Wire opening size?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by GoodEgg, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hello all,

    I'm desperately trying to finish my coop and plan to do something like this:

    Tomorrow morning I will get the hoop panels. There are two sizes of openings available. (I don't know exactly how large, just how many wires overall. One has 11 and one has 13 wires for 48".)

    Before I commit to this, I need to know what size openings are the largest that will still keep predators out (raccoons, etc.). I can easily put hardware cloth or whatever around the bottom couple of feet, but if I have to re-wire the whole thing it will be too expensive to use this design.

    So, what size opening is ok? And how does that relate to height on the coop wall? I'm thinking larger may be ok higher up, but I'm not sure?

    Thanks if anyone can help!!!

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2007
  2. JFL1950

    JFL1950 In the Brooder

    May 31, 2007
    Jacksonville, Texas
    The cattle feedlot panels you get will be the cheapest they have think they ran $15.98 each at TSC http://www.mytscstore.com/detail.asp?pcID=8&paID=1043&sonID=356&page=1&productID=25201 a few week's ago the opens were big enough to keep big animals out but I plan on using chicken wire or some welded fence wire I have for the chicken run to cover it as I don't want any racoons to clim up the sides and in the top. the welded fence wire is like 2" x 4" opening I think you can get a roll of it at Lowes, Home Depot or TSC like 4' X 100' for $53.68 http://www.mytscstore.com/detail.asp?pcID=8&paID=1043&sonID=358&page=1&productID=25041
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2007
  3. Black Feather

    Black Feather Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    I just completed an outdoor run of my own and used 1/2 inch chicken wire. I'm trying to keep smaller predators out as well though. If the wire is much bigger than 1 inch I would worry that a large racoon or dog might be able to bite through it.

    Urban Coyote
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    You not only need to keep the predator out, but their individual paws as well. A racoon or possum will reach through an opening, and pull out whatever they can grasp. It's quite common to find chickens ripped apart by a racoon that simply tore hunks of flesh off by reaching through. And since the birds tend to clump up against the side, they make a tempting target to grasping predators that way.

    I'd go with nothing less than 1/2" square mesh for the bottom two feet.
  5. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks, everyone.

    I definitely wanted to cover the bottom few feet with something else. I was worried about higher up though. Raccoons CAN climb, but I forgot about them reaching in.

    *sigh* ... sounds like nothing I can do will work well.

    Oh, and I WISH we had a TSC around here. Cheapest I can find is around $25, and most of the feed stores don't carry them at all.

    Hmmmm .... I might modify the run I am working on. I planned to make two of them and I can make one a coop. Will have to put something besides chicken wire on top in that case. And they won't be able to roost off the ground much if I do that. My runs are only 28" high. Guess I need to shop for a different wire so I can make them higher. I just need to do SOMEthing asap.

    Thanks though for reminding me about the raccoons doing that. I surely wouldn't want to find one or more of the girls in pieces, and I especially wouldn't want my daughter to find that.

    Wish I could just get a dog. [​IMG]

  6. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Ok, I think I may have it ...

    Maybe I can still use this design. Where the roosts are attached to the side, and thus where the chickens can get close to the wire in the upper areas, I can take a piece of hardware cloth and sew it with wire to the livestock panel, thus making a barrier that the raccoons couldn't reach through. If I make it about 2 foot square, maybe that will protect the chickens?

    I thought of some kind of baffle to keep the chickens further from the wire, or a solid piece to block them, like a square of plywood, but I think the hardware cloth will be most do-able ...

    Just posting in case anyone has a comment about whether this may work or not, or in case the idea will help someone else.

    Thanks everyone so much, for the input.

    Funny, my grandma's chickens had a roof and back wall, and that was it. Chickenwire run, no top. Few if any losses. But a hunting dog tied right next to the coop too. And lots of farm cats patrolling the area, and a couple of aggressive roos. Anyways ....

  7. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    You might want to think about an electric fence as well. That would save you some of the expense. They will keep dogs, coon and the like out.
  8. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks, Panner,

    I've seen those in a lot of designs but I guess I just don't know anything about them. I'll have to do some looking, if they can save me some money. As a matter of fact, the one I want to use shows an electric wire around the bottom.

    I thought they would be expensive to buy, and since the ground is often wet here I'm not sure if it can work.

    But if they don't cost so much, I'll check into it.

    Thanks very much,

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