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.
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.