what type of wire fencing and where to purchase

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by floridagramps1, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. floridagramps1

    floridagramps1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 13, 2011
    I will need wire screening/fencing for 2 large windows 60x36 in coop plus a 16 foot run that is 7 feet tall. I need to predator proof both coop and run for bobcat, coyote and fox. The A-frame chicken run will be lagged into pressure treated 6x6 and I want to run a strip of hardware cloth under the 6x6 extending 18 inches outside the perimeter on the chicken run.

    Should I use hardware cloth w 1/2 x 1/2 mesh for all or should I use less expensive wider mesh screening for the 16 foot chicken run? Should I buy rolls that are are 36 inches tall and plan on cutting it down when I only need 2 foot width?

    I have never worked w hardware cloth or galvanized fencing and it is a little bewildering. Is this something I buy at Lowes or HD or am I better off buying on line for quality and price. Do I want galvanized after welding version?
     
  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I think a good one inch mesh welded wire is best but the 1/2 inch hardware cloth will also work. Many use the 2" x 4" welded wire, it will keep out the critters you mention and the chickens in. I would avoid buying fencing online because of the shipping charges. Just get it where you can find it. Tractors supply, Home Depot, wherever they have it.

    In short, so long as it's hardware cloth or welded wire of a size smaller than the critter you want to keep out, it's fine. The width matters only in that you get what's handiest. Since it is welded, cutting it down won't weaken it or anything. You'll need a good set of wire cutters to cut it, or tin snips if you use hardware cloth.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I pretty much agree with Galanie. Check out Lowe's, Home Depot, and Tractor Supply, maybe a co-op or farm supply store, to see what is available and check prices. You should be looking at length of the roll but also width. You can connect two different rolls to make them wider if you want. I use J-Clips for this (in the rabbit section of Lowe's. This is what you build rabbit cages out of.) You can also use hog rings or just weave wire to make the fencing sections wider. These also work to attach your apron to the bottom of the run fencing if you don't have something solid to attach to down there.

    Look at the gauge of the wire too. I've used 19 gauge hardware cloth because that is all I can get, but I used 14 gauge for my 2" x 4" wire. If it is too light weight, dogs or raccoons can rip it apart.

    My philosophy is to make the coop Fort Knox so I can safely lock them in there every night and they will be safe while I am sleeping. The run is predator-resistant but I don't consider it totally predator proof. It's just hard to totally predator proof a large run, or else really expensive.

    For the coop, I'd use 1" hardware cloth to cover the windows and any vent opening you have. Many people use screws and fender washers to attach it, but I use strips of wood instead. I use 1/2" thick strips of wood, drill pilot holes to keep from splitting the wood strip, and use screws to attach it. It is easy to remove it you ever wish, just like the screws with washers. If you put the screws through openings in the hardware cloth and screw it tight, that hardware cloth is not going anywhere. To me, the big advantage is that the sharp ends of the hardware cloth are covered so you don't snag your skin or clothing. I've been known to do that.

    My run is basically the 2" x 4" welded wire. That will stop almost all predators, but snakes, rats, and some members of the weasel family can still get through. I also used the 2" x 4" welded wire for the apron. Along the bottom 18" or so, I put regular chicken wire on the inside of the fence. This will really slow down anything reaching through the fence to grab them, but to me the real value is that it keeps the chickens from poking their heads out of the fence to get to grass where something can rip it off (yeah, chickens will do that even in the presence of a predator). It also keeps baby chicks from walking through the fence to where Mama cannot protect them. To keep chicks in, I made a 6" apron with the chicken wire on the inside of the run.
     
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome! There are quite a few different types of materials that you can use, but only a few that will keep your run safe. I would think only of welded wire or hardware cloth. Chicken wire is pretty flimsy and only good at controlling chickens, not predators. Garden fencing is fencing, but usually plastic that will deteriorate. Being a methodical person, I took a trip to Lowe's, Home Depot and TSC and wrote down the cost of all fencing materials, then calculated the cost per square foot (price divided by length of roll x height). The most economical by far was welded wire with 2" by 4" openings. It was 1/3 the cost of hardware cloth and cheaper than other welded wire fencing with smaller openings. This might be different in your area. I used hog rings to tie sections together. The stuff I bought wasn't galvanized, but I figure that I'll still get many years of use out of it. I've removed plenty of old wire fences in my short time, and they were still a pain even though they were decades old. Tough stuff.

    Because the openings in 2"x4" ww are on the large side (chickens can stick their necks out, predators could reach in) I then wrapped an apron of chicken wire around the run.

    For the windows on my coop I used 1/4" hardware cloth mounted to a hinged frame that I can close over the window opening and screw down. 36" widths are available, and with the size of your windows you're likely looking at 1 roll per window.
     
  5. 72elizabeth

    72elizabeth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You say floridagramps so I'm assuming you leave in florida. So do I. You really should use the 1/2'x1/2' welded wire. We have snake here in fl. Anything getting into the 1/2"x1/2" won't hurt the chix. Anything larger getting thru could hurt them. I built an open coop and made the studs as wide as the welded wire so I wouldn't have to do to much cutting. I bought the 4ft wide. I did think he was giving me 1/2", but the guys load 1" and I didn't see it. It was the first time I ever worked with welded wire. And the first time I ever built a coop. My coop is opened on all sides. It is an A frame that has a heavy trucker tarp over a ridge beam for a roof. I have a breathable plastic material, that I cut and attached to the sides of the coop with velcor. I attached the bottom of the material to pvc pipe. This allows me to roll the curtain up or down, depending on the weather. If it rains and depending on the wind, I lower that side. In the winter, I roll down all sides except for the door. Chix and guineas are very hardy birds. They are toasty warm. When it warms up during the day, I roll up some of the curtains. It only take 5 mins. My guineas and their little peeps, follow me around while I'm doing this. My 3 chix and 35 guineas are housed together. They only go into the coop at night. They free range all day. I also hot wired the bottom of the coop. Plus, there is chicken wire 3" around the coop. A foot inside the coop and 2ft outside. The coop is resting on the chicken wire, so nothing can dig under. I would have loved to use the 1/2", but couldn't afford it. Where to buy? I bought mine at a lumber yard in Elliston. I think you'll do better at a lumber yard than Lowes. I don't think they sell that big a roll. I think I bought a 100 ft roll. My coop is 8 wide, 20 long 6 high and 8 high at the ridge beam. So the 4ft wide welded wire worked out real good. I hope this helps you. I don't know how to post picture's, but if you think a picture is worth a thousand words, I'll try
     

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