Does hardware cloth really work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Uzuri, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    So I've got the whole top of my coop covered in hardware cloth, with a roof over it. Roof's hinged, and goes up and down depending on the weather to help ventilate more, or keep heat in more, or whatever needs to happen on a given day. The hardware cloth is all one piece, and the edges are sandwiched between 2" x 4"s (having been poultry-stapled down first) so I'm not worried about anything getting in just by virtue of weight, but...

    Dad says the coons will just rip apart the hardware cloth. Having seen the ripped trap picture, I suspect it's POSSIBLE, but unlikely, and that something that determined would have found a way in anything short of chickens dunked in cement and left to harden (and doing that, of course, would present its own problems).

    So has anyone had coons rip hardware cloth apart? And how many of you have had evidence of attempts but not success?
  2. possumqueen

    possumqueen Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    The cool thing about hardware cloth is that it is so tough, and hard to get a good grip on because the openings are so small. Yes, coons have tough little dexterous (sp?) paws, and they're pretty smart, but they're not usually THAT determined. So the hardware cloth is good for the average predator.

    If you've got one that can get through YOUR hardware cloth, the way you have it set up (and, sweetie, I'd sure love to have YOU build MY pen!) then you have Monster Raccoon, and you probably need to RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!!! [​IMG]
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:[​IMG] I agree...and I'd be hitting the dead bolt on my house door that would be one huge Coonzilla!!
  4. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    LOL, I'll keep that in mind -- coon getting through my roof = build self a bunker! [​IMG]
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I have a long list of all the usual predators here including racoons. My coop is open on two sides and they are totally covered in hardware cloth. I have never seen any evidence that anything has even attempted to get in. I agree with the other post that because hardware cloth has such small openings and so many welds it is very difficult for them to get thru it. I'm sure there are critters that can do it but it would be a lot of effort compared to chicken wire. It sounds to me like your coop is as secure as you could make it.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Hardware cloth is about the most raccoon-proof thing you will get in WIRE MESH. (Actually, some good larger-mesh fence wire is arguably better, up to about 2x2" mesh; however it allows the raccoons much more distance to reach in and grab handfuls of any chickens that happen to be nearby)

    No wire mesh is going to be as vigorously raccoon-proof as, say, well-attached good-condition 3/4" plywood or 2" nominal lumber. Or concrete [​IMG]

    A big thing with raccoons is not to tempt them. So the further you can keep them away from finding themselves just on the other side of some wire from your chickens, the better.

    Good luck, have fun,

  7. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    Quote:I don't know about you, but sometimes I have to purposefully stay away from the predators forum because it gives me anxiety! I read it quite a bit when we were in the design phase, because I wanted to do everything right (ie: ONCE), but wholey-smokes did it give me nightmares! grin...

    Your coop sounds good and secure. We have a lot of predators even tho we're in the city, and I have yet to see evidence of anyone tampering with my hardware cloth. Either they're really sneaky and good or just plain to lazy to work at it and move on.
  8. SarasotaClucker

    SarasotaClucker In the Brooder

    Sep 19, 2009
    I haven't seen the trap photo, but I have trapped coons that have bent some pretty major diameter wire (part of the trigger mechanism) in their efforts to get out. My take is that wire raccoons would distort to get out is different than what they would distort to get in.

    Once trapped, they probably sense they are fighting for their lives -- that brings a certain focus to the task at hand.

    But when the night is young and your chickens are just another closed food joint on the strip, they are probably content to check your doors and entries and then move on to the next garbage can, fish pond, cat food bowl, or fruit tree on their route.
  9. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Excellent point. Adrenalin flowing lets you do things you otherwise wouldn't be able to. Think of those stories of people lifting up cars, etc. to rescue trapped relatives.
  10. Zuesdude

    Zuesdude Songster

    May 6, 2009
    Quote:Don't you have mountian lions and other big cats that will tear right through hareware cloth. I would think out there on the West Cost you would need a wire cage!

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