Opinions, please! 1/4" vs 1/2" hardware cloth

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by turtlelaura67, Sep 20, 2018.

  1. turtlelaura67

    turtlelaura67 Chirping

    Jun 26, 2017
    Villa Rica, GA
    Hi everyone. We are putting up another run, and I have a question about the best size and gauge of hardware cloth. I ordered a roll from Home Depot and picked it up yesterday - 1/4" 23 gauge - but I'm wondering if I should have gone with the 1/2" 19 gauge.

    The frame of the run is built from a powder-coated steel dog kennel - you know, the expensive ones, but this one came from the scrapyard so it was cheap! The hardware cloth will be attached with metal ties. I thought the 1/4" would be better since nothing could reach through it, and this product did get great reviews from other chicken keepers on the HD website, but it seems that most people use the 1/2" (we do, also).

    Area predators include the ever-present possums and raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and bobcats. We've never had an issue with anything attempting to dig into the runs, and I do find tracks of various critters passing by the runs on the rare occasions we've had snow. Our only loss was last year, my favorite rooster to a possum that we believe squeezed in to a gap above the gate where the wire had loosened over time.

    Advice will be greatly appreciated! Returning my purchase won't be an issue, so I want to make sure I buy the best product. Thanks!
  2. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict

    Sep 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    I use 1/2” 16 or 19 gauge hardware clothe and have never had a problem with predators thank God.
  3. Latestarter

    Latestarter Free Ranging

    Mar 18, 2014
    North East Texas
    Foxes, coyotes, bobcats, stray dogs, and even large coons can break through the thinner gauge 1/4" HWC... IMHO the 1/2" is the way to go and that with the understanding that even THAT can be gotten through by a determined large canine. I did the bottom 3' of my runs with 1/2" HWC attached/over 2x4" welded wire for added strength.
  4. turtlelaura67

    turtlelaura67 Chirping

    Jun 26, 2017
    Villa Rica, GA
    Thank you! I'll exchange it for the 1/2".
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    1/2" is easier to work with (since the holes are larger) and also heavier gauge than most 1/4". 1/2" should also be sufficient to keep out rodents as small as mice.
  6. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    Check Amazon and walmart.com for 1/2", they usually have better prices than big box stores.
  7. sylviethecochin

    sylviethecochin Free Ranging

    Jun 14, 2017
    Central PA
    I'm going to be the voice of dissent and say I like 1/4 inch, because of the mouse problem we have in the winter. I only use it in the coop, though.

    If you don't have a nearby barn full of hay, and a lot of fields, then 1/2's probably the way to go.
    ChicKat likes this.

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