You can tell I am a newbie by my onslaught on posts today. I keep hearing that hardware cloth is best. I just ran across the street from my work and compared hardware cloth to welded wire. 1/2in X 1/2in hardware cloth compared to 1in X 1/2in welded wire is similar in price. The welded wire just seems more heavy duty. Why wouldn't welded wire be better? Does anyone have any pictures of using either or? I plan to buy the heavy duty steel 72in tall wire stakes. Any thoughts? Thank you. I am nearing decision time over slighting altering a purchased chicken coop and then building on a run. At best I could build a 8ft X 4ft run, at about 2.5 ft high. It would take a lot of time, wood and hardware cloth. I would have to cut out a section of my coop floor and then create a drop down ladder. I would be capped at 3 hens like this. Or I could leave the coop as is, then build a chicken run around it, creating a roughly 80sqft run, for 4 hens. I can't make up my mind. The built on run would help control all predators. But I would like the hens to have more freedom. Any thoughts?