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what is an appropriate wire for a racoon-proof run?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sunnychicks, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. sunnychicks

    sunnychicks In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010

    I bought a coop that has chicken wire as a run, but I just read that racoons can get through those. Looking for advice on the appropriate wire material.

    Thanks so much!

  2. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    A heavy duty hardware cloth will keep them out. I haven't found anything else that will though and you are right about the chicken wire. They will chew right through it.

    Do you have a Co-op close to you? I have found that they carry the heaviest weight of hardware cloth around here.
  3. StupidBird

    StupidBird Songster

    Apr 8, 2009
    What size mesh is best? One inch? the smaller the mesh, the more expensive.
  4. Schwartzfarmnc

    Schwartzfarmnc Songster

    May 28, 2010
    West Jefferson
    Southern States sells 100' rolls for 94.99 here, it's tough as nails 1/2 inch.
  5. Debbi

    Debbi Crowing

    May 2, 2010
    I put 1/2"x1/2" x 4' tall hardware cloth on the bottom half of my run, it's not cheap but worth it to protect the chooks! The coons and others can't get their paws through the 1/2" holes!
  6. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Songster

    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    couple strands electric wire is a good idea too
  7. sunnychicks

    sunnychicks In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    thanks for all your replies. I can't find heavy duty 1/2 inch wire cloth. I went to Home Depot and our local hardware supply store and both have 19 gauge 1/2 inch galvinaized wire clothes. They looks just as flimsy as the chicken wires, which are 20 gauge.

    Dumb question: is there a difference between heavy duty 1/2 inch wire cloth and 19 gauge?

  8. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    A coon will shred chickenwire, kill all of your birds, then floss its teeth with what is left of your chickenwire on the way out. Buy she smallest mesh hardware cloth you can find. If you buy too large mesh a coon will reach through and grab your birds and pull what it can back through. If the bird is lucky it will grab it by the neck killing it. If not the coon will eat off a wing or leg while the bird is alive.

    If you have a lot of coons in your area, you will want to also make sure that you have very secure latches on all doors. They have opposable thumbs so they can and will open up an unsecure latch, take a bird and may even close it back up for you, leaving you scratching your head. I also strongly suggest a good hot wire around the bottom and top of your coop.

    Good luck to you!
  9. sunnychicks

    sunnychicks In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    Not an expert on carpentry. What is a hot wire? Do you mean en electric one? Also, the 1/2 inch wires I see at my local hardware store is 19 gauge, pretty thin. I think I'll need 16 gauge. Any suggestion where to buy those?
  10. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Crowing Premium Member

    Mar 25, 2008
    Quote:Do you have any kind of co-op there? Mine here is Southern States. You might try looking in your yellow pages under farm supply to see if you have a co-op and call them to see if they carry hardware cloth (I'm sure they do as it is a farm staple item). The stuff at Home Depot and Lowe's isn't a very heavy guage and is way to expensive for what you are getting. You will find better at a farm supply store and hopefully you can manage to locate a co-op.

    The 1/2 inch has bigger squares and the 19 guage is how thick, or heavy duty, the wire is. The lower the guage the better and the smaller the squares, the better. Raccoons can still get their pesky paws through the 1/2 inch squares, so definitely get a smaller size. I also wouldn't use anything bigger than 1/4 inch squares.

    If you look around enough, you will find what you need. It just might take a bit a of research on your part, but in the end it will be worth the peace of mind.

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