Nov 16, 2012

Coop Security: Hardware Cloth vs Chicken Wire

Coop security, the differences between hardware cloth and chicken wire
Very early in my chicken-keeping adventures, I learned the hard way that there is a big difference between chicken wire and hardware cloth. I now understand that chicken wire is intended to keep chickens confined to an area, not to prevent predators from reaching chickens. My failure to appreciate the differences prior to constructing our first run was costly and my hope is that others can learn from my mistake.

I was no more than 5 weeks into chicken-keeping when I saw the hawk pictured above, peering in at my new pets. Feeling confident that my flock was locked safely in their run, I dashed to grab my camera to snap this shot. What I did not know at that time was that he had already reached through the chicken wire with his razor-sharp talons, taking the life of one of my 5 week old Silkies. We immediately reinforced the run with hardware cloth and no predator has breached our coops’ security since then.

When considering fencing options for the coop and run, as a general rule, the smaller the openings and the lower gauge the metal, the better security it will provide. This hawk was able to reach in through the large holes of the chicken wire to grasp the chick, a feat he would not have succeeded in had there been hardware cloth in place. Hardware cloth is more expensive than chicken wire, but  the initial investment is priceless given the heartache and financial losses it can ultimately prevent.

Chicken Wire
Chicken wire, also known as hex netting, is a twisted steel wire mesh with hexagonal openings that can be galvanized or PVC coated.
A hungry and determined predator,including but not limited to raccoons and some dogs, can tear through chicken wire with relative ease. It is not recommended as security fencing for chicken coops and runs.

Chicken wire is good for temporary structures to contain chickens, but will not deter predators
Temporary Chicken wire playpen for chicks
Chicken wire is very flexible and good for making temporary structures designed to keep  chickens confined, but it will not stop predators from gaining access to chickens.

Hardware Cloth
Hardware cloth is wire mesh that consists of either woven or welded wires in a square or rectangular grid that is available in galvanized, stainless steel and bare steel.2  It is manufactured from a stronger gauge metal than chicken wire, (the smaller the gauge, the stronger the mesh) making it a much better choice for flock protection. 1/2" to 1/4" galvanized hardware cloth is typically recommended for coops and chicken runs.
Galvanized steel, wire mesh hardware cloth 
 Hardware cloth keeps predators out, chicken wire does not
Hardware Cloth Installation Best Practices
1. Bury hardware cloth to deter diggers. To protect chickens from predators such as raccoons and dogs, hardware cloth should be buried at least 12 inches into the ground around the perimeter of the coop and run OR buried underneath the floor of the coop and run. 
Bury hardware cloth around the run to deter digging predators and pests
The digging predator that made this ditch was deterred by buried hardware cloth.

2. Cover all windows with hardware cloth.
Predator tried to access the chicken coop through the window
Had the window been open and no hardware cloth on the window, 
this predator would have had a free meal.

3. Secure hardware cloth with screws and washers. Staples are easily defeated by pushing or pulling.
Washers and screws should be used to secure welded wire on chicken coop

4. Seal all openings larger than one inch with hardware cloth. Minks and weasels can squeeze through very small openings and kill many chickens in a very short period of time.
White Crested Black Polish hen

Sources:
Both illustrations of chicken wire and hardware cloth are from meshdirect.co.uk
 The Chicken Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

167 comments :

  1. Janet Parish11/16/12, 10:10 PM

    I'd like to make a flexible fence around a large are for my chickens so they quit pooping on my porch, but the chickens fly. My mother said to cut their wing feathers back.  Have you heard about clipping chicken wings so they can't fly?  Please advice me of what to do..Thanks!

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  2. joely pentlow11/16/12, 10:49 PM

    Great information, thanks for posting this blog

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  3. Thanks for the great article on hardware cloth--I lost two quails...the hawk grabbed them one at a time through the chicken wire.  I was so sad.  Glad to know about this product.  Again, thank you for all the great info you provide us chicken lovers.

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  4. And, many animals, if their head can fit their body will too.

    Thanks for this post.  Will add this next 'layer' of protection for my ladies.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

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  5. Oh, those crafty raccoons...they tore right through my hardware cloth, too!!

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  6. I just love hand crafted Items, Thanks for the chance to have such a beautiful piece :)

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  7. I would love to win the wreath for my son who raises chickens :) Love you're page.... Really enjoy it :)  Plus The Chicken Chick sent me :) HUGS :)

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  8. I need to secure my window coverings with screws and washers, as you suggested. I used a staple gun and periodically have to restaple. I could stop the insanity with your idea! ;)  Would also love to win the wreath in this give-away! :D

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  9. thanks for the info,  we have trouble with raccoons and hawks, and have lost some of my favorite hens to them. 

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  10. Very informative. We've used a combination of chainlink, chicken wire, and hardware cloth for our Chick-a-traz. So far so good. The entire floor is hardware cloth. Then covered with soil  and such for them to scratch in. I love the wreath as well. I'm always on the hunt for chicken decor. This would look awesome on my kitchen door that leads into my chicken kitchen. :)

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  11. LOVE the wreath! Glad I found your store to shop thru now! :)

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  12. Wonderful pictures and information.  Would love to win the wreath with the Rooster on it.  Would make Christmas EXTRA SPECIAL!!!!!!

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  13. awesome blog, awesome give a way! :)

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  14. Good suggestions, I have had racoons rip through chicken wire & kill  several of my Silkies

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  15. Love the wreath would look so good on my front door!

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  16. Great info... I haven't started my flock yet, we're still looking for land to buy for our house, but once we get out in the county I'll be putting everything I've learned from reading your blog into practice :) - and that wreath is gorgeous!

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  17. Good information thank you, I have only had one brush with a predator last summer when a hawk tried to get at my youngest ladies (knock on wood), but it's good to know the difference

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  18. love to read you articles.and  your site

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  19. I LOVE your site, I've gained sooooo mush knowledge from you!  I'm new to backyard chickens (1 yr) so you've been very helpful as well as funny tidbits for a beginner like me. I'm gonna be re-inforcing my chicken wire this weekend, thanks for your advice!!!

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  20. June Strothenke11/17/12, 1:05 PM

    I've just found your page and can't wait to read through it. I'm a small hobby farmer located in Alaska's Interior. Loving life here with my animals and family. I'd love to be the recipient of the Rooster Wreath, very beautiful! Thank you for this opportunity. :)

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  21. Cindy Stoecker11/17/12, 1:20 PM

    Already love the "Country Craft House"  .....need this.  Thanks

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  22. TheChickenChick11/17/12, 1:22 PM

    The disadvantage to wing clipping is that chickens then have no defense against predators, they cannot fly to get out of the way quickly.

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  23. very informative article! Works just as well for grazer pens for rabbits too!

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  24. Love reading your articles. I have really learned a lot. The wreath is beautiful. Would love to hang it on my front door for the holidays or even all year round.

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  25. TheChickenChick11/17/12, 1:28 PM

    Hello June! Thanks for joining me here! Good luck in the giveaway!

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  26. TheChickenChick11/17/12, 1:28 PM

    Thanks so much, Deborah, I appreciate it! I'm happy to know that some of the info has been useful to you!

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  27. I have a friend who had a coon come from under the coop :( so before all of my chickens were able to go outside my father and i put together or coop with cora-plastic sheeting s. rain proof, heat durable sheets that i made the top half (nestboxings) and flooring with! my extention also has 3 walls made from in along with the flooring. ofc i have wire so they get a nice breeze to keep them cool on hot summer days. it came out very nice to say the lease! my babies are too important to me to loose i dont know what id do if someone got in to hurt them :(!

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  28. Love the wreath!  and all your great tips and ideas.  Have only had chickens for about 18 months--still learning!

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  29. I knew about hardware cloth vs. chicken wire, however, I love the clever trick on how to attach wire to the windows, much better than what I had done, thank you!

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  30. I have learned so much from your site!  I am into my first year, first experience with poultry ~ and am having a ball with all the new things I learn, almost daily. I would love to hang your wreath high on my garage where everyone riding down the road could see it!  Pick me, pick me, pick me!!! 

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  31. Love all the FB pages (just liked Country Craft House) we're learning about via the Chicken Chick - love the articles coming through my e-mail and through the blog.  So much to learn about my girls!!

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  32. Love reading your articles :) And that wreath is adorable !!!
    Fallon
    fld20@yahoo.com

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  33. Love your site! Thanks for the info!

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  34. Love your site! Thanks for the info!

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  35. You are the cutest! I love your stories and information, but most of all I love the pictures you post. Thanks...<3

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  36. You are sooo cute! I love reading your posts and your great ideas and advice, but most of all I love the pictures! Thanks for everything....

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  37. Thank you for the info. Too bad hardware cloth is harder to get in larger amounts.. And if you have to get it shipped, wow!

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  38. Thank goodness the only predator I have to worry about is my own dogs.

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  39. I think I learn something new every day from you, such good advice! I already am a "like" of  "Country Craft House", such cute items!

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  40. Great info!  Made the flock block, turned out great!  Only downside was it smelled so good and it was not for us to eat!

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  41. Your blogs are great.  I always learn so much!

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  42. Peggy Eiland11/17/12, 7:22 PM

    Thanks again. Lots of great info for anyone wanting to keep their flock as safe as possible.  

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  43. Love your wonderful blog - and this wreath is so awesome.  Pick me!  :-)

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  44. Hardwire is a must have must use item. Enjoy reading your articles.

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  45. Just found you!  Thank you for the first aid kit for chickens list.  Hardware cloth is the only way to go in my opinion.  

    Thank you for the opportunity to win the beautiful wreath.

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  46. Completing Step 2.  Love the wreath and the new page. :-)

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  47. No such thing as being too secure!
    Love the rooster wreath, too :-)

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  48. I want that wreath it's beautiful. Plus nothing really is safe

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  49. This article is perfectly timely as we are about to set up an outdoor coop and run for my 9 year old son's silkie pair.  The coop itself is wood and hardware cloth, but now I know I'll want to use hardware cloth for the run as well.  Thank you for potentially saving my son's sweet chickens!

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  50. My mom had one of her pheasants housed in a "chicken wire" pen when we were kids, and a raccoon just ripped that stuff apart like nothing.  Since then I get hardware cloth for any of my chicken penning needs!  Thanks for the great articles!

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  51. I agree - a determined predator will easily rip through chicken wire. I like the idea of the screws and washers for the windows - I used a bazillion staples but am going to add the screws and washers.

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  52. My husband and I enjoy reading your articles. We love our girls. I also have a pet black and white polish rooster named Einstein. The wreath would look great in  my kitchen.

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  53. So informative.

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  54. Wow! My husband and I have discussed raising chickens and goats. This has been a great help! Thanks for the info!

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  55. I so love that wreath with the Rooster on it! Would love to have it grace my home this Christmas season!  I have enjoyed the Country Craft House's page since I saw a post from Southern Life Beautiful.

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  56. Yay!  You give the best advice and I want to win.....honest I woulda said that about the advice either way, LOL

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  57. I like hardware cloth, but size is also important. I have used the 1/4" size and then came across some fencing/cloth that had 1" openings...good for some places. but not at the ground level or anywhere the coons, can reach in and grap a chick or hen and pull them close enough to kill or do damage....lesson learned!

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  58. I have use hardware cloth of differnet sizes. I use 1/4" openings for most things and I cam across a cloth/fence with 1" openings, but it is not good to use anywhere the racoon can reach into the coop and snatch a chick or hen and kill them or mangle them. Lesson learned.

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  59. the chicken chick sent me...love the items and information. gorgeous,genius idea's.
    so wish i was that creative. thanks
    nancy mantie

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  60. very informative ...love reading your articals...xoxox

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  61. Love the  rooster wreath, its very beautiful!!

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  62. Salome honeycutt11/18/12, 4:34 PM

    Thanks for another wonderful article.

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  63. This is a great article, learned a lot.  I love the rooster wreath, it would fit right in with my decor.

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  64. Good information!  We just had a hawk grab a little polish hen from right in front of me!

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  65. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:44 PM

    Oh no, Sara. I'm sorry to hear it. Hawks are the worst.

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  66. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:48 PM

    That's so nice to know, Kris. My pleasure. :)

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  67. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:49 PM

    Thank you LIsa!

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  68. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:53 PM

    Thanks Lisa. Actually, I buy mine from CSN Stores online (they have a new name but I can't recall it) and shipping is FREE! They have the best prices anywhere. I've ordered from them for years.

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  69. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:53 PM

    Thank you Debra!

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  70. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:55 PM

    Hi Stacy! Thanks for joining me here, it's nice to have you following. Best of luck in the giveaway!

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  71. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:55 PM

    You're very sweet, thank you Debra!

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  72. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:56 PM

    Thank you Linda and good luck in the drawing!

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  73. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:57 PM

    My pleasure, Victoria!

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  74. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:58 PM

    Thanks Donna!

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  75. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:58 PM

    I think we're all still learning, Lj, regardless of how long we have kept chickens there is always so much more to know!

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  76. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 5:59 PM

    Thanks Fallon and good luck!

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  77. TheChickenChick11/18/12, 6:00 PM

    Thanks so much, Deborah! I'm happy to know that your flock will be safer this weekend!

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  78. Thanks for the info. I have a hawk problem and have had to net the top of the chicken yard.  Unfortunately, my free range chickens are unable to free range unless we are out (working) in the yard.  Though many would disagree me, (in my neck of the woods) we could use an open season on them.  We have way too many hawks! They circle the chicken yard on a daily basis.

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  79. such great information. We just bought 2 acres in the country and are in the process of clearing, fencing and adding livestock. We plan on 20 chickens and a dozen goats. I'm so glad you wrote this,to save us from heartache and disaster. Our chickens will be eternally grateful.

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  80. Sorry to hear of your loss, but grateful that shared so that other chicken newbie and not so newbie could prevent the same from happening to them! Very informative, great read :)

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  81. Great info as always. I love this blog :-)

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  82. Good info! I need to get some and close up some small spots! I also would love to win the wreath to hang in my chicken coop,just started to decorate it for the girls!

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  83. Hardware cloth is all that stops the fox, coons, and hawls.  Kona is a good guard dog but, she can't be on 24/7.

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  84. I just had a juvinile coopers hawk in my yard last week! Didn't seem very afraid of me or the dogs. It has made me somewhat nervous that its looking for an "adult home".

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  85. I just had a juvinile coopers hawk visit my yard last week! It didn't seem very afraid of me or the dogs. I'm nervous that it is looking for an "adult home". Thanks for.the info.

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  86. I just had a juvinile coopers hawk in my yard last week! Didn't seem very afraid of me or the dogs. It has made me somewhat nervous that its looking for an "adult home".

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  87. TheChickenChick11/19/12, 9:16 AM

    Hi Lucy. I'm so happy to know that it helps! Thank you. ♥

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  88. TheChickenChick11/19/12, 9:18 AM

    Thank you Sarah!

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  89. Guess i am needing to invest in some hardware cloth. 

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  90. This is a great post Kathy. Thank you for sharing your experience and insight on such an important topic for backyard poultry keepers.  I am moving from a suburban setting into a rural setting within a few weeks and I will heed your advice.  Thanks again!

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  91. Happy Thanksgiving all! That wreath would look great on my front door =)

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  92. I don't have chickens yet, but will someday. I enjoy reading your blogs and FB posts because I have learned so much from you. Thank you for taking the time to share with us your wit and wisdome.

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  93. Thanks for pointing out Country Craft House!  I love crafting if I have extra cash (not often any more). I read your blog also~ part of the dream of an old lady (62) of getting a place to raise chickens.

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  94. You really give the best information on this site. thankyou so much! Any ideas on some good Christmas gifts i can get the chickens? 

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  95. TheChickenChick11/19/12, 10:19 PM

     Congratulations Kris! You have won the Country Craft House giveaway!
    Please email me with your mailing address. Thanks!
    Kathy@The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  96. TheChickenChick11/20/12, 10:28 PM

    I hope you're able to get them sooner rather than later, Debra. Thank you! ♥

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  97. TheChickenChick11/20/12, 10:32 PM

    Thank you, Heidi! Best wishes with your move for a smooth transition!

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  98. When I first moved in my neighbors had chickens.  My dogs, Alaskan Malamutes had never been exposed to them.  Several times they got into our yard and unfortunately my dogs learned quickly they where food.  I had to replace several chickens as they had a coop without an top inclosure and my dogs scaled the top and dropped in after getting loose.  I now have a 6ft fence instead of the 4ft that came with the house (they scaled with ease ) and my neighbors has reinforced their pen.

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  99. Makes me want to go out and check my coop. Thank you again

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  100. Mary Nickerson12/10/12, 10:38 PM

    Great info.Thank you for sharing.

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  101. Do you think that the wire over the window is fine enough? It looks to be 1" x 2".
    thanks

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  102. TheChickenChick12/19/12, 10:19 PM

    It's nice to hear of the cooperative effort of both of you to take responsibility for your own animals.

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  103. TheChickenChick12/19/12, 10:20 PM

    My pleasure, thank you Mary. :)

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  104. Part of winning the Brinsea overhead brooder lamp is to subscribe to the blog - I think I'm already subscribed via Facebook - under my regular email.  How do I figure this out!?

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  105. In the UK, we call it weld mesh ...

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  106. Lynette Lazenby4/8/13, 6:57 PM

    Thanks for the post! My son has 3 ducklings and we're getting ready to build a coop. We're starting with a large dog crate, but it needs to be racoon-proofed. Now I know what to get. Thanks for saving our little gals!

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  107. TheChickenChick4/8/13, 10:57 PM

    My pleasure. Enjoy your new pets!

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  108. We actually had something strong enough to put a gaping hole in our hardware cloth on our chick run but it soon gave up once it figured out that our chicks and ducks weren't going to be an easy meal that night. We patched it with additional wire and now have a motion activated security light that is triggered if anything moves around our chicken coop after dark. The best defense is a good offense.

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  109. Thank you for sharing your experiences! I was wondering, how thick should the string in the hardwear cloth be? Is 1mm enough if its galvanized?

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  110. We are new chicken parents and are two weeks from the chicks moving outdoors to the coop. My question is if we put 1/4 inch hardware cloth on the entire base of the run, do we also need to skirt around the perimeter? Thanks for any advice!

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  111. As long as digging predators cannot get into the run by digging under it, you don't.

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  112. When you bury the hardware cloth, what keeps it from rusting out very quickly?

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  113. I am a newbie and I was wondering if you have to put the hardware cloth on top of the entire area to prevent hawks etc. from getting in. I plant to have a large area and it would be quite costly to have it above the entire coop area. Would there be something else I could use to help keep the predators out?

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  114. TheChickenChick7/16/13, 7:21 PM

    It is galvanized steel.

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  115. Very very glad I read this article. I'm about to build a coop/run for our 4 ducks and was looking at designs and such. Now I know that hardware cloth will keep the coons out! Thanks a lot!

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  116. Btw, do you think that 19 gauge wire is good enough for coons? Thanks

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  117. Brittany Kellum Joyner7/29/13, 2:39 PM

    Thank you so much for this! People have told me I'm a liar that my coop never has had a breach but I also use hardware cloth! It has amazing strength and really makes it impossible to get in! All my feathered friends are happy and healthy with many thanks to hardware cloth!

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  118. TheChickenChick8/2/13, 4:31 PM

    Good for you, Brittany! Keep up the good work.

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  119. I love this post, We used chicken wire all over with hardware cloth around the sides at bottom and into the ground, learned from our mistake with just chicken wire at first:( I have heard that if you use wire as a bottom to the pen even with a few inches of dirt over it, when the chickens scratch they can cut feet, our new pen will just have wire down 12 inches and bent out 6 more inch..Love your blogs, learn so much!

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  120. YolkyDokeyChicksandEggs8/27/13, 11:26 AM

    I have heard that if you use electric fence wire (without the electric to it) and string it across the area your chickens forage in, it deters hawks because they can see the it and can't swoop to procure the chicken

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  121. We have just built our hen house.... you can walk inside down a corridor and have 2 pens for our guineas and chickens (assorted bantams and larger chickens). I'm new to this.... the pens inside our coop are of just chicken wire, but the windows and doors have hardware cloth. Do I need to reinforce the inside chicken wire with additional hardware cloth? ALSO..... we are now constructing our outside pens, and will dig down and place the hardware cloth about a foot down. Should we curve it an additional few inches as a poster mentioned below? BUT, my biggest question is this. Living in the woods..... I was thinking that my plan is not perhaps as safe as I would like. I was going to put hardware cloth not only under the ground a foot or so, but going up the sides of the walls about 3 feet. I'd like the run to be about 6' high, so that we can walk freely, and am considering chicken wire, or deer fencing of sorts, with wider holes from 3' off the ground to the roof..... is that a bad thought? Do I really need to completely hardware cloth the entire pen? I was going to use aviary netting as a roof.... what's your thoughts on that? Sorry for all the questions..... I am SO confused. Your sight has been a blessing for us, but just need a little bit more clarification. THANK YOU !!!!

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  122. TheChickenChick8/28/13, 10:17 PM

    Where you put hardware cloth will depend on how secure you want your coop and run. Raccoons can rip through chicken wire and aviary netting.

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  123. Earl Finnegan10/1/13, 12:43 PM

    I recently installed some chicken wire fencing in Calgary. It's easy to do, but is sturdy enough to last.

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  124. Anna @ Backyard Chicken Lady10/5/13, 10:51 PM

    Kathy, how do you protect your flock from hawks when you are free-ranging them? We have hawks and buzzards here so I haven't yet let them out of their totally enclosed run. I know they would love to explore beyond those walls and I could use an electric fence to contain them and keep coyotes away, but the overhead predators scare me too much. Any advice?

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  125. TheChickenChick10/8/13, 12:49 AM

    I haven't found anything that adequately deters hawks, Anna. I wish I could say that the gimmicks such as the owl decoy and hanging shiny things work, but they don't.

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  126. We've had chickens for seven years and our run is chicken wire. This is the first year we have ever had rats. A lot of people around here are saying the same thing. They dig tunnels all over. We buried over a foot of hardware cloth around the perimeter. Last night something made a big hole through the chicken wire. We had a dead hen this morning and one missing that showed up tonight. Not sure if it was a raccoon or our dog trying to get the rat but we spent all day covering the run with hardware cloth. Hopefully that will solve the problem. Funny how we lasted so long without any problems.

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  127. TheChickenChick11/11/13, 8:54 PM

    Sorry for your loss, Laura. Predators are a funny thing- you never know which one is going to strike when, so it's best to prepare for all of them in anticipation of any of them.

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  128. I have been having issues securing my coop lately. I had no idea chicken wire was not to keep predators out!! Lesson learned. Thank you so much for all the brilliant info : )

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  129. I have been studying the problem since I am working on how to best set up my large coop there are some good ideas on this page http://voices.yahoo.com/keeping-hawks-away-chickens-7003038.html?cat=7 I like the purple martin gourd house idea they are very large and eat harmful insects. Protecting the flock is not just one thing but layered defenses. As for providing cover for free ranging do you think thorny berry bushes like blackberries would work or would the chickens be harmed by them. I am still trying to decide how many birds I will need. I want to supply a local market with organic eggs. My grandmothers who taught me about chickens are gone sadly so I am unsure about a flock size. Physically I need to be able to care for them I was thinking of starting with 36 and then growing to 100. I was at the PA farm show in 2013 and was told I needed 1000 birds to be an organic egg producer. I said I appreciate your advice , but I cannot feasibly care for 1000 hens in one day. He said then you won't make any money. Hmm well ok I amnot doing it solely for the money.. I know I will be attached to my girls and want to know them all very well to know when something changes in behavior. Sorry this is so long, but I really could use some advice on flock sizes. I will have a building coop and several areas of yard that are fenced and covered but I would like them to have some free ranging as scratch yards get depleted too fast and my grandmothers said to let them have options of free ranging when you are not going to be away from the house.You can call them in with a treat bucket anytime you need to get them into the coops and yards for safety.Her oldest hens just did what she told them near the end. SHe had 4 girls left all spoiled. They told me not to worry about killing hens that this yearly thing men do is not good for chickens find my best layers and trade out the ones who need to be and as a last recourse the local butcher for some(egg eaters), but most die of old age as they felt they had earned their life of riley by producing for those years.

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  130. To make burying the hardware cloth easier, and a bit more stable, we first attach it to 2x4's and then bury it.

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  131. TheChickenChick3/17/14, 10:41 AM

    Great idea, Jennifer!

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  132. I heard that the best way to train a chicken-dog (dog who goes after chickens) where once they used to get rid/shoot them, is to tie the dead chicken they killed around their neck and make them live with it as it rotted for a week. They wouldnt do it again.

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  133. Angel Fogle Jack4/7/14, 3:22 PM

    Very helpful information! We are going to be building our chicken coop in the next several weeks since our chicks are getting to the point of breaking out of my indoor brooder and was just talking to my husband about what we should use. Thank you! I always know to come here for my answers to questions and once again, you nailed it! :D

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  134. Cary Miller-Simpson4/28/14, 3:35 PM

    I am in the Process of trying to find the BEST fencing for my chicken yard.

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  135. I'm replacing my rusted out poultry netting that I buried into the ground around our coop five years ago. Should I buy the PVC/Vinyl coated hardware cloth? Won't the galvanized wire eventually rust? Is 19 gauge sufficient or should I go with 16? Thanks so much for all your information!

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  139. I would love to hear a bit more about how to work with hardware cloth! I bought a roll of it, but it's so tightly coiled I can't seem to flatten it out! Any tips/tricks? Thanks!!

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  140. Great post! Learned much needed information - thanks!

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  141. I have seen both poly hardware cloth and regular hardware cloth. Do you know if one is a lot better than the other? The poly one seems strong, but I'm wondering if something could chew through it.
    Thank you!

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  142. Am new at this chicken raising so am deciding upon the how-to fencing for the run and always end up at this site. Love my beautiful birds and want to keep them safe and happy. Thank you everyone for your help, advice and encouragement along the way.

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  143. It has been very nice to read your writing, very glad to see this

    Clipping Path

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  144. Great blog. I am getting ready to build my coop/run and have been stressing over how to protect the chickens. I was going to bury chicken wire under the coop and run, but I'm glad I saw this entry about the Hardware cloth. I feel much more confident that I can keep the ladies safe. Thanks!

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  145. Bryan J. Maloney7/29/14, 12:48 PM

    I've found that burying mesh does not deter raccoons if you have sandy soil. They will dig down then pull up on anything flexible until they manage to see bottom, then they dig some more--even 12 inches buried. I recommend digging a trench 2 feet deep and wrap the edge of the mesh around rebar, lay the rebar down in the trench, and pour concrete over it. Or you could line it with something rigid, such as cinderblock. Then permanently attach the flexible mesh to the cinderblock with sleeve anchors and washers.

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  146. I see that you reinforce the bottom of your run with hardware cloth but I would like to know what you recommend for the rest of the run wire. Thanks

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  147. Nice article on coop safety. I have probably spent the past three years coming up with ways to tighten security around the coop. Each year some new predator appears. The first was a snow weasel which made it's way in through a 1/4 inch opening. The second was a coyote who decided to stake out my yard, and lastly I had the pleasure of meeting a fisher cat. On each encounter I lost a bird. I will agree that the hardware material is by far better and more secure then chicken wire. I live in a rural community where predators are finding there way to quick meals. I recently removed the run portion of my chicken tractor and built a 12 x 12 run which consisted of 1/2 inch hardware material. I feel a lot better knowing that the girls are safe in there. I buried the wire as far down as I could, but I also ran wire from where the wire wall panel met the ground and then out to 4 feet. It might be a little overkill. I hope people who are new to the hobby of backyard chickens read this before building or buying an enclosure for their birds. I am not a fan of the chicken tractor because of too many gaps in the design. We learned the hard way. Thanks again for your article.

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  148. Roll it the other way

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  149. Three nights ago, I lost my 8 silkies. We had used 1/2 inch hardware cloth and it was actually chewed through and areas shredded. We are shocked by the destruction, assuming it was raccoons. No signs of digging, the run which is extremely heavy was moved 2 1/2 feet. Are there any other predators that could have done this?? We are looking at options for an electric fence.

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  150. Hi! How to i subscribe to emails?? Am i missing something?? I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I learn so much from you! My chickens are so happy because of everything i read here! <3<3<3 Never stop this blog!

    ReplyDelete
  151. I sent you an email, Christina. Now all you have to do is confirm the email subscription request and you're entered!

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  152. Thank you for all your wonderful information. We started our chicken adventure in July and love the birds. Last night a raccoon breached our barn and killed Gigi, a gorgeous Polish Bantam; Tootsie, a regal silkie rooster; and Daisy, a sweet white version of your Rachel. I have 3 hens left and it is sad. What reputable hatchery would you recommend? My flock was a rescue from a lady that purchased them without checking zoning and had to give them up. My husband and I took on the challenge of raising the chickens and have enjoyed them immensely. The 6 birds were hatched in March of this year in California. All the girls are/were laying eggs.

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  153. Thank you, what an awesome job you have done, I now have you as one of my favorites!

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