Keeping chickens safe and secure is a top priority for any backyard chicken owner. That’s why proper fencing and wire are crucial when constructing a chicken run. Without it, predators can easily access your flock, causing injury or even death.
Additionally, if your chickens are free-ranging in your yard, you’ll need to protect plants and prevent them from wandering into the road or other hazardous areas. A well-constructed chicken run will also prevent unwanted visitors like raccoons, opossums, skunks, and even neighbor dogs from disturbing your flock.
The Different Types of Wire Available
There are several types of wire available for chicken runs, each with its own set of pros and cons. The most common types of wire used for chicken runs include welded wire mesh, chicken wire (poultry netting), and hardware cloth.
Welded wire mesh is made up of welded steel wires that create small square openings in the mesh. It’s durable and sturdy but may be more expensive than other options.
Chicken wire (poultry netting) is a lightweight option that’s easy to work with but may not provide enough protection from predators like raccoons or foxes because they can easily chew through it. Hardware cloth is made up of smaller gauge wires that are tightly woven together to create a more secure barrier against predators.
It’s also more expensive than chicken wire but offers better protection. When choosing which type of wire to use for your chicken run, consider factors such as cost, durability, ease of installation and maintenance as well as its ability to protect your chickens from predators.
Types of Wire
Welded Wire: For Sturdy & Durable Chicken Runs
When it comes to durability, welded wire is your best bet. It’s made by welding wires at their intersections, which gives it strength and makes it resistant to bending or breaking.
Welded wire comes in different sizes and gauges, so you can choose the thickness that works best for your needs. Its sturdiness makes it a great option for large chicken runs or outdoor enclosures that need to withstand harsh weather conditions.
However, because of its rigid construction, welded wire may not be the most flexible option if you’re planning on building a chicken run with unique shapes or curves. Another downside is that some predators may still be able to chew through welded wire if they are determined enough.
Chicken Wire: The Classic Choice
Chicken wire is a classic choice for backyard chicken enthusiasts because of its affordability and versatility. It’s made out of thin, galvanized steel wires twisted together in a hexagonal pattern, which creates a flexible netting that can conform to different shapes and sizes. The downside of chicken wire is its lack of durability compared to other options like welded wire or hardware cloth.
It can easily tear or break under pressure from predators like raccoons or dogs, making your chickens vulnerable. However, if you have a small garden coop with low predator risk and just need something affordable and easy to work with, then chicken wire may be the right fit for you.
Hardware Cloth: For Extra Protection Against Predators
Hardware cloth is made out of woven stainless steel wires that are tightly spaced together in small squares. This tight weave gives hardware cloth superior strength against predators compared to other types of mesh wiring.
Hardware cloth also has excellent flexibility so you can bend it into any shape needed for your coop or run. It’s also rust-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about it deteriorating over time.
The main downside of hardware cloth is its higher price point compared to other options. However, if you want the peace of mind that comes with extra protection against predators, then investing in hardware cloth may be worth it for you.
Choosing the Right Gauge and Size
When it comes to choosing wire for your chicken run, it’s important to consider the gauge and size of the wire. This factor can be crucial in keeping your chickens safe from predators or other potential dangers.
Explanation of what gauge means when it comes to wire
Gauge is a measurement that refers to the thickness of the wire used. The higher the gauge number, the thinner and more pliable the wire will be.
For example, a 14-gauge wire will be thicker than a 19-gauge wire. When selecting a gauge for your chicken run, you want to choose a thickness that is appropriate for your particular setup.
Recommended gauges for different types of chicken runs
The recommended gauge of wire for your chicken run will depend on several factors, including the size of your chickens and their level of activity. A larger chicken run with more active chickens may require a heavier gauge than a smaller run with more sedentary birds. A common recommendation is to use at least 16-gauge welded wire for small chicken runs or coops.
For larger runs or coops housing multiple birds, it’s best to use 14- or even 12-gauge welded wire. Alternatively, hardware cloth can also be used in place of welded wire, with 19-gauge being suitable for small runs and coops and thicker gauges such as 16- or 14-gauge being necessary for larger setups.
Choosing the right gauge and size of wire is an important consideration when creating a safe environment for your chickens. Make sure to select an appropriate thickness based on factors like run size and bird activity level.
Installation Tips and Tricks
How to Properly Install Wire in a Chicken Run
Installing wire in a chicken run can be a bit of a challenge, but taking the time to do it properly will ensure your chickens are safe from predators. The first step is to make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials. You’ll need wire cutters, pliers, staples, and of course, the wire you’ve chosen for your run.
It’s important to measure out the area you need to cover carefully so you can purchase the right amount of wire. Once you have everything ready, it’s time to start installing the wire.
Begin by stapling one end of the wire to a post or other sturdy object close to where you want it anchored. Then stretch it tightly across the area, making sure there are no gaps or sagging spots that could allow predators in.
Staple it securely along each post as you go until you reach the other side. Cut off any excess with your wire cutters.
Tips for Making Sure the Wire is Secure and Predator-Proof
It’s not enough just to install the wire – if it’s not predator-proof, your chickens are still at risk. Here are some tips for making sure your installation is secure: 1. Choose high-quality wire with small enough holes that predators can’t fit through.
2. Bury part of the bottom edge of the wire underground or secure it with landscape staples so animals can’t dig underneath. 3. Make sure there are no gaps or holes – even small ones – that could let in predators.
4. Check regularly for damage or wear and repair as needed. Predators like raccoons and foxes are clever at finding weak spots in fencing or chicken runs, so taking these precautions is essential for keeping them out and protecting your flock!
Keeping Your Wire Clean and Secure
Once you have installed wire in your chicken run, it’s important to keep it clean. Chickens are messy animals, and their droppings can quickly build up on the wire.
This buildup can attract bugs and other pests, which can damage the wire over time. The best way to clean your wire is with a high-pressure hose or power washer.
Spray the wire down thoroughly, making sure to remove all dirt and debris. You can also use a mild detergent solution if the dirt is particularly stubborn.
Common Issues with Wire and How to Fix Them
Wire is a durable material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear, but it’s not indestructible. Over time, you may notice that your wire has become damaged or weakened in certain areas. Common issues include rusting, holes or tears in the material, or loose wires that have come undone from their supports.
If you notice any of these issues with your wire, don’t panic! There are several easy fixes you can try before resorting to replacing the entire section of wire.
For rusted areas, try using a rust remover solution. Apply the solution liberally to any affected areas and let it sit for several hours before rinsing away with water.
If you have holes or tears in your wire, patch them up using chicken fencing repair tape or by attaching new pieces of wire using zip ties. If you notice that some of your wires have come loose from their supports over time (which is common due to weather), simply reattach them using pliers—no need for heavy machinery!
Throughout this article, we’ve discussed the importance of using quality wire for your chicken run and the different types available. We covered welded wire, chicken wire, and hardware cloth, each with their own pros and cons.
We also talked about choosing the right gauge and size for your specific needs and how to properly install the wire to ensure it’s predator-proof. We went over how to maintain the wire over time.
Investing in quality wire is a key factor in ensuring that your chickens are safe from predators. Not only does it provide a physical barrier to keep predators out, but it can also help prevent disease transmission through wild birds or other animals that may enter your chicken run. It’s important to remember that cheap or low-quality wire may save you money upfront but can ultimately lead to bigger problems down the line.
By investing in high-quality materials upfront, you can rest assured that your chickens are safe and secure. Remember: happy chickens lay more eggs!
So by investing in good-quality materials for their living space, you’ll not only be keeping them safe and healthy but also reaping the benefits of better egg production. Taking the time to research and invest in quality wire for your chicken run is an essential step towards ensuring both the safety and happiness of your feathered friends.