The Truth about Chicken Wire / Hex Netting...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DawnSuiter, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. So.. what is the truth? Lotsa newbies like me get confused... now many of you have had your chicken wire ripped through, and so are proponents of the thinking that it isn't safe enough...
    others seem to have used it successfully for years..

    after my own investigation, I have discoverd that Lowes for instance sells only 1 size/guage (thickness of the wire) and it's 20g. Pretty flimsy, clearly.

    Then I found this article here: Wire Guages Explained and it turns out, that there ARE some very hefty varieties of chicken wire. The caveat here is that this site is in the UK.. do we have the same choices here in the states?

    Should we just be shopping around more to find the right one? Seems like 16guage would do the trick... if it'll keep IN birds of prey, and keep rabbits safe, doesn't that seem to be the right mix?
  2. The problem with chicken wire is that critters can reach in and grab the chicks, no matter how heavy the wire. Racoons and other critters will grab them and eat whatever they can get through the wire. Poor chickens are not smart enough to stay far enough in.....The tiny hardware cloth is really the safest. It is expensive, only in the short run. Losing birds and coming out to the run to find carnage is just more than I can risk, personally. That being said, others might have a very different perspective.

    Good luck.[​IMG]
  3. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Quote:but if you could get chicken hex in a low enough gauge, you could do the bulk of your run (including the roof) with that and the bottom three feet in hardware cloth and have a hen fort knox.
    1 person likes this.
  4. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    If you can find a heavy guage chicken wire, it should help to keep out some predators. The problem with it is that many predators like coons and cats can reach into it and attempt to pull chickens through it, mutilating them. Weasels can fit right through chicken wire. I use hardware cloth and the gate on my chicken run is made from an extremely heavy guage chicken wire - to make sure it was heavy duty enough, I tried to squeeze the holes shut and I couldn't budge the wires. This chicken wire was old stuff we had lying around, it's easily 30 years old and the holes are much smaller than the stuff that's made today.
  5. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    I have three layers of fencing on my run....chicken wire, ranch fencing and hardware cloth on the outside. The ranch fencing is buried 6 inches deep and surrounded by railroad ties. Since the hardware cloth is very expensive, I only used it on the gate (which is a chainlink fence) and around the bottom of the run. Around the very top of the run I triple layered chicken wire in a pattern to make it smaller. It's still a gamble I know since there might be something that will find a way in, but they are going to have to really work for their supper!
  6. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    Chicken wire is fine except around the bottom, especially if they sleep on the ground. I run "dog wire" around the bottom with chicken wire over it. I bury them both about a foot to prevent digging and because over time the soil washes away also.
    I put up plywood or other boards around areas they sleep near, also to give them protection from the elements.
  7. Quote:but if you could get chicken hex in a low enough gauge, you could do the bulk of your run (including the roof) with that and the bottom three feet in hardware cloth and have a hen fort knox.

    Yes, that is true and actually what we did. LOL. I am so spacey sometimes. {blush}
  8. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Songster

    You can purchase 1" hexagon 'stucco wire', which is essentially chicken wire. This is an 18 gauge; very tough stuff for a run. Most of the hardware cloth used is 19 gauge, so it's a little heavier than that.

    If you protect the coop itself with smaller openings of hardware cloth, and lock the hens in each night, then you can use the stucco wire for the run. I'm putting roosts that have a vertical post, then some side horizontal boards for the hens. These will be far enough away from the sides of the run that I won't worry. Plus, we have no raccoons, skunks, etc. that come during the daytime. yet. : )

  9. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    Sometimes along highway cuts I notice what looks like super-heavy-duty galvanized chicken wire being used to keep rocks from falling onto the road. I'd like to find a source for that.
  10. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    Although hardware cloth seems to have such benefits, it is too rich for my blood. It costs $10 for 5 feet x 2 feet. My pen is 106 feet circumference. So just to put a 2 foot row all around the bottom it would cost over $220.00 for my pen. I would be cheaper putting boards around the bottom.

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