stucco lath instead of hardware cloth?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by midd2005, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. midd2005

    midd2005 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    somebody suggested that i look into using a product called stucco lath instead of hardware cloth in order to save money. has anyone else tried this?

    it is a seemingly similar product for a fraction of the cost. it's not as attractive as it's a bit thicker, but i'm planning on just using it on the bottom couple of feet and then gardening like crazy on the outside, so we won't even really see it after everything grows in. it also seems to be extra sharp so installation is going to be fun.

    are there any other drawbacks i should be aware of?
  2. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    I'd also love to know some opinions on this. [​IMG]
  3. BlackBart

    BlackBart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Stucco wire?
    Some people use it for pen runs. It is allot cheaper and strong but the holes are a bit bigger.
    The people who have used it haven't had any problems.
  4. Joz

    Joz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2009
    MidCity, New Orleans
    Stucco lath is an expanded metal mesh. A sheet of lightweight metal is cut with zillions of small slits in a staggered pattern, and then pulled apart to expand into a mesh.

    I haven't looked at it in a while, but my thoughts re security of the mesh against a raccoon or dog is as follows:

    - Those slits aren't sealed at the ends, and so are an already started "tear" in the material. Tiny raccoon fingers can easily hook into the pattern.
    - metal lath is intended to reinforce/hold lightweight concrete, not hold up to impact (or, conversely, yanking/tearing), especially when not backed up by a solid wall structure. If it's backed up by a more open wire fence, that will help to reinforce the material.

    It also covers more visible area than welded wire, so if you like watching your chickens inside their run, your view will be more obscured.

    Your mention of the sharpness of the material is accurate; most of the "surface" area of the material is exposed cut metal edges. Since the mesh is not intended to be exposed, the manufacturers have no reason to dull the edges and make it safer to handle. Not only will installation be fun (get some heavy gloves), but kids will want to run their fingers along the pattern (it's a very interesting tactile form), along all those sharp metal edges.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ahhh, a subject dear to my heart. I was a plasterer for many years, in a former life. Even had my own company for quite a while. My opinion on expanded metal lath, it will cut you when you order it on the phone. Wear an old long sleve shirt, long pants, and thick gloves. Buy from a building supplier that deals in stucco and plaster as it is usually as much as $1 a sheet less expensive there, than at Home Depot. It will work well for chicken security, but the children factor should be carefully thought out. Good luck..........Pop
  6. father-clucker

    father-clucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2010
    Southern California
    Isn't it also safe to assume that it will rust like many other metal products that are to be embedded in concrete if left exposed? I know the larger mesh that is meant to strengthen a concrete floor will rust if left out and is usually a bit rusty even in the store.. Perhaps I'm wrong though..
  7. nelgkel

    nelgkel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    I used galvanized stucco lath on my run, no problems with rusting, tearing, not difficult to work with, cheaper, doesn't impede view.. check out my page for the run pics...
  8. midd2005

    midd2005 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    well, i'm not worried about raccoons since there are none here. and the chickens are in a yard that is all but dog proof. i guess conceivably one of the neighbors dogs could break through the fence but 1) they are small, yappy type dogs and probably can't do too much damage to even chicken wire and 2) they are generally always trying to break through the fence and rip my throat out and haven't gotten through yet.

    i am concerned about mongoose and rats, which there are plenty of here. looks to me like stucco lath would do the job on them. i'm still generally curious though about mongoose 's jumping and climbing abilities. anyone a mongoose expert?

    i am also concerned about rust as it's highly humid, so i'm glad to hear that the galvanized stuff is getting the job done.

    also, no kids on the property, and i'm planning on planting plants all around the base, where the stucco lath will be so that will limit the access of any visiting tiny, curious hands.

    for those who have worked with the stuff, what have you used to cut it into submission?
  9. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    The same outfit that sell lath will most likely sell shears for the purose. The small ones with the colored plastc covered handles work fine. They come in 3 configurations, curved for right and left hand cuts and straight. The yellow handle, straight cutter is the one you need as it will do most everything. Don`t forget the gloves........Pop

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