Keeping chickens in a residential backyard is an increasingly popular choice for many Australians. It's a great way to have your own supply of freshly laid eggs and to enjoy the lively and engaging personalities of chickens as pets. If you're planning to get some chickens for your home, then you may be planning to build them a small coop and enclosure yourself.
Many people choose to line the walls of the enclosure with chicken wire. While this is an inexpensive option, it isn't always the most secure choice. Chicken wire is lightweight and fairly flimsy and doesn't provide much protection against a determined predator like a fox or feral dog or cat.
A sturdier and safer option is to use woven wire mesh. This works in the same way as chicken wire but is more solid and stronger. Here are the two key features to look for when choosing woven wire mesh for your new chicken enclosure.
1. Made of stainless steel
The best material choice for your chicken enclosure's woven wire mesh is stainless steel. This durable and strong material will last for many years without becoming rusted or corroded. This is important for a chicken enclosure because of its outdoor location and exposure to the elements.
Stainless steel is also a hygienic and low-maintenance option. It's easy to clean and is non-porous, which is why it's commonly used for surfaces in the food industry, medical industry and manufacturing industries. A simple hose down with cold water is all the cleaning that's required and you should never use harsh, corrosive cleaning products on stainless steel.
2. Uses a square mesh weave
Woven wire mesh comes in a fairly wide range of weaves. The most practical weave for a chicken enclosure is a square mesh weave. The wires are woven in a classic over and under pattern, leaving small, exactly sized squares between the wires. If you're concerned about small predators such as snakes or rats, make sure the weave is tight enough to prevent access.
This weave is ideal because it provides great security but still allows plenty of air and light to enter into the chicken enclosure. It's also very strong, and can't be prised apart like welded mesh because of the interwoven wires.
To find out more about woven wire mesh, contact your local steel mesh manufacturer. They can help you to choose the right weave size to ensure that your chickens will be safe and secure in their new enclosure.