Written By
Published Sep. 20, 2021

Gardeners and homesteaders alike can benefit from chicken wire, whether it’s for building a chicken coop or protecting their plants from animals. Traditionally used to contain poultry, chicken wire is a type of mesh wiring that is now used in farming, gardening, crafting, and even construction. 

With so many options on the market, choosing chicken wire can be overwhelming. We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best chicken wire for your project and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best chicken wire, and explore our curated picks for the best options on the market.

How We Picked the Products

Methodology

While it’s easy to assume that all chicken wire offers similar performance, a number of factors affect its functionality. Several years of experience covering home and gardening as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed over 20 types of chicken wire and weighed a number of practical considerations when making our recommendations.

  • Material: Traditionally, chicken wire was made from galvanized steel, which is durable, flexible, and relatively easy to cut down to size, depending on the gauge. Today, lots of chicken wire is made from plastic, which has its own advantages. It’s cheaper, easy to cut, and won’t rust or corrode. We considered metal and plastic options for our recommendations. 
  • Gauge: Chicken wire comes in a range of gauges or thicknesses, going from about 19 gauge (which is 1 mm wide) to 22 gauge (0.7 mm wide).
  • Gap Size: Chicken wire features square, rectangular, or hexagonal gaps between the wire, which are typically 0.5, 1, or 2 inches wide. Chicken wire with larger gaps may not be able to keep out small animals like meadow mice. For most uses, we recommend chicken wire with 1-inch gaps or smaller.
  • Roll Size: Chicken wire is generally sold by the roll, with roll lengths varying from 5 feet to 150 feet or more. Roll heights vary from 2 to 6 feet. When calculating the value of our recommended picks, we took roll size into consideration.

The Best Chicken Wire: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: Amagabeli 48×50 Hardware Cloth

Hefty Hardware Cloth

With 19-gauge wire made from galvanized steel, this hardware cloth works well for protecting your garden or your chicken coop.
AMAGABELI GARDEN & HOME

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: Amagabeli’s hardware cloth is a versatile pick because of its heavy gauge, small openings, and galvanized steel construction. 

Specs:

  • Type: Hardware cloth
  • Material: Galvanized steel
  • Openings: 0.5 inches

Pros:

  • Galvanized for optimal durability
  • Rust resistant
  • Small openings protect plants and animals from predators

Cons:

  • Difficult to cut

Amagabeli’s hardware cloth is a great all-around pick that’s equally useful for protecting plant life and livestock alike. It’s constructed with heavy 19-gauge galvanized steel that’s strong enough to keep predators away from your flock and keep your chickens contained in their coop, run, or chicken tractor. It’s also suitable for protecting raised beds, shrubs, and trees from wildlife. The weave has small, 0.5-inch openings so tiny critters won’t be able to make their way into your garden. 

Since the material is galvanized after welding, it’s rust resistant and the welded areas are less prone to breakage. It features a double zinc coating for added protection from the elements. 

Each roll is 48 inches tall and shoppers can choose from a 50- or 100-foot roll length depending on the project they have in mind. That said, due to its thick gauge, the wire may be difficult to cut and tricky to unroll.

Best Value: BSTOOL Chicken Wire

Perfect for Small Projects

The 1-inch openings and galvanized wire construction of this affordable chicken wire make it perfect for gardening.
BSTOOL

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: BSTOOL’s traditional chicken wire comes at an affordable price that will suit your crafting or gardening project. 

Specs:

  • Type: Traditional 
  • Material: Galvanized wire
  • Openings: 1-inch

Pros:

  • Galvanized construction
  • Mini wire-cutting pliers included
  • Great value

Cons:

  • Small quantity
  • Won’t deter large predators

BSTOOL’s affordable chicken wire is a great choice for small gardening and crafting projects. When used in the garden, the 1-inch hexagonal openings will keep all but the smallest creatures away from your plants. It’s thin and flexible with a 0.6-millimeter diameter, and as an added bonus you’ll also get a pair of mini wire-cutting pliers. 

In terms of crafts, consider using this chicken wire for papier-mâché, DIY picture frames, floral arrangements, hanging holiday decorations, and more.  

Every purchase comes with three sheets of chicken wire, each of which measures 13.7 by 40 inches for a total length of 10 feet. Considering the small quantity, it’s not the best choice for building an entire chicken enclosure. If you do decide to use it for a chicken coop, take note that the thin gauge likely isn’t strong enough to keep animals at bay.

Best for Deterring Predators: FOXIVO Hardware Cloth

Strong and Sturdy

FOXIVO’s Hardware Cloth will keep your chickens safe from predators because of its heavy-gauge wiring and small openings. FOXIVO

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: With a galvanized steel construction and 19-gauge wiring, this chicken wire will keep your chickens safe. 

Specs:

  • Type: Hardware cloth
  • Material: Galvanized steel
  • Openings: 0.5 inches

Pros:

  • Galvanized for optimal durability
  • Rust resistant
  • Small openings protect plants and animals from predators

Cons:

  • Difficult to cut

To protect your chickens from predators, you need something more sturdy than standard chicken wire. Hardware cloth is much more durable and keeps animals like foxes, snakes, hawks, raccoons, and rabbits from entering the coop. This hardware mesh from FOXIVO has thick 19-gauge wiring with 0.5-inch holes that will prevent even the smallest animals from sneaking in to steal eggs. 

The wire is galvanized after it’s welded with a double zinc coating, meaning that the joints are protected against rust. Each roll measures 48 inches tall and is available in either 40- or 100-foot lengths. 

While this product is primarily marketed for use in chicken coops and runs, it’s also an excellent supply for gardening. Because of its strength, it will keep determined animals away from your raised beds and garden beds. When cutting this material down to size, be sure to protect your hands with cut-resistant gloves to avoid injuries. 

Best for Gardens: BOEN Poultry hex Netting

Plastic Protection

This nontoxic plastic poultry netting has a hexagonal design and small openings that make it ideal for gardens. BOEN

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: BOEN’s Poultry Netting is constructed from nontoxic, rust-resistant plastic with 0.75-inch openings, making it a great choice for protecting your plants. 

Specs:

  • Type: Poultry netting
  • Material: Plastic
  • Openings: 0.75 inches

Pros:

  • Weather-resistant
  • Won’t rust
  • Long-lasting

Cons:

  • Won’t deter large animals

When it comes to keeping your precious plants safe from pests, chicken wire is a must-have. Local wildlife will do just about anything to get their paws on your carefully tended fruits and vegetables, so you’ll need a strategy to protect them. Chicken wire can be used to surround raised beds or in-ground garden beds and is also beneficial for winterizing small trees and shrubs. 

This plastic poultry netting from BOEN is flexible and easy to work with, making it our top pick for gardeners. It has 0.75-inch hexagonal openings that will prevent all but the tiniest creatures from accessing your plants. 

While chicken wire is generally made from metal, plastic versions have a number of advantages. Though it may seem counterintuitive, plastic is actually more durable for outdoor use since it won’t be impacted by moisture. And plastic chicken wire is much easier to cut down than metal. Choose from three roll sizes: 2 by 25 feet, 3 by 25 feet, and 4 by 50 feet.

Best for Chickens: YARDGARD Mesh Poultry Netting

Great for Chicken Containment

With 20-gauge galvanized wire and 1-inch openings, this traditional chicken wire works well for keeping chickens in their coop. YARDGARD

Check Price

Why It Made The Cut: Light, flexible, and easy to work with, this traditional chicken wire from YARDGARD is perfect for confining your chickens to their coop or run. 

Specs:

  • Type: Traditional
  • Material: Galvanized steel
  • Openings: 1-inch

Pros:

  • Galvanized for optimal durability
  • Lightweight construction
  • 1-inch openings

Cons:

  • 12-inch roll height
  • Won’t keep predators out

If predators aren’t an issue in your region, your chicken coop or run may not require heavy-gauge hardware cloth. If you simply need your chicken wire to keep your flock contained to a specific part of your property, consider this product from YARDGARD. This traditional-style netting is made from slightly thinner 20-gauge galvanized wire that’s flexible and easy to work with. Along with containing chicken, geese, ducks, and other fowl, it can also be used for outdoor rabbit or guinea pig enclosures. Gardeners will appreciate how lightweight and versatile it is for protecting plants, trees, and shrubs from pests. 

The roll is 12 inches high and 150 feet long. Due to its short height, it may not be suitable for all projects and additional framing may be necessary. While this product is primarily designed for containing chickens and other small animals, it’s also suitable for a number of different crafting and DIY projects. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Chicken Wire

Keep the following things in mind when shopping for chicken wire for your garden or homestead.

Intended Use

  • Pest Control: Many gardeners use chicken wire to protect their plants from pests. To keep out animals that dig—like groundhogs—you’ll have to insert the chicken wire at least 6 inches into the ground. 
  • Confining poultry: Chicken wire secures your chicken run, keeping your poultry in a contained area on your property. 
  • Deterring predators: Backyard chicken coops are often targeted by predators like foxes, raccoons, hawks, and snakes, depending on where you live. To keep predators out of a chicken coop, choose welded wire chicken wire, which is strong enough to keep most animals at bay.

Type

Chicken wire can be broken down into three categories: traditional, welded wire, and netting. 

  • Traditional chicken wire is made from thin metal woven to create hexagonal holes. While it works well for confining chickens to their run, it’s no match for hungry predators.
  • Welded wire—also known as hardware cloth—is strong and rust resistant. It’s sturdy enough to keep wild animals out of a chicken coop and can be buried without corroding over time. 
  • Poultry netting is made from plastic and is ideal for protecting gardens and keeping chickens confined but won’t keep predators out of coops.

FAQs

Q: How high should chicken wire be around a garden?

A 2-to-3-foot-high fence should be tall enough to prevent rabbits, squirrels, groundhogs, snakes, possums, and skunks out of your garden. If you’re trying to keep deer at bay, you’ll need a fence that’s 6 or 7 feet tall.

Q: What’s the best chicken wire for chicken runs?

Choose a heavy-gauge chicken wire made from galvanized steel that is strong enough to keep predators out of the coop. Make sure the gap size is small enough that small animals can’t get in and chicks can’t get out.

Q: What is chicken wire used for?

Chicken wire is primarily used for containing poultry in their coops but is also popular with gardeners for protecting their plants from pests. It’s also frequently used in the construction industry for reinforcing concrete and can be part of arts and crafts projects like making papier-mâché sculptures.

Final Thoughts

These recommendations for the best chicken wire for your next project cover a variety of types and styles to best suit your needs. The Amagabeli 48×50 Hardware Cloth is our top pick because of its sturdy construction and heavy-gauge wiring, while our recommended choice for those on a budget is the BSTOOL Chicken Wire because of its flexibility and affordable price.

MORE TO READ