Wire gauge minimums for determined raccoons?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Carolyn252, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Some of this forum's posts mentioned that raccoons can bite through ordinary "chicken wire." I'd like to know the minimum gauge that wire needs to be so that it's impossible for raccoons to bite through it. DH and I are going to build our first run this weekend. We're going to buy a one hundred-foot roll of galvanized wire mesh, with the size of the mesh's square hole either one by one inches or one by two inches. The roll will be 48inches wide. We'll cover the whole run with that, all four sides and the top as well. Then we'll use an additional layer of mesh wire that has half-inch by half-inch mesh holes, for the bottom three feet on all four sides of the run. What gauge for the whole overall wrapping? and what gauge for the three-foot overlaid wrapping?
  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    i dont know about wire gauge but i know just about any gauge shotgun seems to detour them

    410,20,12 what ever i can get my hands on seems to shake em
  3. emilyweck

    emilyweck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    That is FUNNY!

    I put welded wire (1"x 2") size. It seems to do great. Also, I don't know what kind of floor you have, but I have a dirt floor run and I ran a 12" skirt around the entire perimeter so they can't did under it into the run. Good luck....you have a good sized project ahead!
  4. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    Not sure where you're from...but if you have racoons around...be prepared ! Welded wire fence would be the best ( we call it goat fence...and it comes in different hole sizes around here .) Also realize that racoons are VERY smart ...they can undo latches and figure out how to get in when they want . Don't use wire to tie the fence together , dig at least 12" down and put wire there , as for latches.....not too sure , but I know a few people who have lost chickens to racoons who have figured out how to open door knobs , hooks , and bolt types . Wish you the best of luck ![​IMG]
  5. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Quote:If you don't use wire to tie the fence together, what do you use??
  6. unionwirewoman

    unionwirewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kalispell , MT
    You can buy clips at most hardware stores...much like the ones you use to put together chain link fencing .[​IMG]

    edited to add: for welded fences .
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Most people recommend welded wire for the basic yard fencing. I had access to "chicken wire" looking stuff that was the same guage that the welded wire was, plus it is galvanized, then I put up a 3 wire electric fence outside the posts. I think the gauge was 17 but am not sure of this. It is a new setup so I cannot tell you it works, though I have had no losses (2 weeks or so) and the dogs sure yelped when they touched the electric.

    Even with welded wire, if the holes are not small enough, you have to cover it about 1' to 2' up, plus more wire below ground, to stop diggers.

    If you use inexpensive wire below ground, it will rust out in a few years. Preventatives against digging include concrete scraps, bricks, glass fragments, etc. One wildlife fellow here spoke of hardware cloth down 1' then bent out 1', below ground.

    I really don't know the answer to your question or I would have been a lot more direct. You may have to go with a design based on waht is locally available.

    I have a roll of cheap chicken wire, about $40 for 150', that I use to keep chickens out, only (as, out of the garden, or to fence off an area in their yard to grow cover crops.) It is obviously a lot lighter gauge that the (I think) 17 gauge galvanized stuff I used for their yard.

    There is also the consideration that coons reach through fence, grab necks or whatever, and eat chickens piece by piece. Welded wire gets a lot more expensive if the holes are small, so many here buy larger holes, then cover the lower foot or so with another type wire to make the holes smaller.

    If there is a universal best solution to this problem, I have not seen it. For one thing, there is so much variation is what your local farmers supply carries.

    Hope this has been of some help, anyway.
  8. broomgal

    broomgal Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Sand Springs, Oklahoma
    This is great info about the wire- wish I had been here sooner!
    My run is done and I think from reading everything here that it will probably not withstand a determined raccoon. I have decided to lock my chickens in the coop at night.

    DH is already shaking his head about how much money I have spent and not a single egg yet-lol
  9. norcal

    norcal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    Northern California
    Quote:Yes, mine too. [​IMG]
    We spent WAY more on the coop than we were supposed to. Now I am reading on how to build the run, and I KNOW that I can't afford that much hardware cloth......way too expensive here. Maybe just the bottom part & buried part. ?? [​IMG]

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