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Chicken Fencing vs Chicken Wire

Choosing between chicken wire and chicken fencing is one of the first steps in getting your new hens set up in their new home. Both products focus on keeping your chickens safe within their new home and some online retailer such as have a top selection you can choose from. Our guide explores the key features of chicken wire vs chicken fencing, to help you decide which is right for you and your flock.

What is chicken wire?

Chicken wire is a type of wire mesh, most typically made from steel that is used to pen in chickens. The wire is thin and flexible, with the steel formed into hexagonal gaps that can vary in size. As well as using chicken wire for your flock, many people put it to other uses in their backyard. From creating pens for small animals, to protecting your plants, it can be used for a variety of tasks in the garden.

What is chicken fencing?

Chicken fencing does the same job as chicken wire, however it is more durable, and far easier to install. The fencing allows you to chicken-proof your garden, whilst easily giving your hens space to roam. Made from stronger materials, such as aluminium and polypropylene. You’ll also find chicken fencing tends to be higher than traditional wire solutions.

Chicken wire vs chicken fencing: 3 key differences

Designed to perform the same job in slightly different ways, there are 3 key differences when comparing chicken wire vs chicken fencing. These are what to look out for:

  • Height – Although they can’t get very high, chickens can fly and so it’s important to have a garden solution that they cannot escape. Chicken fencing is designed to be higher than chicken wire, meaning your hens will be prevented from flying away!
  • Durability – Chicken wire and fencing tend to be made from different materials, which is the main feature that sets them apart. The wire is most commonly made of steel, whilst fencing can be made from sturdier plastic materials.
  • Ease of use – Chicken fencing is designed in a way that ensures it doesn’t tangle, and comes with easy to install poles so you have your hens roaming in no time. Whilst chicken wire is fine and can easily get in a mess which you’ll have to untangle. You may also have to attach it yourself to wooden poles.

Is poultry netting the same as chicken wire?

Poultry netting is another name for chicken wire, and is used to pen hens into their chicken coop. For an extra level of protection for your chickens, you can choose an electric poultry fence that will deter predators. We would however still recommend taking further precautions as well as this to ensure your flock is safe.

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Are chicken wire & chicken fencing predator proof?

If you’re raising a flock you want to keep them protected from pesky chicken predators. Unfortunately, whilst chicken wire is excellent at keeping your grown hens in – it’s not quite as good at keeping predators out. The hexagons within the wire allow effortless access for racoons and snakes, as well as being big enough for baby chicks to escape. Whilst the thin nature of the steel can be easily chewed through by larger predators, such as foxes.

Like chicken wire, chicken fencing is also not designed to be predator-proof – rather it’s sole purpose is to expand the space your hens are in. Whilst your flock are roaming around the space given by their fence, you’ll want to keep an eye for predators as they may still be able to chew through the netting. A walk in chicken run will provide greater protection from predators if you need to take your eye off the hens.

Which lasts longer: chicken wire vs chicken fencing

As it is made from thin steel, chicken wire is prone to rust and corrosion. This means you’ll find it only lasts up to 5 years, with you needing to replace it frequently. Those who live in a wet climate, with moist soil will find it rusts quicker than those in drier climates.

As it is made from more durable materials, chicken fencing is likely to last longer than traditional chicken wire. This means you won’t find the need to replace it quite so often. The fence is also far more stiff that ensures it doesn’t tangle in the same way as chicken wire, which also helps to extend its longevity.

How many types of wire fencing are there for chickens?

Chicken wire can come in a variety of metals, but galvanized steel versions provide the best strength and durability. As with choosing between different chicken coops, you’ll want to find the perfect wire for your hens. You’ll also find that the wire comes in different diameters, choosing a higher gauge will make it more difficult for animals to gnaw through the chicken wire. You may also wish to consider the size of the hexagons the wire creates, as ones that are too large will be easier for small chicks, and predators to slip through.

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