Newbie questions re wire vs cloth

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SC Mtn chick, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. SC Mtn chick

    SC Mtn chick New Egg

    Jun 20, 2010
    We are in the process of building our coop/run combo for our new chicks and I have a few questions. I think I already know the answer, but just wanting some feedback/confirmation. We were going to go with HW cloth but ended up getting aviary wire and after searching the forum here, I am thinking this wasn't the best idea. (I know....I should have done more research before purchasing wire). My question is...would it still be OK to use the aviary wire since the chickens will be locked up at night in their coop or should I just cut my loss and purchase the HW cloth? My concern is that during the day the chickens will be in the same yard as our dogs (chicks in their run of course) and so I'm not sure how secure this will be or how interested the dogs are going to be in the chickens. Our one dog that is the most interested stays in the house when we are gone. 2x1" wire was recommended for strength and I like the idea except we have a bird hunting cat and I am afraid he will stick his arm in and grab at the chickens. I am thinking that we should just go with HW cloth, but if we could use what we already have that would be great. What do you all think?
  2. Liana

    Liana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Southern NH
    If it was me, I'd buy enough hardware cloth to do the bottom part of the run and a buried apron all the way around. The aviary wire you already have can be used on the upper parts of the run.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    1 X 2 wire will be fine as long as the gauge of the wire is large enough.

    Poultry wire is usually around 20 GA, and is too weak

    I'd want at least 16 GA wire

    I doubt your cat will be interested in grown chickens at all.
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Define what you mean by aviary wire--I have heard the term used for vastly different things. Are you talking about hexagonal wire (such as chicken wire, but with 1/2" openings)? Welded wire such as 1/2x1, 1x1, 1x2, etc.? Or something else entirely?

    BTW, my mama hen tore into my hunting cat several times this morning. He just wanted to escape inside.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  5. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    i know someone who uses the aviary wire for the run and i dont think the have every had a problem and they do have cats. as long as you lock them up at night i think you might be ok but if you want to make it very secure then use the cloth [​IMG]
  6. SC Mtn chick

    SC Mtn chick New Egg

    Jun 20, 2010
    Thanks for your responses. I am referring to the hexagonal, 1/2" (I think), small chicken wire stuff. We are on a bit of a time crunch as the little chickies are getting big and my husband is going to be leaving on a 10 day fishing trip soon. We have decided to go with what we have and then will eventually put HW cloth or 1x2" heavy gauge mesh around the bottom to reinforce it. This leads me to another question......How high should we run it?
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I have a bird-hunting cat too, but he is very respectful of the chickens who after all are at least as big as he is [​IMG] So it might not be as big a problem as you think! (Although that does depend on the cat -- I knew one who used to kill full-sized adult groundhogs, somehow, brave cat!)

    1x2 welded wire (galvanized, of a heavy gauge) is great stuff, all you'd have to do to proof it against reach-through "incidents" is to run something smaller mesh, e.g. hardwarecloth or even something weaker, along the bottom 2-3' or anywhere else that an arm stuck thru the meshes would be within grabbing distance of a chicken. (remembering that chickens cannot levitate [​IMG])

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. NewHen

    NewHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2010
    Los Angeles
    My chickens in the coop aren't full grown but are already large and they are heavy breeds. The neighborhood cats are constantly in our yard and dropping off the fence trying to find a way in. I live in Los Angeles and still have a hawk over my yard every day, skunks, raccoons, oppossum, etc. I leave the coop open to the run during the day and I feel better just having the mesh and so it was worth it for the piece of mind. Can you return the other wire?

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