No matter how much you love your fluffy feathered pets, the reality is that chickens are considered dinner for most of the other animals. Thus, you need to take steps to protect your hens, and it means picking the right wire for your chicken coop to keep your flocks in and the predators out. While there are a lot of different types of wire available for a chicken coop, we will discuss the most popular ones below –
½ Inch & 1 Inch Chicken Coop Wire
These are the most common type of wire fencing used for chicken are recognized by their hexagonal openings. These are available in many different sizes, but the ½ Inch & 1 Inch ones are best for chickens. Smaller varieties of chicken such as Ameraucana bantams, Silkies, Cochins, or Brahma chicks can easily pass through larger holes, or predators can enter the coop. Even pests like rats can easily fit through large holes. These are inexpensive, easy to cut and attach to the fence posts using screws or staples. However, it is important to remember that these wires are thin and can be pulled apart by strong predators. If you live in an area where there are not many carnivorous, these might be the best choice. But, if you live in areas with aggressive dogs, bears, or raccoons, these might not work well.
½ & ¼ Inch Hardware Cloth
Hardware cloth is popular among backyard chicken owners. Since these are quite sturdy and when installed correctly, they are hard for neighborhood dogs or other predators to cut through. These also do not stretch out, making it difficult for predators to fit through. Hardware cloth is available with different size openings, but ½ & ¼ inches are the best for chick coops. These are small enough to prevent backyard chickens from maneuvering through it, allowing them to remain inside. Predators will also find it difficult to stick their paws through these holes or even get a grip on the wires to rip them off. These not only protect your backyard chicken but also look good. However, these can be pretty expensive, especially if you are considering building a large chicken coop.
Plastic Chicken Wire
Chicken Wire Mesh
Coated or Uncoated Metal Wire
Most chicken wires come in two different varieties – either coated or uncoated. Coated chicken wire has a layer of plastic on the outside. It looks good, and makes it easier to free chicken if they do get stuck on them. They are also easier to install as you do not have to hold thin wire during the installation process. However, coated chicken wires are pretty expensive, and you need to decide if investing in a coated wire is worth it.
Screens are another option when it comes to covering your chicken coop. These are great for areas where there is fly or bug infestation as they can harm your chickens. Screens are made of thin wire and very easy to install. However, if they get torn or damaged, they can be difficult to fix. If your chickens are quite active or have other pets, you will notice that these will not last very long and will need to be replaced quite frequently. They will also not strong enough to stand up to unruly dogs and predators. These also are an expensive option, so it is best to compare them to the costs of other chicken wires available before making a decision.
Another option for your chicken coop is to put up poultry netting. These look exactly like hardware cloth but are made of plastic. These are perfect for keeping the hens from your vegetable garden but won’t be effective against predators. These can also look quite ugly, so it is best to opt for chicken wire or hardware cloth for your chicken coop. Now that you have a little idea about the different kinds of wire for chicken coop available in the market, you will be in a better position to pick the best depending on your needs, situation, and your budget.