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What Is Chicken Wire?

Views: 280     Author: Vickey     Publish Time: 2023-11-17      Origin: Site

Charles Barnard, an English ironmonger, actually created chicken wire back in 1844. He resided in Norwich, a town known for its cloth-weaving industry. Using wire and the fundamental ideas of the fabric loom, he devised a quick, low-cost, and straightforward method for confining tiny animals and fowl to a single space.

These days, the majority of individuals utilize it to safely confine and pen their hens. We'll examine the benefits and drawbacks of utilizing chicken wire in this tutorial, as well as when it's acceptable and inappropriate.

What Is Chicken Wire?

If you are already familiar with chicken wire and understand how it differs from hardware cloth, you can skip this part.

As avian enthusiasts, we often associate chicken wire with poultry mesh; nevertheless, it has a multitude of purposes, ranging from reinforced wire mesh for crafts to chicken wire for use as a rock-fall barrier.

The thin, flexible wire that is woven into a hexagonal netting pattern is known as "chicken wire." This is why we chicken owners adore it, along with how simple it is to clip to the desired length. Many novice chicken keepers find it appealing because it is simple to use and reasonably priced.

When to Use Chicken Wire?

Always keep in mind that the main purpose of chicken wire is to keep chickens inside, not to keep predators out!

You should utilize it to safeguard your runs in specific situations. To accomplish this, the following presumptions are applied:

● Your coop is locked at night using raccoon-proof locks.

● You spend most of the day at home, keeping an eye on your coop.

● You can readily see the coop because it's not too far from your house.

Using chicken wire as an inside barrier in the coop or run area is one of its best uses. It can be used to introduce new flock members into the coop or run or to safely divide up the current flock.

Chicken wire works well for keeping them apart since you need something that will hold them apart without having to be extremely strong.

Additionally, I have made exhibition-quality little carry cages for bantam birds using it.

Some people cover the running area with it. It works wonders at discouraging hawks, but it won't keep climbers like raccoons out.

It can be used as a digging deterrent, according to what I've read. After laying the wire around the coop, fill it in with dirt and, if you'd like, grass seed. A predator will stop digging when it comes to the wire. There should be around three feet of wire sticking out from the coop.

Keeping hens out of your garden area is one of its best uses! Installing chicken wire around the parts of your yard you don't want the hens in is an easy way to prevent your veggies and flowers from meeting an unfortunate end—death at the hands of chickens.

Chicken Wire Fence Mesh 500-336-1

Why Opt for Chicken Wire?

Chicken wire's flexibility—which allows it to be easily molded and bent to meet your unique needs—is one of its main advantages. In addition, it is quite lightweight, making it simple to handle and install while maintaining long-term durability.

Chicken wire is an affordable choice for a variety of do-it-yourself and building jobs. It's especially useful for those on a tight budget. Its hexagonal shape also gives it support and strength, enabling it to hold its shape while under stress.

Chicken Wire Uses

Of course, the name "chicken wire" comes from its initial use: guarding chicken coops and containing birds, but its applications are far-reaching!


By keeping undesirable pests out of flower beds and vegetable gardens, chicken wire is a great fence material in the gardening and landscaping business. Additionally, it can be utilized to build trellises and plant supports, which give climbing plants a framework.


Plaster and concrete work are frequently reinforced with chicken wire. Through its ability to resist fracture and contribute strength, the wire will support the preservation of structural integrity.

3.Animal hutches

Chicken wire may be used to make hutches and runs for a variety of other animals and pets, much like it is for poultry houses. Whether you have budgies, guinea pigs, or rabbits, you can build an aviary or hutch that will keep your pets secure when they're outside.


Chicken wire can be used as an additional barrier to secure windows, doors, and other openings on your property if you need to take extra precautions to keep people safe.


Chicken wire has also been widely utilized for a range of art and do-it-yourself projects for people with a more artistic bent. The wire mesh can help stabilize artwork by enhancing its overall strength, particularly for sculptures.

Chicken WireFence meshHexagonal wire meshnet (5)

Substitutes for Chicken Wire

1.Hardware cloth

This is the "go-to" resource for maintaining the security and safety of your flock. It is made of welded steel and is available in different diameters, with half-inch mesh working best for hens.

Sure, it can get pricey, but there are a few tips that will help you use less wire overall.

Windows and vents are the locations where hardware cloth should always be used. Although these are typically somewhat small regions, weasels, raccoons, and other animals can easily target them. Hardware cloth should be used to cover any area of the coop that a predator could enter.

There are two ways you might cut costs if you have an enclosed run that needs to be covered in wire.

From the base to the three-foot mark, use hardware cloth. After that, you can put chicken wire at the three-foot mark. Ensure that the two meshes are wired together or that wood lathing is used to cover the join, and that there is a minimum 6-inch overlap.

If your coop is elevated above the ground, you can use chicken wire to expand outward from the coop to just below ground level; otherwise, hardware cloth is required.

You will save a good deal of money by doing this, but keep in mind that it is not impervious to predators.

Although animals are intelligent, they typically give up and look for a simpler meal when they come across hardware cloth.

2.Plastic chicken wire

For hens of different ages, this can serve as a barrier to keep them apart until they become acquainted with each other. It can also be used as run covering, but because it's easier to use and less expensive than plastic, you might as well cover the top with deer or bird netting. You may also use it to prevent your vegetable or flower garden from being invaded by hens.

Despite its hopeful advertising, it is fragile and quickly broken; therefore, it is useless for protecting hens from predators.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.How do wire and mesh differ from one another?

The wire gauge of chicken wire is finer and is braided together. For a stronger connection, the thicker gauge mesh is spot welded at the joints.

2.Will chicken wire keep out rodents?

No, mice, small rats, and voles will be able to get through the weave because of the mesh openings.

3.Will it corrode?

Yes, however, the speed at which you use it will vary depending on the situation. It has a roughly 5-year shelf life when applied dry.


Chicken wire isn't really that useful for keeping your flock safe and secure, despite its name. As we've seen, there are situations and locations where using chicken wire is appropriate.

Of course, you should use it if money is truly tight and you don't have any other options. Hardware cloth is the best line of defense.

As I previously indicated, I do have chicken wire in a few of my runs, but I also have additional security during the evenings, when the majority of predators are out hunting.

The most crucial aspect is making sure your coop is secured down and safe from predators during the night.

The important lesson here is that you should not depend on a single source to keep your flock safe!


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