Should You Use Chicken Wire or Hardware Cloth for Your DIY Chicken Coop?

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If you have chickens, ducks, or turkeys and want to keep them safe from predators, a durable coop is essential. Poultry netting and certain types of wire mesh can help safeguard your flock, but some materials work better than others. Here's what you should know about protective screens for your feathered friends.

Is Chicken Wire Good for Coops?

Based on its name, chicken wire seems like the obvious choice for a chicken coop. This hexagon-shaped mesh (also known as hex mesh or poultry netting) can be used for runs and coops, though it's not necessarily the best option.

Things to Consider Before Buying Chicken Wire

If your main goal is to keep your fowl contained, hex mesh should do the trick. It'll prevent your chickens from escaping your yard and ensure they remain safely in the coop.

Poultry netting is affordable and versatile, and it can even keep some predators at bay. Installing it over the top of the coop can prevent birds of prey like hawks from swooping in during the day and deter owls at night. If you bury chicken wire fencing deep enough, it can also safeguard your coop from possums and raccoons.

However, some animals may be able to find a way to enter. Depending on where you live, this could include coyotes, foxes, skunks, or snakes.

Since hex mesh is flexible and has relatively large openings, many predators can reach (or crawl or slither) through it or tear a large enough hole to gain access. Even smaller burrowers, like minks and weasels, might be able to fit through chicken wire weaves.

Why You Should Consider Hardware Cloth for Your Chicken Coop

If you'd rather be safe than sorry, you may want to use hardware cloth for your henhouse instead. Don't let the word "cloth" throw you off—the stainless steel material is incredibly sturdy and more like a panel than cloth.

How Hardware Cloth Stands Out

To secure your coop and keep your flock safe from curious pets and hungry predators, day or night, hardware cloth is the way to go.

Stainless steel wires are either woven or welded into a sturdy grid and then galvanized for an added layer of strength and weather resistance. Most importantly, these wire mesh sheets have much smaller holes than poultry netting.

Your best bet for a DIY chicken coop is to select a welded hardware cloth with openings no larger than a half-inch. Also, the thicker the wire diameter, the better, as animals will be less likely to bend, manipulate, and tear through the mesh.

With the right material, you'll have peace of mind knowing your chickens are protected from all angles. Diggers, flyers, slitherers, and crawlers are no match for welded, galvanized mesh.

Where to Buy Wire Mesh Materials for Chicken Coops

If you're ready to build a DIY chicken coop or fencing for your flock, TWP Inc. has all the materials you need. As one of the world's premier wire mesh suppliers, we've been providing DIYers with the highest-quality products since 1969.

Our women-owned company is a trusted resource for homeowners and commercial organizations alike. We carry an impressive selection of farming, gardening, pest control, and predator-proofing products. This includes stainless steel hex mesh, welded wire mesh, and galvanized hardware cloth in a broad range of wire diameters and opening sizes. We can accommodate custom orders too.

Order your materials today or contact us with any questions!

TWP Inc. would love to feature your completed project in our online gallery. Upload photos of your chicken coop to Instagram using the hashtag #TWPWireMesh.