Chicken Wire, Yea or Nea?


9 Years
Feb 1, 2010
Reno Nevada
I am building an Aviary to hold 3 Grey Jungle Fowl. I have priced chicken wire from Home Depot, and half inch mesh hardware cloth. the Hardware cloth is 3 times the cost of chicken wire.
I bought chicken wire but have not used it. I keep working the pros and cons back and forth in my mind. I have read lots of comments about the weakness of chicken wire but am not sure my design overcomes all of them.
The bottom 2 feet and the top 1 foot of each wall is solid wood. 2X lumber nothing is going to go through that. I will install the chicken wire with staples to this wood and then place a frame of 1X2 over the edges of the wire. no edges will be left unsupported and sandwiched between the 1X2 and other solid wood. there will be no edges at ground level or at the top for predators to work at. I have not yet decided if I am making a solid roof or a wire roof but will most likely go with hardware cloth for the roof if it is a wire roof. I have found many comments that say if you use chicken wire make the bottom of the walls solid. then others that say predators will chew there way through chicken wire no matter what. At this point I can simply return the chicken wire and pay an additional $40 to have hardware cloth.

Let the voting begin. No need to explain your choice if you don't want to you can simply type cloth or wire if you want. I am simply looking for the majority vote on this. thanks


9 Years
Feb 6, 2010
I'd say chicken wire, I use it for all my chucker, pheasant, and quail pens and haven't lost a bird yet. I do prefer the welded wire for my cages due to the fact that it's strong enough to hold itself up, and is easier to crimp together. I have lost birds out of the welded wire, I had baby ringnecks cheese grated through by a raccoon.


12 Years
Jun 20, 2007
Central Illinois
IMO, I would take the chicken wire back and get the hardware cloth, predators can go right thru the chicken wire even if they have to climb to get to it. If your are fond of your chickens, I would not skimp...
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11 Years
Apr 9, 2008
Minneapolis, MN
My Coop
My Coop
Look at it this way. If you choose to save the $ now and buy the chicken wire and then have an accident, not only will you be back at Home Depot buying the more expensive hardware cloth (thereby throwing away the money spent on the chicken wire) but quite possibly also losing the money/time invested in your birds. Is that a chance that you are willing to take?


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
A loose dog can simply rip right through your chickenwire. It doesn't need a loose edge, just claw a hole in the middle. I would not use chickenwire unless it is backed up by something strong like 2x4" welded wire mesh.

And I am sad to say that raccoons and some dogs will most likely be able to climb *over* your sides too, so I would make the top equally strongly defended.

Good luck, have fun,



11 Years
Mar 16, 2008
Nelson BC
For $40 more, hardware cloth all the way. Otherwise one day you are going to be tearing apart all that wood trim and putting hardware cloth on anyway while waiting for your replacement chickens to arrive. Do it right and do it once, way easier (and cheaper in the long run).


9 Years
Feb 4, 2010
Glasgow, Scotland
Do you have a lot of predators in your area? I used chicken wire in my run but that is mostly for when I want to keep the chickens IN and nothing to do with predators as I free range my chickens through the day. My neighbours used chicken wire for their run too. I'd say for the extra $40 get the stronger wire. Just for your own peace of mind. If you're debating it in your mind now, well, if you do use the chicken wire you'll always be worrying about 'What if?' And it's not a huge amount of money really. Not compared with the cost of replacing birds and rebuilding the run if the worst DID happen...

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
North/Central Florida
NAY on the chicken wire. The wire gauge thickness has become so thin over the years that it's no longer strong enough.

But you don't have to go all over hardware cloth either.

What I would do is to cover the aviary in 2x4 welded wire top of bottom. You can get it in wider widiths than chicken wire or hardware cloth usually comes in as well.

Then cover the bottom two feet with half-inch hardware cloth.

The welded wire is small enough and strong enough to keep coons, possums, dogs, and the like from getting into the aviary.

The half-inch hardware cloth along the bottom is small enough to keep coons from reaching in through the wire to grab your birds while they're on the ground. Which they will certainly do if they can. If their roost or nest box areas will be close enough to the wire for a coon to reach through to get at them cover those areas as well. Usually though the bottom two feet is enough and just the welded wire every where else.



11 Years
May 19, 2009
Richfield, Summit Co.,Ohio
Welded wire may be small enough to keep coons and dogs out, but not a weasel. We did not even know we had any around us until they killed two of our ducks:( Again, if it is only a $40 difference, go with hardware cloth. My run at 25x35 ft would be too expensive w/hardware cloth up all 6' around, so we are installing an electric fencer around a couple of strands to help deter them. Hardware cloth is around the bottom 2', then welded wire. Electric wire will probably be at 18" then again around 36".

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