When planning for the fence of your coop, it is important that you know the most basic rule when it comes to security, the openings should be as small as possible and the metal should have a lower gauge. When making the coop, a hardware cloth may prove to be more expensive compared to the wires but it will be an investment since you will be spared any losses.
What is a chicken wire?
Chicken Wire or Hex Netting is a twisted wire mesh which is made of steel. The openings are designed in a hexagonal pattern and the material is either PVC coated or galvanized. These can be easily tear down by any determine predator such as hawks and raccoons. If you are deciding on materials to use on your coops and runs that prioritizes security then this is not an ideal option. The only advantage of this material is that it is flexible and cheaper if your goal is just to make sure that the chickens are confined inside.
What is a hardware cloth?
Hardware Cloth is a welded or woven wire mesh that is formed into a grid, either rectangular or square shaped. This is available in stainless, galvanized and bare steel. The gauge metal used in the production of the hardware cloth is stronger compared to a chicken wire which follows the principle that a smaller gauge means a stronger mesh. This is an ideal choice if you wanted security and protection for your flocks. For coops and runs, the one-half and one-fourth inch is ideal dimensions.
When installing the hardware cloth, it should be buried at least 12 inches below the ground to make sure no digging can easily tear down the security. The burying of the cloth will deter any digging predators. The windows of the coop must be wrapped in hardware cloth because once it if left open then any predators will be able to reach into the flock. When installing, use washers and screws to secure the material. Staples are not recommended because it can be easily taken off. Any large opening (1 inch or more) should be covered with the hardware cloth.