Welded Mesh Size for Fox-Proof Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickadeechina, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. chickadeechina

    chickadeechina New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Hi, we've just gotten our baby chicks and need to address our chicken run. Your advice would be appreciated regarding the welded wire mesh. We are having a suprisingly hard time sourcing this stuff in the UK. What I have finally been able to find is a PVC-coated 2” x 2” x 2.4- 3.1 mm at 6 foot tall. Would the 2"x"2 work, or are those holes just too big?

    A little background, if this makes a difference. (Otherwise you could just ignore from here on...)
    We have at least one fox that lives in the field behind our house that we have seen sniffing around the gardens as early as 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Hopefully we should be covered as far as digging under is concerned. The coop is roughly 10'x10'. On one side is the concrete slab and the shed; 6' wooden fencing with concrete posts and concrete lower foundations on two sides; and steps up to the garden with log edging that has been cemented in on the final side.

    Our idea was to cover the top so a fox can't just jump over, the steps side and the the part not covered by the coop on the concrete slab side with the welded wire mesh. There aren't any other predators that I am aware of. I haven't ever seen any big birds of prey around here. Our smallest chooks are Polands. Anything else I need to consider?

    Sorry this is so long, but I wasn't sure what info would be helpful. Thank you in advance for any advice.
     
  2. mtnchicks

    mtnchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 23, 2007
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    Hi! I would add wire with smaller openings around the bottom, at least 8" to a foot up. If the chicken can stick it's head out, something might grab it. I have chain link for strength, but added hardware cloth, the type of wire commonly used in rabbit hutches, around the bottom. I have mostly bantams, and they can get their heads through very small holes! Even my average size chickens can easily stick their heads out of a 2" hole. We have foxes, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, bears, mtn. lions, etc. here. Even though they are inside the henhouse at night, just watching my own dogs lying with their nose to the wire waiting for a chicken to stick it's little head out makes me nervous, and my dogs are great with my cats and parrot.
     
  3. chickadeechina

    chickadeechina New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2007
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    Excellent idea! If I used a tough enough hardware cloth do you think it could also help keep out rats and mice? Or is that just wishful thinking?
     
  4. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hardware cloth will keep the rodents out.
     
  5. chickadeechina

    chickadeechina New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Okay, so I was looking for hardware cloth and saw this on a vendor's site: "Hardware and Industrial cloth is not recommended for animal cages because the galvanizing is toxic if ingested." Has anyone heard this before? Do you think this applies to poultry? Do they make hardware cloth that hasn't been galvanized?
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I would not worry about using galvanized wire with chickens. Chickens are not going to chew on the wire. Small animals often chew on their cages. Parrots often do, also, as well as climbing on it using their beaks. Those are the issues that have prompted warnings like this. Even so, I think a lot of the zinc poisonings in parrots were more connected to the old powder-coated steel cage paint recipes that had way too much zinc in them, before manufacturers realized it was a problem and made changes.

    I've always read that 1/2" hardware cloth will keep out rats and 1/4" will keep out mice. I usually build with 1/2", as it is made with a larger gauge wire and is sturdier. I view rats as more of a threat and mice as more of a nuisance. Many chickens are also pretty good at catching and eating mice. Not all, but quite a few. Gross, but true!
     
  7. mtnchicks

    mtnchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with WoodlandWoman, galvanized wire is o.k.
    I seem to be jumping around to the same topics as you today, WoodlandWoman. Sorry, I'm not trying to follow you!
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] I'm spending more than my usual time on here today, that's for sure!
     

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