Do I really need hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by I Dream 0f Chickens *U*, May 22, 2010.

  1. I Dream 0f Chickens *U*

    I Dream 0f Chickens *U* Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Broussard, LA
    I will be building a tractor soon, still working out the ideas and details. Do I really need hardware cloth? On the whole run or just the bottom? The coop will have a door to lock the girls in at night. Are predators a problem during the day? Thanks for your advice!
     
  2. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say yes. You could probably get away with the larger-square hardware cloth for the run (I use 1/2" most of the time - it comes in several sizes, and as you get larger spacing, the price goes down). Neighborhood dogs are the biggest daytime concern, and it seems to happen a lot from what I read here.

    Disclaimer - I always err on the side of caution. [​IMG]
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I don't think there's ANYthing you "need". I mean, there are any number of chickens in the world that have neither coop nor run nor manmade feeder/waterer, and many of them live a respectable length of time.

    It's just a matter of what you WANT.

    If you want the run to be as secure as possible, hardwarecloth is a big help, particularly at "reach-through" height. Some people HAVE lost chickens to reach-through type incidents during the daytime, though certainly it isn't super common. If you want to use hardwarecloth for the whole thing, knock yourself out, although make sure it is attached and framed strongly enough; on the other hand, you don't lose MUCH security by using 1x1 or very heavy-gauge 2x2 or 2x4 wire (though beware, there are many flimsy garden type gauge wire meshes out there) or heavy-gauge well-installed chainlink. The things that can fit through those are *mostly* not daytime predators.

    It comes down to personal choice, though.

    FWIW, I use 1x1 or chainlink (and two runs have 2x4 wire on one end), with smaller mesh on the lower portions and a good solid roof on the runs. I am happy with it. YMMV though, everyone's different.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. KKatknap

    KKatknap Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:[​IMG] Have you been talking to my husband? [​IMG]
     
  5. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    IMO you need it.
     
  6. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, don't be "penny wise and pound foolish". Secure everything with 1/2-inch hardware cloth for your peace of mind and the safety of your chickens. It's a one time purchase. See my BYC My Page.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  7. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

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    Many chicken massacres begin with someone skimping on materials.
     
  8. Penturner

    Penturner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I point out your own question. Are predators a problem during the day? First I will answer it by saying yes. Any predator will hint when prey is available. it is only a matter of time before one or more figure out your chickens are available during the day. Most predators hunt at night as a rule simply because that is when they get the bets results for their effort. But your question also causes me to have questions of my own. Are you planning your construction taking the gamble that predators will never be a problem? If so it is almost certain it is a sucker bet. Are you building to just keep your chickens in or keep predators out? They are not the same thing. Roll the dice on a tractor that is not strong enough. and finding that out could be very expensive. First you will loose some if not all of your birds. second most of the most expensive materials in your inadequate design will be nothing but completely lost money. Third you will be tempted to try and reinforce a bad design rather than simply building a good one. Once again rolling the dice that it will be good enough. Finally you will in the end, provided you actually attract predators, spend the money to do it right anyway.
    Of course you might get lucky and never have a predator of any kind.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2010
  9. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can tell you that chicken wire is not very strong, it tears too easily to protect yout chickens from preditors.
     
  10. I Dream 0f Chickens *U*

    I Dream 0f Chickens *U* Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    Broussard, LA
    Now that I think of it, air borne predators may also be a threat to my little ladies, so I will err on the side of caution. Thanks again for all of your advice!
     

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