickens due to predators getting through. i have fox, raccoons, coyotes, snakes and I'm sure a lot more... Not much for daytime predators other than my own dogs and the neighbours 15y/o dog. Will chicken wire be strong enough as long as my girls go into their coop at night with their automatic door?

    A whole lot of BYCers lose their chickens to their own dog. Or the neighbor's 15 yr old dog. Or some other stray dog that wanders by and either your own dogs don't mind it being there and want to join in the fun it starts, or it wanders by when your own dogs are not out.

    So if you use just chickenwire, you need to recognize that your flock is not particularly protected from any of this.

    Everyone has their own feelings about whether that is ok. If it's ok with you, use chickenwire; if you'd really kick yourself if/when something bad happened that stronger fencing could've prevented, then use stronger fencing. 2x4" welded wire is a reasonable compromise between safety and budget; add something smaller-meshed on the bottom 2-3' to prevent reach-through and you have pretty good security as long as the chickens are unfailingly locked up before dusk every day of their lives.

    The wire will be dug down, but what is the minimum depth it should go?

    An apron is really WAY easier to do than burying the bottom of the fencewire, and works pretty much as well (provided it's done right, of course).

    If you truly want the cardiovascular workout of burying the fence wire, it takes 18" depth to protect against most predators (a few 'professional' foxes or dogs may still go under it in some soils, but you are unlikely to have that situation).

    If you do an apron, I would suggest 2' as a minimum and wider is better. Make sure it is REALLY securely attached to the base of the run fence, and bend the outer edge down a little so it's not obvious, and either peg the whole thing down real well til the grass grows up thru it, or cover it with mulch or gravel or stones or concrete rubble or a flowerbed or whatever floats your boat.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort &amp; Spa

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    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    If you can afford it, you should use 1/2" hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. The chicken wire won't prevent dogs from getting through. Another alternative is 2" X 4" 14 gauge galvanized wire. You could then put hardware cloth up along the bottom 2' or so to prevent things from reaching through and grabbing the chickens.

    You don't necessarily have to dig down to bury the fencing to keep diggers out. As flowergirl60 pointed out you can make an apron of wire that connects to the bottom of the run and extends some distance out. Any width of apron is better than none, but 2'+ would be best. The apron doesn't even have to be buried, it can sit right on the surface of the ground and held in place with stakes. I buried mine since we plant over it in some areas and there are other areas of high foot traffic. You can see what I did near the bottom of my byc page. Good luck with your coop construction!
     

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