Hi, yes 1/2” hardware wire would be better, but the coop from Home Depot that I had to put together just cane with regular. I did put a second layer that’s 36” all the way around and I offset the hikes because the kitties inside and curious ones outside could go through- such drama! I did buy a roll from amazon of the hardware one because everyone is out of it on island. On Oahu you rarely see loose dogs anywhere, so they are not a problem, and no probs with mongoose. There are many feral cats though, and like I said there are a few fold who are not kind to the chickens. Those people are totally living in the wrong place if they don’t like chickens. Rosie’s 2 chicks are maybe 2 months ? I don’t remember exactly when she showed up with the newly born ones, and honestly time wise the last 7 months have been kind of a blur.