Top of run.... hardware cloth or chicken wire?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickengrl, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. chickengrl

    chickengrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My wonderful DH is building a HUGE run for the chickens and we are going to cover it to protect from Hawks. He asked me if I wanted the hardware cloth or chicken wire. I am sure chicken wire will keep out hawks. The run is 6 feet tall since he eventually wants peacocks. He doesn't think that anything will climb the welded wire fencing and then break through the chicken wire. I am not sure. [​IMG] I know we can save a ton of money with the chicken wire and it will be way easier for him to stretch. We could also cover with metal roofing some or part of it. We are debating back and forth. What do you guys think? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  2. MTopPA_18707

    MTopPA_18707 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chicken wire top should be fine . . . in fact the hardware cloth may catch leaves and wiegh down . . . that could be a problem.

    Anyway the hardware cloth is used to keep racoons from reaching though and grabbing chickens . . . but that won't be a problem for the roof.

    So I vote chicken wire.
     
  3. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have seen quite a few posts where people used chicken wire and regretted it. If anything is going to weigh down, it would be the chicken wire since it is a much lighter gauge than the hardware cloth. If anything heavy lands on the chicken wire, it will give, the hardware cloth, it won't. If you are going to put out the expense, you might as well go for the sturdier stuff.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:You win (you might want to phrase it differently to him of course LOL). What *can't* climb the welded wire fencing and break thru chickenwire. Raccoons and possums will do it in a minute, seriously, without breaking a sweat. The occasional really ambitious dog or fox can too. Also, I don't know if you have the following (you definitely have the preceding ones) but fisher cats and bobcats and that kind of stuff can go up and demolish your chickenwire too.

    Now, this is not a huge risk if the chickens (or peafowl or whatever) will faithfullly be locked indoors by dusk every day of the year without fail; but still, you do get SOME daytime raccoons etcetera, and if the popdoor will ever be open at dusk or overnight, I'd really suggest something with some degree of security.

    Hardwarecloth does give you the security, assuming it is sufficiently well supported with wood - bear in mind it will catch a lot of snow and thus must be built for snowload, although the same is true to some degree of chickenwire too.

    But there are other options too, e.g. larger holed welded wire. 1x1 or 1x2 will keep out "basically" everything that could get onto the run; 2x4 will keep out everything but the smallest possums and baby raccoons, although they are not *much* of a threat, and basically zero during daytime. The larger the mesh, the cheaper and also the less snow it will catch (therefore the less engineering and lumber that have to go into it)

    We could also cover with metal roofing some or part of it.

    Honestly if you can afford it I'd suggest a proper metal roof. It is definitely spendier though, and not worth doing IMO if you're not going to do it RIGHT i.e. so that wind will not remove it (or its supporting structure) and snow will not flatten it. Basically you'd be building a wall-less shed. It is EVER so nice, and has zero disadvantages other than the budget thing. But, obviously the budget thing is often a consideration, so, it depends whatcha want to do [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  5. Trunkster

    Trunkster Out Of The Brooder

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    I'll be building my run soon and I have 1/2"x 1/2" welded wire on the first 2 feet from the ground up and I'll be using 1"x1" welded wire everywhere else including the top. I'd be afraid racoons could break through chicken wire. They are good climbers.
     
  6. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We used lattice. We had to run a few beams across to hold it up better, but it did great this winter( 2 bizzards in 1 month!) It is very durable, and the hawks can't break it. We did have a problem with little birds flying in during the winter to get some scratch corn, but we just stapled bird netting over it and it solved that problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2011
  7. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

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    whatever you decide consider animals and snowload... Smashed chicken are not as good as live ones... (lived and learned)
     
  8. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    "But there are other options too, e.g. larger holed welded wire. 1x1 or 1x2 will keep out "basically" everything that could get onto the run; 2x4 will keep out everything but the smallest possums and baby raccoons, although they are not *much* of a threat, and basically zero during daytime. The larger the mesh, the cheaper and also the less snow it will catch (therefore the less engineering and lumber that have to go into it)"

    I second pat&chickens. I would go with the 2x4" welded wire. It will keep out critters while letting snow go through.
    Chicken wire succumbs to the elements pretty fast, causing weak spots. My sister had a cat fall through hers & killed one of her roosters.
     
  9. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We ended up putting a solid metal awning over half of our run and leaving the remainder open, after talking with many people who had their fully enclosed (w/hardwire cloth or chicken wire) runs breached by predators. We do have hot wire fencing surrounding our run. The first strand runs a few inches above ground level with a second strand at two feet and the top strand at five feet. The fencing material is also sunk several inches below ground. I've strung shiny CDs over the open portion of the run that swing wildly whenever large birds fly overhead.

    The solid metal awning provides protection from the elements, allowing the girls to get outside when the weather's bad. They also love to sleep there in the sawdust, under the slanting sun. I've never seen them sleep in the open portion, albeit they love to scratch there. Their instinct seems to tell them to rest under the safety of cover.

    I can't say that I don't obsess and worry about the open portion. On one hand, I feel like it's secure, on the other, I'm aware that something could get in no matter how far I go to protect the girls.

    We do lock the girls down before nightfall every night and our 12x12x16 coop is very secure. The floor is earthen but we sunk hardwire cloth into the ground and covered it with rock and sand. The girls perch about 7 feet above ground. Regardless, I'm sure something could get in. I mean, we occasionally leave our windows open in the house on warm days and a raccoon (or human) could breach that, too. :wry smile:

    I could drive myself crazy over the security issue. I dread the day when I lose a hen to a predator. I'd like to think that day won't come but I've been assured that it eventually will.

    I also put my hens out on pasture for a good portion of the day and the pasture obviously isn't covered. I wish I knew how much protection was enough. This is something I'd rather not learn about via trial and error. [​IMG] Now I'm wondering if I should cover the remaining portion of the run. :heavy sigh:
     
  10. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You will sleep better knowing your birds are safe. I'll never buy chicken wire again. They need to quit making it.
     

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