what kind of wire is best for a chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by new chick chick, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. new chick chick

    new chick chick Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 23, 2011
    I am getting ready to build a new run for my 5 month old hens. My other one was temporary and since a neighbor's cat has discovered my hens I need one with a top on it. What type of wire is best? How large should it be? It will need to attach to my hen house, which is the bottom portion of a play house. Does anyone have pictures of their runs? It needs to be as inexpensive as possible.
  2. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    Inexpensive now, or inexpensive later? Hardware cloth is the safest period. It also is not the cheapest.
  3. TinyChickenLady

    TinyChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    At Tractor Supply, the hardware cloth isn't TOO much more expensive than poultry wire and after doing mine with poultry wire (except for the top) I would definately recommend the hardware cloth. It will save you extra money and headaches in the long run.
  4. loanwizard

    loanwizard Chillin' With My Peeps

    I may have misread that. Unless the cat is a huge Tom, I wouldn't worry. At 5 months, they're full grown. Unless they're bantams, there shouldn't be an issue. For a top, chicken wire works. Not for coon, but for a cat I would think it would be ok.

    As far as size, how many chickens do you have and what kind are they?

    Good Luck,
  5. Alas

    Alas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Covington, LA
    If you have the money, do the hardware cloth. I had chickens for 3 years with no problems. Last week a weasel (which I didnt even know we had here) got into the run and killed them all. I had 1" chicken wire covering the coop and run completely. I am redoing it now with hardware cloth before getting new chickens. Also, my sister-in-law had a coyote bust through the chicken wire to get a turkey last month. It is too flimsy to provide safety. It mostly just keeps the chickens inside.
  6. ceeceeholt

    ceeceeholt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    We used welded wire and over lapped it with chicken wire on the teenagers side so they can't get out. We also, used 2x2 inch welded wire for the top as we have hawks. We used welded wire because it was all free and it is working out very well for us. It is sturdy and the chickens cannot get out nor has anything tried to get in, including our cats. Here are a couple of pictures of the run.
    Good luck with yours.

    The run is 20x20 and is split down the middle with the older girls on one side and the teenagers on the other

    armyrec1 likes this.
  7. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    I have give this a lot of thought. What I decide to do is rip down 2x4 to 2x2 and stud the run 16inch on center this giving the building much more strenght and making the chicken wire a lot stronger.
  8. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Please use full 2x4s. We made the two by two and they have sagged and twisted terrible. I have had my run for two years and am thinking about putting the 2x4's in to reinforce the top. The chicken wire flexes and with wt on top really goes down, and stays down. I have replaced part of the top already with the hardware cloth. If you do not want to use hardware cloth use the welded 2x4 wire. At least it keeps out the big critters and the flying hawks etc. It will not keep out a weasel or rat though. Neither will the chicken wire. Gloria Jean
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I use EMT (thinwall conduit) for widths less than 10'. They're about $2 for 1/2 inch and much lighter than 2X4 lumber.
    For wider widths you can support with an upright 2X.

    If they're locked in the coop at night all you'll have to worry about on top is hawks. I use welded wire.
    Chain link is very strong and only the smallest things can get in.
    I cover the chain link with plastic mesh to keep out wild birds.
  10. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    This site is really an amazing source of information. All you need to do is read the coop & run section along with the Predator section and you will quickly comt to the conclusion that the ONLY thing to use is hardware cloth all over if you really want to make your run as predator proof as possible. As for the top a sol;id roof is best but hardware cloth will do.

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