> Hardware Cloth < 20-gauge 1/2" mesh

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AlienChick, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband came home with a roll of 20-gauge hardware cloth 1/2" mesh for predator proofing our coop and run.

    I was reading on the forum here that the higher the gauge, the weaker the wire. (?)

    Did he buy the right thing?


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  2. Lisa202

    Lisa202 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You know...I don't know what my hardware cloth was, there was no number on it. I'm sure yours is fine.
     
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    20 gauge is pretty thin wire. And, yes, you're right: the higher the number, the thinner the wire. One good thing about the 1/2" by 1/2" wire spacing is that a raccoon may have a tough time getting its teeth into that small a space to start gnawing on it.

    I use 19 gauge vinyl coated wire for my runs, but we don't have much in the way of daytime predators to contend with because our yard has a solid board fence and roaming dogs are unlikely to get in. 19 gauge wire will keep out hawks and cats, for sure.

    At night, when the risk of raccoons is higher, our chickens are locked inside a solid coop with 16 gauge wire on the windows and vents. 16 gauge is much thicker and stronger than the 19 gauge. It's pretty hard to cut the 16 gauge with manual wire cutters; after cutting even a short strip the muscles on my hand ache.

    If your chickens are going to be locked inside the coop at night, when predator risk is higher, I'd recommend you go with a thicker wire for that.
     
  4. Newbie in Screamer Al

    Newbie in Screamer Al Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The thicker, the longer and safer it is. Most recomend 14 ga. galvanized after weld. I used that in a 1x2 mesh and did the whole thing with it. Works great, and I sleep better at nite knowing the girls are safe.......
     
  5. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glasgow, KY
    Thanx everyone.

    I think I'm gonna return the one we have and get a more predator-proof wire.

    This wire will be for the coop windows AND the run.



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  6. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm having a great deal of trouble finding the hardware cloth people talk about. I've looked at TSC, Home Depot, Lowe's, and a couple of local farm & garden type stores. If the holes are less than 2", it's 19 gauge or lighter. I have yet to see anything that is labeled galvanized before weld. I really wanted to put something durable on the vents and windows that is going to keep EVERYTHING out but a mouse can get through a 1x1" hole so it would have to be smaller than that. Around here, this apparently means 19 gauge or order online and pay crazy shipping fees. Or do I need to go somewhere special and tell them BYC sent me?
     
  7. Weiden Farm

    Weiden Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd like to piggy back off this link and ask a question about hardware cloth.
    I already have some 200feet of heavy duty chain link fence that i was planning to use for my run. I was going to mount it on wood posts and make it tight. On the inside of the chainlink, i was planning on putting hardware cloth, but i would rather put something that is even cheaper like chicken wire. Could this work if i have 2 fencses.
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Actually, you probably don't want galvanized before weld. That's a cheaper and less durable product than galvanized after weld. When the wire is galvanized before welding, the welding process strips some of the zinc off at the weld points (where the horizontal and vertical wires meet). The wire can then begin to rust at these points leading to the wire breaking apart there.

    I took a look at what they had on the shelves at our local Home Depot and Lowes, and in addition to not having the gauge and wire spacing I was looking for, I noticed the general quality of the wire to be very low. When you see welds broken in a roll that's still on the shelf, that's not a good sign about its durability.

    I've ordered 16 gauge galvanized after weld wire from Klubertanz:

    http://www.klubertanz.com/

    It's expensive, but it's excellent quality. And you can buy it by the foot, which is what I did for securing the windows and vents on my coop.

    For my runs, I buy the 19 gauge vinyl coated galvanized after weld wire from Davidsons:


    http://www.wadavidson.com/

    It's a good quality product but obviously a much thinner wire. You can bend it, which I do to cover the cut ends, and that's something you can't do with 16 gauge wire.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Yes, lots of people do something just like that, although the chicken wire should have small openings, because its function is to stop "reach through" predation, or to prevent chickens from sticking their heads out and getting them bitten off. The holes in chicken wire usually are larger than you need to do this, though. Ideally, something with openings no larger than 1/2" by 1/2" would be best, or even something solid. You really only have to reinforce the bottom 3 feet or so of the run and anywhere a roost comes close to the chainlink, because these are the areas that the chickens would be vulnerable to getting grabbed from outside the run.
     
  10. Newbie in Screamer Al

    Newbie in Screamer Al Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can google the size wire you are looking for. Shipping may sting a bit that way. I went to Ace Hardware, and had them order me 2 100ft rolls of 1x2 14 Ga. galvanized wire. They were 60 and 72 inch widths. Nice stuff, and a better price then I got of the web. Hope this helps.
    Quote:
     

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