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The Fence Post

Safer Mesh for Chickens

April 24, 2019 | by Joe Morrell

Chicken in profile

Night of the Fisher Cat
Our first set of chickens were thrashed by what looked like the work of a head-hunting fisher cat--an odd type here in suburban New England. Our chickens, tragically named after Jane Austen characters, came to disastrous ends--four of them were left headless and scattered indiscriminately, while the other four had vanished. One imagines the fisher cat family sitting snugly at table.  

A Sleepy Possum

Ordinary chicken wire has its uses; but here, it was not the best choice. Soon our newly acquired replacement chickens were visited by a very respectable possum who bunked in the cozy chicken cubicles, less tempted by eggs but rather by the shelter and soft strawy beds. Imagine scanning past the cubicles, checking for eggs and finding a possum snoozing next door to a seemingly oblivious chicken. Chicken wire boasts flexibility, yes, but is highly susceptible to rust, is hardly rodent or small animal-proof, while strong animals can shred it. As is often said, chicken wire is more for keeping chickens in than for keeping predators out. However, It can work well in areas devoid of predators or on the top of a pen in warmer climates to keep airborne hunters at bay.

chickens in coop

Strong choice--1/2 inch, 19 gauge wire

More pricey than chicken wire--though if you add in the resulting security of your flock--it's less expensive. 1/2 inch welded wire is the safe, strong option. While being more difficult to cut than chicken wire, it keeps out a wide variety of predators and should be used on all openings, such as vents and windows, of the coop. Sized right to keep smaller predators from reaching in, 1/2 inch, 19 gauge wire mesh is certainly the stronger choice. It can be bent by hand and at the same time it holds its shape well. Bury it 8-12 inches with a curve outward from the coop at the bottom. Vinyl coated hardware cloth is a great way to avoid rust.

Keeps out larger animals, such as:

  • dogs
  • coyotes 
  • foxes 

And smaller ones:

  • possums
  • snakes
  • mice and rats
  • weasels
  • fisher cats

The Hardware Cloth Solution

1/2" x 1/2" mesh, 19 gauge galvanized after weld (abbreviated generally by GAW) wire mesh and fence is commonly known as hardware cloth. Molten zinc is applied after the 19 gauge wire is welded into a 1/2" x 1/2" mesh. Here the workhorse zinc covers the entire wire cloth mesh, completely sealing it for protection against corrosion and rust--particularly crucial are the vulnerable welded areas which benefit greatly from this zinc bath. This guarantees that 19 gauge 1/2" x 1/2" mesh will be assured of a long life and being of lighter weight and strength it ends up costing less than the thicker 16 gauge 1/2 x 1/2 mesh. It's great for enclosing small animals or keeping out rodents, gophers, and other nuisance animals. This also can be used for economical flooring for game birds while 16 gauge is also recommended. Keep in mind that availability may be an issue and that this is a material that requires special ordering. Louis Page can help with all those particulars.  

As you can see cutting this mesh takes some strength and some helpful tools... 

 

or here's a video with a good option... 

 

Aviary Netting   

Ominously, predators don't just come from the ground and sides, but also from above. In thinking about a covering for your chicken run, consider thinking about aviary netting. Louis Page stocks a great netting that is extremely tough and can cope with snow load if you live in a cold climate.

Aviary Netting

 

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Topics: wire mesh, welded wire mesh, galvanized after, GAW, 1/2" mesh

Gopher Problem? Try This!

September 23, 2014 | by Duncan Page

gophers

Preventing a Takeover

Gophers are highly destructive animals. They live in burrows and like to eat many of the plants that people have in their gardens and yards. If a family of gophers takes up residence in your yard, you could quickly find your lawn taken over by gopher mounds and tunnels. It is easy enough to kill or capture gophers once they arrive, but it would be greatly preferable to keep them out in the first place.

gopher holes

Gopher Dilemmas

Gophers can cause a number of problems. The aesthetic damage to your landscaping is just the beginning. Gophers also eat garden plants like carrots, lettuce, and radishes. Gophers also carry dangerous diseases like rabies. They have sharp teeth, and like any other animal, they can be dangerous when they feel threatened. Worst of all, gophers make holes in your yard; these holes are a trip hazard for children, elderly individuals or well, anybody. Before you know it, a child could have a sprained ankle. An older person could end up with a broken ankle, wrist or hip.There are several solutions to gopher problems to choose from, depending on your needs, preferences, and budget.

Plants that Repel

Gophers have a rather adventurous palate, but there are some plants that they do not really care for. If you plant these species at the perimeter of your property, you could make your yard a less attractive area to gophers. For example, alliums, from the onion family are very pungent and are repellent to gophers. Some varieties of alliums are also very beautiful; however, remember these plants must surround what you want to protect. Consult the plant experts at your local nursery for advice on choosing other gopher-repelling plants.

Setting Traps

There are many reasons that trapping gophers may be preferable to killing them outright. Gopher traps allow you to rid your yard of gophers easily and humanely.

Possibly Poison

Poison is quite effective at killing gophers, but there are serious concerns surrounding its use. The poisons that are effective against gophers could also be harmful to children, pets or livestock. If you can be certain that none of these will be in danger of ingesting the poison, it may still be a good solution, provided you have some way to dispose of the dead gophers.

Fence Gophers Out 

Fencing is a very effective tool for keeping gophers out of your yard.  What kind of wire mesh do you need? To keep the gophers out, choose wire mesh fencing with no more than ½-inch openings. Gophers are burrowing animals, so the fence should extend at least 18 inches below the surface. Because it will be highly susceptible to corrosion, choose galvanized steel or vinyl coated fence wire. If your yard is already populated by gophers, you will need to use one of the other methods to get rid of the gophers once you install the fence; otherwise, you could end up with a gopher sanctuary.

A Safe Haven

No matter what solution you choose, keeping gophers out will make your property a safer place that is better looking or more productive. It takes a lot of time and energy to maintain a healthy yard; do not let gophers ruin your hard work. Choose the solution that works for you and get rid of these uninvited guests before they ruin the party.

gopher

Hardware Cloth

 

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Topics: gopher fence, vinyl coated wire, galvanized, 1/2" mesh

Wire Mesh for Holiday Projects

December 3, 2010 | by Frank Langone

Christmas, Easter, Halloween and beyond

Do you need a lightweight wire mesh for making different seasonal holiday projects?

wire mesh vinyl coated hex netting

Very handy--Vinyl Coated Hex Netting Wire Mesh

Consider vinyl coated hex netting wire mesh. It is available in 1" mesh. Rolls are 150' long and come in heights from 12" to 84". 24", 36" and 48" widths are also available in 50' rolls. For maximum height, if needed, 90" comes in 100' rolls.

wire mesh vinyl coated hardware cloth

Lightweight Hardware Cloth Wire Mesh

If you want smaller openings, you can use 1/2" and 1/4" wire mesh products. Also known as hardware cloth, these meshes come in both galvanized and vinyl coated finishes. Galvanized rolls in both mesh sizes are available in 24", 36" and 48" widths in either 50' or 100' long rolls. Vinyl coated rolls are only 100' in length. 1/2" mesh is also available in 60" and 72" x 100' rolls in both galvanized and vinyl coated finish.

Both Hex netting and hardware cloth meshes are:

  • durable
  • lightweight
  • easy to cut
  • easy to handle
  • perfect for outdoor use
  • easy to work with when making different shapes and forms

There are other mesh sizes and wire gauges available in galvanized or vinyl coated finishes for cage making and other projects.

What types of projects can you think of that could use any of these meshes?

Here's a video to get your creative juices flowing:

 

lack of interest in the cornstalk snow fence concept led staff to pursue a more permanent green fencing solution.
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Topics: wire mesh, 1" mesh, 1/2" mesh, hex mesh

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