Hardware cloth causes reproductive harm...for my brooder???


8 Years
Apr 10, 2011
So, the plastic bins that I've been using for my 5 chicks are too short for them and not enough room since they're 3 weeks old now and can fly out of the bins...so I went to Loews and bought some hardware cloth and I was about to make a 'kennel' for them (thinking I was being sly because I can reuse it for around their coop/run when we're ready to move the chicks into their permanent home). And I go to open the package and the package says ...to the state of California...known to cause cancer and reproductive harm...well, should I be using this? I was healthy laying hens...and the reason I started this hen project was to help my family and I with our allergies and issues with chemicals and stuff. It looks like its used widespread. If I make a 'kennel' for the chickens will this hurt them? I'm still laying down shavings for bedding. I don't want to over analyze everything I do, but my point in doing this was to do things that were good for us and the environment...teaching my kids sustainability and self-sufficiency that's good for the earth and us. What do you think?
From what I've seen in california, there is no place that that placard dosen't go. My company has it at the entrance to the building, every store I've been in has it, I'm suprised that food doesn't have it yet. For hardware cloth, the problem would be in the welding material, and then your chickens would have to eat and digest it to be a problem, and ingest it in large amounts. For instance, "lead paint" When a toy company a couple years back had a die-cast vechicle that had lead paint in it, I did some research, because we had the car. What it came down to was that the grand-kid would of had to have manage to gnaw off all the paint on 1500 cars to even start to show a problem. Since the kids don't chew paint, we let them keep it. I get the idea behind people wanting to keep crap out of our products, and I am glad they're looking into that much stronger now, but when they pass a part of a law that makes a mom and pop shop that makes custom children clothing go through the same kind of testing for each piece of clothing that a large toy company makes millions of, something is messed up.
Meh. The state of California requires that notice to be on every single thing that contains SOME thing shown to cause SOME harm in SOME amounts if "experienced" by SOME way in the body.

I would presume that the warning in this case refers to the galvanized coating, which contains zinc and cadmium and other things. For sure you do not want to use galvanized steel as a lemonade jug, or take up swallowing galvanized nails as a fun hobby. Just having chicks stand on hardwarecloth for a few weeks of their lives is not going to make ANY difference though; even less so if you were going to use it as sides or the top of the brooder.

Really really. Don't eat it, don't store acidic things you're going to drink in it, don't poke yourself in the eye with it, don't use it to make cages for animals that chew on the metal mesh; for chicken brooder/coop, it is FINE

Good luck, have fun,

I have been using welded wire for almost 30 years. I have NEVER seen any bird affected by it in any way, except maybe getting a nail caught in the ones I mistakenly used 1/4 inch in the bottom..."What was I thinking"

As the previous post said about his grandson and the lead paint on the car.....your chickies will NEVER ingest enough to harm them.

Have GREAT hatches and even BETTER flocks.

I totally agree with how to use it and not and that sometimes we just need to use things and be careful. Sometimes I wish I didn't know so much abt. My families allergies/reactions to things...for instance, my 14 year old son is tested and detoxed abt. 1x a year for cadmium and other heavy metals because it seems to build up in his body easier than most w/o getting rid of it-the rest of this crazy brood with allergy/environmental issues...so I end up being 'that mom' that asks lots of questions and hope for reasonable answers for us all....thanks for answering up.
I suppose that seeing how common sense died out long ago for some people, the state of CA felt the need to CYA LOL.

Speaking of hardware cloth, does everyone use the 1/2 x 1/2" wire?
The only illness I've ever heard of a bird getting from being housed with hardware cloth is zinc toxicity, and thats more parrots than chickens. Parrot keepers who use hardware cloth wash the wire with distilled white vinegar about every 6 months to remove the white zinc oxide that builds up.

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