Chicken wire vs. hardware cloth


In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 30, 2014
i just got a coop with chicken wire , someone i takes to said that this is not sturdy enough for predators and i need to wrap the pen with hardware cloth instead or additional to the chicken wire. is that true or the chicken wire that i have on the pen is enough to keep predators out and my chickens safe?
I would put hardware cloth on the pen. Chicken wire is too weak, and the holes are too large to protect adequately against predators.
Chicken wire will keep chickens in, but will not keep predators out. Dogs, raccoons and other large predators can rip through it easily. I used two layers of fencing for my run. The outer layer is 2"x4" field fence. This keeps the large predators at bay. Then I have an inner layer of 1/2" hardware wire. This keeps out the small predators, and keeps animals from reaching in and grabbing chickens.

I use chicken wire only inside my shed, to keep chickens in the coop area, and not allowing them to get into the people area.
Agree with above responses. I use hardware cloth plus 1x2 welded wire on my coop's windows. The hardware cloth alone would have been sufficient but I had some spare time and materials on my hands.
On my run I have 2x4 welded wire on the sides and top. Additionally a 3-foot strip of hardware cloth buried 12" down and extending 24" up all along the 2x4 welded wire perimeter. This prevents animals from squeezing under the 2x4 wire or tunneling under.
One other thing, the 1/2 inch hardware cloth not only prevents predator entry but also prevents raccoons from reaching through and grabbing your chickens. You'd be surprised how many people have learned this the hard way. For my run I only have hardware cloth 2 feet high around the perimenter, this covers the "grabbing zone".

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