Chicken Coops: Hardware Cloth or Chicken Wire?

Chicken Wire 220

When building a coop it can be fun using scrap materials, brainstorming ways to be creative, and save money. But all to often where you scrimped ends up costing you more later. One decision you might make for example, is to choose chicken wire for your flock’s enclosure. It’s cheap and easy to handle, but I think in the long run you’ll find it wasn’t at all worth saving those few pennies.

Image result for chicken wire

First of all, chicken wire is NOT predator proof. There are countless animals who can chew right through the stuff. Secondly, if you’re penny wise, you certainly aren’t going to fancy wasting expensive chicken feed.
Wild birds are the biggest culprit in feed waste. One little sparrow might not eat much, but that tiny sparrow will soon bring 100’s of friends who will devour 3 pounds or more in just one afternoon! These little guys can fit through the holes in chicken wire, not only costing you money, but they’ll poop everywhere. I think we can both agree, we don’t need any more cleaning added to the chore list!

I’ve said this before, but it’s just plain smarter to build everything right the first time! Use hardware cloth on chicken coops, and enclosures.  It’s stronger, and an extra perk is it’s tidy appearance.  The ends can be finished nicely, it doesn’t bend making your coop look like a train wreck as time goes by.


The peace of mind knowing your chickens are safe is so worth it. You’ll pay a little more for hardware cloth, but by keeping wild birds out, you’ll save money on feed!

You’ll find hardware cloth at Home Depot or similar building supply stores. Check your local feed stores too, sometimes they’ll sell by the foot so you don’t have to buy more than you need.

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Warm Climate Chicken Enclosure Ideas

Solutions for Housing Urban Chickens in Moderate to Hot Climates

Thinking out of the box when it comes to housing chickens goes hand in hand when raising chickens.  The coop we choose seems fine at first, but it usually ends up being too small and flimsy. Keeping chickens in hot climates is tricky business, and when confined to small quarters, let’s just say the story doesn’t end well.

Expansions can be costly, and that’s when those creative wheels start turning. Maybe you didn’t buy smart the first time, or, you’re still looking for that perfect set-up. Whichever, here’s a  suggestion that will give your backyard chickens some space to spread their wings…

Lowes Enclosure

Your chickens will need a structure inside the pen for shelter and privacy. A new or used dog house is suitable and easily found on Craigslist. You can raise the dog house simply by using 4 cinder blocks. Put a few nest boxes in the dog house, and a few in the open pen, providing a cooler spot for hens who are laying on those really hot days.

For occasional rain, Home Depot carries this roofing material. It’s also available in vinyl, and comes in red, green, and white. You won’t be replacing this roof or enclosure anytime soon, which makes both a good investment.

roofing

Pick a shady spot under a tree for this set-up, and near a water source for convenience.

Remember, shade and airflow is the key to your chicken’s survival in desert regions. Cover the sides of their pen with shade cloth, the sun moves, so you’ll need to protect them from exposure throughout the entire day. Never use tarps, save that idea for winter.

Something to Consider…

If you should ever decide raising chickens is not for you. This structure will still be useful, even if it’s just for the re-sale value. Traditional put-together coops usually end up costing $500 or more when it’s all said and done… then are pretty much worthless after 3 years.

Silkie Chicken Coop

This is one of my Phoenix, Arizona chicken set-ups for bantams. It measures 6x10x6ft high. Purchased for $199 at  Home Depot. It houses 4 broody hens who have to option to roam free, but seldom do.

Note:
This set-up is recommended for urban backyard locations where the threat of predators is minimal.