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Hardware cloth vs 1" poultry wire

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tomwinfl, Apr 3, 2017.

  1. tomwinfl

    tomwinfl In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2017
    I'm working on my next tractor. It will be big enough to walk into, and I'm trying to keep the weight down. The frame is bent conduit and 1x4s. I'm using half inch hardware cloth for the first 4 feet above ground, but I'm thinking of using 1" chicken wire for the upper parts. This has worked for us so far, since all our losses have been outside the coop, but I'm wondering if predators could climb up the hardware cloth and claw through the chicken wire. We're out in the woods in north Florida and have the full complement of predators: hawks, raccoons, possums, coyotes.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. yknowthatgirl

    yknowthatgirl In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2017
    Berwick, Nova Scotia
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    In my opinion, it’s a matter of degree of protection. A large raccoon or dog can tear hardware cloth. Check out this link if you don’t believe me, at least about dogs.


    The heavier the gauge of the wire the better. Smaller mesh makes it harder for some critters to get a hold of the wire to pull. A lot of times the failure is not in the wire mesh itself but the connections.

    Chicken wire is made by twisting the wires together to form the loops. Hardware cloth is made by welding the wire together. Light gauge chicken wire can be torn by certain larger animals or sometimes the twists come undone. So with chicken wire you could have two different failure modes. With hardware cloth the lighter gauge wire could tear or the welding might break. Chicken wire gives you some protection against smaller dogs, skunks, possums, the smaller predators. Hardware cloth gives you better protection.

    I used wire made like chicken wire for my garden fence. It was sold as “kennel wire” for dog kennels. I don’t remember the gauge of the wire but it’s pretty stout stuff. Dogs and raccoons are not going to tear it or untwist it.

    I assume you are talking about 17 or 19 gauge hardware cloth and the same gauge chicken wire, not the really heavy stuff. The hardware cloth will give you pretty good protection, it’s certainly better than the chicken wire. Will something climb up four feet to get to the easier chicken wire? I’d think it’s possible but pretty unlikely.

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