What is the Best Wire for a Chicken Run?

Swipe to the left

What Is the Best Wire for a Chicken Run?

If you have chickens, you know how crucial it is to give them space to roam around in the fresh air. Of course, you want to ensure they can't escape during this free time while also keeping them safe from curious pets or lurking predators.

A chicken run provides a necessary enclosure, though not all are created equal. If you're thinking of making one yourself, you might be wondering, Can I use wire for a chicken run, and if so, what's the best type to use? Wire mesh sheets are ideal for fencing in your flock, but not just any wire mesh.

The Best Material for a Chicken Run Fence

Wire mesh can be used to safeguard your flock, but some metals and weaves are more suitable than others. 

Chicken wire (also referred to as hex mesh) can work for chicken runs and coops. This type of wire mesh is made of thin, malleable steel wires and woven with hexagonal openings, usually an inch or more in diameter.

If your primary goal is merely to contain your flock, hex mesh should suffice. It'll keep your chickens from escaping while allowing them to get plenty of exercise, fresh air, and sunlight. Plus, the material is affordable, easy to use, and can keep smaller predators and pests at bay.

What to Consider Before Choosing Your Mesh Material

When you install mesh over the top of your chicken run, it might deter hawks, owls, and other birds of prey from swooping in, day and night. Also, if you bury hex mesh fencing deep enough into the ground, it may help keep possums and other digging rodents out.

However, while hex mesh might be the most obvious choice, it's not always the best option—especially if you're trying to exclude larger, more vicious predators. When designing a predator-proof chicken run, you'll want to use sturdier mesh, as the notably thin wires of poultry netting can be torn or gnawed open.

In the end, hexagonal chicken wire is typically better suited for things like garden fences, tomato cages, and greenhouses.

Hardware Cloth for Chicken Runs

Are there foxes, coyotes, skunks, weasels, or snakes in your area? If so, you'll want to use something a bit more robust than standard poultry netting for your chicken run, such as hardware cloth.

Fabricated from thick metal wires with small openings no greater than a half-inch, it's designed to resist bending, tearing, and manipulation. In other words, slitherers, diggers, swoopers, and creepy crawlers are no match for this exceedingly sturdy material.

How Galvanized Hardware Cloth Stands Out

This type of wire mesh is made of stainless steel wires, which are welded into a non-flexible grid. The material is galvanized in molten zinc to create a resilient alloy coating for additional weather resistance and strength.

The all-weather wire mesh panels are extremely durable and long-lasting. Most importantly, the openings are small enough to prevent hungry lurkers from crawling, slithering, or reaching into your chicken run.

Chicken Wire Mesh from TWP Inc.

With the right wire mesh products, you can have peace of mind knowing your beloved birds are protected from all angles, even when stretching their legs in the chicken run. As one of the top wire mesh suppliers in the world, TWP Inc. has all the materials you need to start this DIY project.

Our woman-owned company has been supplying industrial-grade wire mesh for over 50 years. We carry a wide range of products, including several types of galvanized hardware cloth and welded wire mesh.

Order your chicken run wire mesh today, or get in touch with us with any questions about our materials!

Want to see your finished project featured in our online gallery? Upload pictures of your chicken run to Instagram using the hashtag #TWPWireMesh.