Poultry Netting v Hardware Cloth


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 26, 2011
Hello everyone!

I'm new to the forum and this is my first post! I've already learned so much here.

We're in the process of designing a coop for our fast-growing chickens. I've searched past topics, but there is so much to sift through, so I apologize if this has previously been answered. I can't decide if I should use poultry netting or hardware cloth for the coop. First and foremost I am concerned for the safety of the chickens; I live in a very wooded area with many raccoons and opossum. On the other hand, right now my chicks are in a homemade brooder made with the hardware cloth and it is impossible to clean.

Too much to ask for a happy medium?

Thank you for the help!
I too was on the fence, even went out and had already purchased the netting. But my gut just kept telling me it was not enough and so I took the netting back and got the hardware cloth. Cost about $50 extra to do everything, but it was well worth the extra cash!! So far (knock on wood) NOTHING has penetrated it!!!
Hardware cloth all the way! The only time I recommend poultry netting is for creating an "apron" around the base of a coop or run, because it discourages critters from digging under the edge of the pen. My cousin and his family lost their 6 beloved chicks to a dog, because the walls of the run were made with poultry netting. Hardware cloth is actually easier to clean if you use a hose. Poultry netting will deform if you try to do anything with it.

Depending on how many chicks you have, one of those giant insulated coolers works perfect as a brooder.
If by poultry netting you mean chicken wire, I really don't see how a chicken wire apron will keep any digging critter out. If a dog can rip apart poultry wire fence (and they can), they can just as easily rip through it when it's laid flat on the ground.

You can use welded wire with larger openings (1 x 1 or 1 x 2, for example) to make the apron, since there's no risk of "reach through" predation with an apron.
I bought that same brand (G & B) online from Amazon because I ran out of my usual wire and I needed some more for an apron. When I started installing it, I noticed some of the welds were already (!) starting to break. I've never had that happen before with any of the other wire I've used. A poor quality product, in my opinion.
Yeah, but the thing is, in real life it DOES considerably discourage them when used as an apron. If they WANT to rip it apart to dig further, they are certainly physically-capable. But having the chickenwire catching at their toes and such, with solid ground below it, often does seem to make them give up and go elsewhere. I know several people whose dog-digging-out or coyote-digging-in problems (not relating to chickens) were solved by applying a wide chickenwire apron to the problem fence or part thereof.

I would still for sure say that some sort of galvanized welded wire is BETTER. For one thing it will last way longer (when you lay galvanized wire on the ground and put material on it, yes, it rusts, and chickenwire is poorly galvanized to begin with and so thin that it doesn't take much rusting before it's not really there anymore). And for another thing if you DO run into an individual predator who is not deterred by the odd feel and inconvenience of chickenwire, then welded wire has ya covered.

But IMO it is way better to have a chickenwire apron than no digproofing at all.

JMO of course,


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