What to use instead of "chicken wire?"

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by emen8, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    I've already built my coop and the run is enclosed with standard chicken wire. Unfortunately, I didn't read this forum carefully enough beforehand to know that chicken wire isn't strong enough to prevent predators from getting inside. So for now I'm locking my four hens inside their coop overnight. I'm heading to a Lowe's today, and I'm wondering what to get that I can install over the existing wire--or will I have to take that off? What I see online for Lowes doesn't seem to be the half-inch hardware cloth that the local hardware store sells (for lots of $$). I see 16 gauge Keystone 4' x 50' Yard, Garden and Kennel Fence. It doesn't say how big the openings are, but it looks like it might be about 1 inch. Can anyone advise if this will be strong enough? I live in the Poconos, and I'm guessing I'll need protection against opossums, raccoons and foxes.
  2. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    A quick search for "16 gauge Keystone 4' x 50' Yard, Garden and Kennel Fence" reveals this to be 2x2 fencing.

    • 2”x2” mesh safeguards yards, gardens, toddlers
    and pets
    • Square Deal[​IMG] Knot
    • Ideal for kennel fencing
    • Economical alternative to chain link fencing
    • Strong yet lightweight makes fence easy to install
    • Tough 16 gauge wire has a bright galvanized finish
    that resists rust
    • Made in the U.S.

    If that is to be overlaid across the existing chicken wire, it may keep predators from breakning in, but small chick who come near the wire may still be at risk. If it is not over the chicken wire, it would seem to be clearly too large a mesh.

    I'd be really surprised if Lowes did not have the hardware cloth so many of us us. Maybe when you get to the store you will find it, or go somewhere else?
  3. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    Thanks, greginshasta. Where did you find those details? The Lowe's description doesn't mention 2" x 2", at when I'm telling it to look in the Wilkes-Barre, PA store. I don't see that when I do a Google search, either.

    As it turns out, I'll be closer to a Home Depot today, and I'll have to see what's in the store. Their Web site didn't show exactly what I want.
  4. waterfowlrescue

    waterfowlrescue Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    Almost every Lowes or Home depot here sells 1/4 or 1/2 inch hardware cloth. Thats the ONLY thing I use for my pens.
  5. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
  6. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    We are using 1/2" hardware cloth for our runs now also. I'm not sure about other Lowes', but the 2 that we shop at keep the hardware cloth out in the garden section.

    Just ask one of the employees, they should be able to help you find what you are looking for.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2007
  7. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I use one inch welded wire AND lock I lock them in at night.
  8. RoyalHillsLLC

    RoyalHillsLLC Songster

    Mar 5, 2007
    NW Louisiana-Vivian
    Chicken wire is OK IMO if you reinforce the bottom with a strong wire. I have used a "dog wire" fence, anything from a 2 x 2 to a 1 x 2 or 2 x 4 type wire along the ground and I always bury one end about 12 " in the ground to prevent critters from digging. I did lose a couple early on from coons reaching thru at night , but then I just added a board where they sleep at night and have been fine ever since.
  9. jmass

    jmass In the Brooder

    Aug 29, 2007
    Since you already have up chickenwire I would use 1X2 welded wire or the 2X2 wire that was mentioned above. Either of these two wires would be stronger than hardware cloth and more than likely cheaper. I have also used chain link fencing and 2X4 weld wire horse fence.
  10. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    After putting up a run with chicken wire, then deciding to move the run, I took all the chicken wire down, and threw it away. There was no way I was going to work with that stuff again! Now I have the 2 x 3 yard fence. My worry during the day is hawks, so its covered. At night, they go into their almost predator proof coop. I wouldn't leave them out at night, I don't think any fence is going to stop all kinds of animals, except maybe that 1/2 inch hardware cloth.

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