Why not chicken wire?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by VkyVky, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. VkyVky

    VkyVky In the Brooder

    Apr 13, 2011
    Ventura County, CA
    My husband and I were out pricing the material for our future chicken run and we looked at hardware cloth and chicken wire. Bit of a price difference. I read some posts in this section of the forum and now I am hesitant to go with chicken wire because of predators. We are in a city, but I have seen raccoon and opossum in the 'hood. We are big on planning before doing. Please make your recommendations. THANKS!

  2. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Too easy for predators to chew their way through chicken wire. Better safe than sorry.
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Go to the search bar and type in......devastated chicken wire....
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Quote:I have chicken wire on my run. However, I also have a 6 foot fence around the property and two big dogs with an unobstructed view of the coop. Even at that, if I had to do it over again, I would probably fork out the extra for hardware cloth. Chicken wire at it's best is just not terribly durable. That being said, my chickens are fine, my neighbors use chicken wire, don't have a 6 foot fence and are fine and another friend with a whole lot of chickens and no fence also hasn't lost any due to having only chicken wire. But there are plenty of stories on the forum where chicken wire was not enough to keep out predators... I've probably just muddied the waters here...but there ya' go.
  5. homesteadinmama

    homesteadinmama Chirping

    Mar 30, 2011
    I use the plastic green kind of chicken wire and haven't had problems, but I close the coop up so they aren't in the run at night. Even keeps beavers from chewing down our trees.
  6. squeakyballs

    squeakyballs Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    What if the lower 2-4 feet of the coop were made out of the sturdier stuff, and the upper half and top were made of chicken wire? The predators always seem to get in near the base, right?
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Those are not your only options though. You can consider 1x1 welded wire mesh, 1x2, or even 2x4 if you put something smaller-mesh on the lower parts of the fence or anywhere else that chickens can be just on the other side from predators. All of those need to be well galvanized and heavy-gauge (that is why I do not include two other popularly-available meshes, 2x2 and 2x3, as I have only ever seen them in "garden weight" type gauge which is just not very predatorproof), of course.

    Personally I would not consider using chickenwire, simply because it is not THAT mcuh more expensive to use something that actually DOES give you some reasonable security, and because I would find it very distressing (emotionally and philosophically) to go out there one morning and find bloody piles of feathers and know that it could have been prevented but that I knowingly did not choose to do so. However, that is just me, everyone's situations and feelings are different. So if you are ok with the possibility of loss, then you can certainly use chickenwire if you want... I just think people who choose it should choose it *knowing* the risks, rather than being unpleasantly surprised one day.

    I would not suggest the plastic stuff btw as a substitute for chickenwire. Predators can chew right thru it, easily. I mean, obviously if you are OK with the ramifications of chickenwire then you would be OK with the ramifications of the plastic tenax or whatever... but it is not an *upgrade* from chickenwire.

    Good luck, have fun,


  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Why not chicken wire? Many predators such as dogs and raccoons can go through it pretty easily. It is usually light gauge and the stronger preditors can tear it, but the real danger is that the joints are twisted, not welded. By pulling on it, the predators can untwist it.

    What I did was to use 2" x 4" welded wire for my run, 14 gauge if I remember right. It will keep out dogs, raccoons and almost anything of any size. Rats and snakes are almost impossible to keep out anyway.

    Along the bottom, I put an apron of the 2" x 4" welded wire, laying it horizontal and just covering it with turf, maybe burying it 2". The idea is that a predator goes up to the fence, starts digging, and hits the wire. It does not know to back up and start diffing again.

    Along the bottom 18" or so of the fence, I put chicken wire. This is mainly to keep the chickens from sticking their heads through the 2" x 4" wire pecking at grass and such and exposing themselves. It will help keep anything from reaching in and grabbing chicken body parts, but I am not going to say without a doubt it willl stop anything doing this. To me, it is enough.
  9. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    The other drawback to larger wire, including chicken wire, is that little, wild birdies can get into the run and eat your chicken food and spread disease. May not be too big of an issue but something to consider. I'm all for feeding the birds, but not an endless supply of chicken feed.
  10. icemanchicken

    icemanchicken In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2010
    i can tell you from experience use strong stuff along the bottom. I usually use wood, but im a carpenter so i have scraps available. When i dont have any I use 2 x 3 welded wire, and for the little chicks i use chicken wire behind that to keep them from popping through.

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