Everything You Need to Know About Chicken Wire

Everything You Need to Know About Chicken Wire

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Chicken wire, also known as hexagonal wire netting, is quite a common fence material on farms, around vegetable gardens and in many other settings.

Let’s take a closer look at hexagonal wire netting (or chicken wire) and where you might want to use it in your own fencing projects.

Chicken Wire Vs Chain Link

The first thing we should look at as we explore hexagonal wire netting is the differences between this project and chain link mesh. While they are very different products, many people still confuse the two. Here’s what’s different:

  • Hexagonal wire netting is made from much lighter gauge, thinner wire than chain link mesh
  • Chain link has a rhombus or diamond-shaped aperture, while chicken wire has a hexagonal shape
  • Chicken wire is available in much lower heights and with much larger apertures
  • Chain link mesh is woven together, while hexagonal wire netting is twisted together

So, as you can see, while chain link mesh and hexagonal wire netting are similar, there are some very big differences. They’re definitely not interchangeable, but they’re both great at what they are designed for.

What Heights Does Chicken Wire Come In?

Because chicken wire is usually used for agricultural purposes, it isn’t available in as many heights as chain link mesh. However, there are a wide range of heights available off the shelf, including:

  • 600mm or about 2’
  • 900mm or about 3’
  • 1200mm or about 4’
  • 1500mm or about 5’
  • 1800mm or about 6’

For most agricultural applications – from building a chicken run to keeping the bunnies out of your vegetable patch, these heights are more than sufficient!

What Aperture Sizes Does Chicken Wire Come In?

Hexagonal wire netting is also available in a variety of aperture sizes, including about ½ an inch, 1 inch, 2 inch, 3 inch and 3 ½ inch.

It’s also available made from various wire thicknesses, and of course, while the thicker wire options are stronger and more durable, they are also more expensive because there’s more steel involved.

How Is Chicken Wire Used?

As the name suggests, one of the most common uses for chicken wire or hexagonal wire netting is in building chicken runs, but it can also be used for a variety of other small animals.

Hexagonal wire netting can also be used to give climbing plants something to grow on, and it is often used to keep small animals like rabbits out of vegetable gardens and similar. Although since rabbits are remarkable jumpers, you would need to add a roof to your veggie garden design!

Hexagonal wire netting has also become synonymous with rustic décor inside many homes, and it’s not unheard of to replace the glass panels in cabinet doors with some chicken wire!

That’s not the only uses for hexagonal wire netting either. At the other end of the spectrum, it’s often used to manufacture gabions for use in earthworks and industrial applications.

Chicken wire is also an excellent option for dog-proofing a fence in the short term. If you have an open-style fence and you’re just trying to keep small dogs or puppies in your yard, hexagonal wire netting is a cheap and easy-to-install option.

How Is Chicken Wire Installed?

Chicken wire has a thicker wire running across the top and bottom of the fabric that serves as a self-straining selvedge but also creates the smooth edge you need when you’re choosing fencing to use with animals.

It can be installed in many different ways, depending on what kind of posts or structure you have. Tie wire is one option, especially if you have tubular posts, T posts or Y sections. If you have wooden posts or a wooden structure, barbed staples or even nails bent over to catch the wire can work.

Where Can You Buy Chicken Wire?

Chicken wire is relatively easy to come by. Many hardware stores and agricultural supply stores carry a wide range of sizes.

If you need to buy a large quantity, you could also look for hexagonal wire netting manufacturers in your area, who can probably supply what you need at a better price.

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