Hardware cloth 1/2" 19 gauge Or Chicken wire?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jimmywalt, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Songster Premium Member

    Mar 24, 2013
    I'd like to construct a small enclosed run for out 3 chickens. They will live in a coop almost like the one pictured here.

    My run will attach at the end, just past where the ramp ends (in my coop there's actually a small door at the end). The run will be about 8' long by 30" wide by 3' high. Covered on all sides and top.

    I've priced out constructing with chicken wire and with hardware cloth. Total materials are $33 vs. $62 with the chicken wire the cheapest.

    We are trying to do this on a shoestring budget so we need to save money.

    We live in a subdivision and everyone has 7' wood fences around their property. I have never seen any raccoons, or anything like that. We only have squirrels in our neighborhood. Also, I would only have the run be accessible during the day.

    So would chicken wire be ok?

    Also will pressure treated lumber be ok, or is that bad for the chickens? I need something that won't rot.

    Here is the coop they will live in once they are big enough (they are chicks right now).
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

  2. cosbackyard

    cosbackyard Songster

    Feb 20, 2013
    Colorado Springs, CO
    My personal rule of thumb is that chicken wire is only good to keep your birds in. It won't keep much out.

    Now here in colorado I have a ton of predators, hence I'm using hardware cloth all around, on top, and buried. You might be okay with chicken wire for a daytime-only run. But it's also quite possible you'll lose some birds that way.
  3. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Songster

    May 2, 2012
    Are you a gambling person? That's the way to think about it, you can spend the money now and know the fencing will be secure or you can go with the cheaper version and keep your fingers crossed. How will you react 2yrs from now when all your girls have names and feel like family to you and come out one morning to find half or more of them slaughtered by a wandering coon?

    As mentioned above if it's only for daytime use then your odds of it being good enough go up tremendously. My girls will have 24/7 access to their run so I'm going with Hw cloth and bury it 1.5ft into the ground. But I'm also surrounded by woods and not neighbors and fences.

    So it comes down to the gamble and how much you are willing to bet.
  4. cntrywmnkw

    cntrywmnkw Chirping

    Aug 30, 2012
    Utopia SC
    As has been noted here before, chicken wire will ONLY keep chickens IN, will NOT keep anything out. To truly protect your girls, go for the hardware cloth, yes, it's more expensive than chicken wire, but it WILL keep your girls safe, unlike the chicken wire.

  5. SequoyahFarms

    SequoyahFarms Chirping

    Mar 4, 2013
    Knoxville Tn
    Hardware cloth hands down. Not to be rude, but if the difference of less than $30 is your weighing options, you might want to rethink this endeavor. It will cost you more than $30 to replace three laying hens when the get eaten not to mention, like previously stated, that would be a very sad and frustrating day.
  6. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan Renaissance man

    Feb 18, 2013
    Music City, USA
    I'll respectfully disagree with others here. For a daytime run the chicken wire will probably be fine. There are plenty of people who use chicken wire and have never lost a bird. There is some risk but it isn't like using chicken wire is an absolute death sentence for your birds the way some make it sound. There are a lot of factors to consider and some of us have significantly lower likelihood of predators than others.

    I'll justify what I am saying with the story of my neighbor has used rusty and loosely attached (the staples are backing out of the wood) chicken wire for many years on his daytime chicken run and never lost a bird to a predator getting into the run. We have raccoons, coyote, and foxes here but they don't seem to bother his chickens. He does secure them inside the coop at night which I believe helps.
  7. Amys birds

    Amys birds In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2013
    Pryor, ok
    My only thought is chicken wire doesn't last as long as hard ware cloth so you will spend your difference quickly by replacing the chicken wire. JS

  8. Mikedero

    Mikedero Songster

    Mar 22, 2012
    Watertown CT

    i must Disagree with the above statements and the others

    My run used chicken wire (2 layers of it) and have not lost a bird and nothing got in the runs. the key is to bury it down and away from the coop. I picked up some rolls of it at a garage sale so I had a ton of it.

    In contrast my neighbor lost every one of his chickens he did not have the run roof covered and I have trapped and dispatched 22 raccoons over this past year.
  9. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Songster Premium Member

    Mar 24, 2013
    Yeah, I think I just might go with the hardware cloth. It will look nicer and might even give some more support to the run that I'm going to build.

    I plan to make mine look something like this (not with the coop though) and it's only going to be a max of 3' high x 8' long x 30" wide.

    I would love to read the plans on how this pen was made.

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013

  10. I had a short permanent run for my girls made out of pallets, only 4' tall, and ended up re-doing it to make it taller for me the get inside while standing, in order to clean (or gather any eggs they laid in it, or for other reasons.).

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