Chicken Wire


10 Years
Sep 1, 2010
I emailed a local chicken coop builder and he uses chicken wire on his coops, he said that if it is pulled tight it's just as strong as hardware cloth. True or not?
I use hex wire on all my coops. The small gauge stuff tends to be flimsy but it definently helps to pull it tight - I staple mine down in many places lest some staples fall out. There is also a larger gauge version of it that is much more rigid, but the spacing is wider - the chickens may be able to stick their heads through.

It really depends how much protection you need against predators. If there is any chance of a maurauding dog or a bear or racoon getting in your yard, you'll need more reinforcement. If there is scant chance of these critters getting in your yard, you can save money by using the standard poultry netting.
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I would like to think the chances of predators getting in my yard is slim (we have a 6 foot vinyl privacy fence with no gaps around the bottom anywhere) but I have seen a fox a few blocks away and supposedly there are cougars about. I'd like to think we don't have raccoons, but just because I've never seen them doesn't mean we don't have them right? We have never had a dog get into our yard so the chance of that is pretty slim.

Anyway he said that and it didn't seem like it was true but I don't know enough about it to say one way or the other.
When I saw the heading "Chickenwire" my next thought was ....SUCKS!

Chicken wire only keeps chickens from going through. The should call it, "Doesn't keep anything but chickens out" wire. That guy can convince himself of whatever he wants
...chickenwire is cheap and easy to work with, but if you really want to ensure safety of your chickens, you'll go with something stronger with smaller holes so predators can't pull your chickens' head through the wire or tear through it hence so many people recommend hardware cloth. Much pricier but worth it.
More than the strength, it's the size of the holes. Using the hardware cloth will keep a lot more out than the chicken wire will. A racoon can reach right through it and grab, or worse a smaller critter can get in and have a feast. Half inch hardware cloth is what was recommended to me.
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Sorry, he may sincerely believe that, but, no. Raccoons can *bite through* chickenwire, in addition to just ripping it apart. So, no. Always gonna be riskier no matter how you slice it.

(Back in the day, there used to be higher-quality chickenwire out there, and that was apparently rather more predatorproof; but good luck finding any now, and in any case, good-quality welded wire mesh will always be safER.)

Good luck, have fun,

I have another question then. We are going to builds coop and have it against our vinyl fence on two sides, but not attached to the fence. Could we use chicken wire on those basically inaccessible sides to D
save money?

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