Is poultry netting strong enough?


8 Years
May 24, 2011
Hopefully I can set the stage well enough here...I'm brand new to keeping chickens and built a A fram coop with a fully enclosed section and open-air run part. The outdoor part is 5' long with 2x4's making up the triangles on the ends and 2x2's in the middle for support. Then I just covered the front and sides with basic poultry netting and nailed it down with U-nails. Now I'm starting to wonder if that stuff is strong enough for the long haul. I haven't seen any evidence of foxes or raccoons trying to get in yet, but boar coons can be pretty heavy. I have some leftover netting and I'm thinking about adding a second layer, but here's my questions:

- Do people find basic poultry netting/chicken wire is strong enough?
- If I'm going to add a second layer should I just use poultry netting, or go up to a stronger fencing material like 2x4 welded wire?
- Do I need to reinforce my frame so I don't have a 2.5' unsupported section of wire?

Thanks in advance for eveyone's help!
In my opinion, it's not strong enough, partly because the openings are so large on 1" hex. Coons can rip through that with little trouble. Hardware cloth in 1/2" openings is stronger. My fencing is 2x4 welded wire, some backed with poultry netting, some with hardware cloth, depending on location and function. Coons can pull a chicken through a 1" opening and eat it one bite at a time, not a pleasant thought.
I agree that poultry netting/chicken wire is not heavy enough to prevent predation. Agree with Speckled hen that 1/2" hardware cloth is strong enough.
Does this chicken look safe to you? It did to me, I thought it was totally safe!!!


Well I found one just like it ripped up in that very spot that you see it standing (see some feathers on the ground), head & half of it's body missing, the remaining half still in the coop, I thought the other chickens did it, until I saw the blood drip and feathers on the outside.



I put up hardware wire all around the bottom boarder and set out a trap. I caught 2 raccoons, 4 possiums, and 3 kittens. Let the kittens go, killed the others.
Last edited:
Raccoons don't always just attack only at night. But, if your birds go into the coop at night, every night then you'll be way better off and might be ok. My coop wasn't finished yet so they would just stay in the run (that I thought was safe) all night and sleep close to the sides instead of on the roost. Which made it easy for the predators to reach in and grab them.
Ok, THAT was pretty convincing...Think I'll make it my weekend project to put stronger wire down. Now while I'm at it the next question is about putting wire mesh along the bottom to prevent digging. I've piled up fist sized rocks out about a foot all around the outdoor part as a deterrent. Should I fully enclose the bottom while I'm at it? I thought about it when I was building my coop, but just left it open.

Good to find these things out now before I lose any!
Well I guess it depends what is doing the digging. I dug a trench 8" deep x 8 " wide and set cement blocks end to end, filled the insides with dirt. Packed the dirt down around front of the blocks. Next morning half of my blocks were laying scattered about. the trench was open and a hole under the wire. This was done by my dog.
I would , as many have said on this site, dig down about a foot and put hardware cloth in the shape of an" L" , the one side of the" L" secured to the fence and the other covered with dirt, then lay the rocks on top.
Chicken wire will only stop rabbits, they seldom eat chickens. Everything else does.
Good luck.
Hardware cloth is stronger and comes in tighter mesh sized to keep reaching predators from being able to get their greedy little paws through the wire. Racoons can tear both bird netting and poultry wire. I recommend 1/4" or 1/2" galvanized hardware cloth for improving the predator resistance of poultry enclosures. And don't just use it at the bottom and expect that to be good enough. Critters like raccoons and possums climb and they know enough to try the top if they can't get in at the bottom. Any door latches you have, if a two-year-old can open it, so can a raccoon. We use those long gun locks to secure ours. They are long enough to go around 2x4s and still lock with a key and you can put a few on if you think an animal could push a big enough gap at a corner to get through.
I put 1/4" hardware cloth around the main part of the chicken run, just because I thought the smaller the better. The coop and run are inside a large dog run so they have a large free range section to roam during the day. But I put the old run in there, just in case I had to be away for an evening, then they could be more secure!


New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom