wire/fencing question for the run...


10 Years
May 6, 2009
OK, I've heard that hardware cloth is good but gosh, its so expensive! its like $15 for 10ft. is there anything else I can use that is more economical? how small does the wires need to be to be safe? and what else can I use that doesn't cost quite as much?

Thank yoU!
Personally I think that 2x4" welded wire mesh (in a good heavy gauge), or good quality chainlink, are perfectly adequate as long as you put something small mesh inside the bottom 2-3' to prevent reach-through. Hardwarecloth is the ideal thing for the smaller mesh reinforcement, but 1/2" chickenwire (NOT the normal 1" chickenwire) is not a totally unreasonable second-best.

Sometimes if you look around you can get used fence wire for cheap or even free, which can help with the cost.

Good luck, have fun,

Just came from Menards, was pricing wire while I was there. And the 2"x4" wire was $41.00 for a roll 5'x50' I have to use the 5' tall wire in my town....
OK, so if I get a welded wire, what is the recommended size of the holes? like what is the largest the holes can be in a safe way?

I know I got 50" of fencing for my garden a few weeks back and it was 25$ for the 50$... but Im unsure if its suitable for chickens.

this is what made me sorta flip when I saw the price of hardware cloth LOL! it was like WAY more expensive!
Are your chickens going to have access to the run during the night or will they be locked up in the hen house? What types of predators do you have? I'll explain what I'm doing to make it more affordable.....My chickens will be locked in the hen house during the night. For the run, there will be no buried fencing or hardware cloth, I don't have dogs and my yard is also fenced in. What I do have is cats, so I'll have the 1/2" hardware cloth along the bottom two feet high. Then four more feet of that other cheaper wire fencing with wider openings above it, making it a 6 foot high run. I may put some bird netting over the top to make sure the chickens don't fly out and to keep other birds from flying in. Hope this helps.
I would not go larger than 2x4" (and, as said above, you need something with smaller mesh for the lower part of the run).

You *can* of course use something with larger holes, but raccoons will go right through a 4x4 hole...

And it needs to be heavy gauge, not this weebly thin 'garden fencing' type garbage. Something meant to keep Big Livestock Animals in, type of thing.

Good luck, have fun,

The chickens will tend to stick their heads through any opening that's big enough. If there is no chance of a cat or dog or fox biting their heads off, then it's fine. Raccoons will reach their hands right through the chicken wire and pull a chicken through it! But if they're not in the run during the night then no worries. Chicken wire keeps chickens in but does NOT keep predators out!
the fencing I used for my garden is thick stuff.. it was hard to get it to bend where we wanted it... I do believe it was 2x4. thats what it looks like anyways!! !
so, if we used that and then put chicken wire on the inside (small hole chicken wire) on the bottom half, would that work?

I think I'll have them locked up at night for precaution. there is a run door that slides up and down and I would prob just shut it at night. I think I am going to put a roof on the run only because we get a ton of snow in the winter and if they want to have a trip outside then they won't have 5 ft of snow. and then we won't have to wait for it all to melt before they can use their run

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