Three Things to Consider Before Buying Chicken Wire

Keep those foxes out of the hen house by selecting the right fence for the job.

Kid looking at chickens through chicken wire.
Keep your feathered friends safe.Unsplash

Traditional chicken wire was invented in 1844 when Charles Barnard decided to apply the principles of cloth weaving to wire to produce simple, affordable fencing for his farmer dad. Since it was so handy for penning up poultry or other small livestock, it all came to be known as chicken wire or poultry mesh—but the specific product you need really depends on the job you want it to perform.

YARDGARD 308494B 2 X 150 Foot 2 Inch Mesh Poultry Netting, feet, Multicolor
Traditional chicken wire—great for easy, economical installation.YARDGARD

If you simply want to keep your critters contained, traditional poultry mesh is a simple solution. This metallic fencing consists of super flexible 18- or 20-gauge wire woven to produce hexagonal spaces between the wire twists. That design will keep poultry from escaping and protect from some predators under some circumstances. For example, a chicken wire roof will prevent hawks from attacking your flock in a run, and when buried, poultry mesh is a digging deterrent to keep would-be predators from entering the coop or run from below. Poultry mesh is also the fencing of choice for protecting gardens from roaming pets, lending extra support to things you build, and even creating elaborate sculptures.

Amagabeli 48x50 Hardware Cloth 1/2 Inch 19 Gauge Square Galvanized Chicken Wire Galvanizing After Welding Fence Mesh Roll Raised Garden Bed Plant Supports Poultry Netting Cage Snake Fence
Next-level predator protection for a cozy and safe hen house.Amagabeli Garden Home

Traditional chicken wire isn’t sufficient to keep predators out of the coop completely—especially at night when chickens are the most vulnerable to cunning foes like raccoons and opossums who can easily reach through poultry mesh or tear it apart. Instead, most chicken keepers turn to hardware cloth to keep their brood safe. This product has much smaller square holes—usually a half-inch or less in diameter—which will keep the flock locked up tight.

Amagabeli 48x100 Hardware Cloth 1/4 Inch Galvanized Welded Cage 23gauge Fence Mesh Roll Garden Plant Supports Poultry Netting Square Chicken Wire Snake Fencing Gopher Racoons Rabbit Pen Gutter Guard
You can also use this material to support raised planting beds.Amagabeli

Since hardware cloth is more expensive than chicken wire, you can combine the two for maximum function and economy. Install hardware cloth from the base of the coop to a height of about 3 feet. You should also use this sturdier product in window or vent openings or where there are trees or other features that could give predators a boost. Then, install simple poultry mesh for the rest of the coop, including the floor as a digging deterrent. Be sure to overlap the two products by several inches and carefully wire them together for a solid predator-proof hen house.

Also Consider:

Welded Wire 2x4 (6'x100')
This fencing is melded together for added strength.Wire Cloth Man
Tooca Hardware Cloth 1/4inch Chicken Wire Mesh, 46in x 25ft, 23 Gauge Hot-Dipped Galvanized Material, Fence Wire Mesh for Chicken Coop/Run/Cage/Pen/Vegetables Garden and Home Improvement Projects
This material won’t rust in foul weather.Tooca