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The Fence Post

How To Build A Wire Mesh Outdoor Cat Cage

March 10, 2013 | by Terry Struck

Close Up Photo of White and Brown Feline 

Did you know that an outdoor cat has an average life expectancy of two to five years, while an indoor cat can live for 15 years or more?

Avoiding Visits to the Vet

I have four cats and it can be a little overwhelming at times. So they go outside a few hours a day. But as it turns out there are many dangers not only from cars but also from raccoons, coyotes, foxes, and even other cats. And with these dangers can come very expensive vet bills. Believe me, I know! One of my cats got into a fight with something and had an abscess that had to be lanced - $450! And because we didn’t know what bit her she was quarantined inside for 6 months just in case of rabies.

Innovation for Kitty

I just happened to have an old metal shed frame, that didn’t have a tarp anymore. So I bought some inexpensive chicken wire and started wrapping. I left one end open and remembered to not have any sharp edges. I made a door for me to get in and out using PVC piping also wrapped with chicken wire and strapped with safety ties. When I was done building the cage I moved it up against a back window and cut a kitty door in the window screen. I also added Plexiglas to keep out most of the cold in the winter. I used a tall cat condo so they could get up and down from the window and also use it as a scratching post. Now add some toys and maybe a catwalk and they are back to chasing the bugs and everyone is safe.

Gray Tabby Cat Lying on White Surface

Practical Ideas  

This was a very inexpensive quick solution for me but not everyone has an old frame lying around. So here are some ideas:

    • The wire fencing material that you use depends on the look, your budget, and the difficulty of working with the material.
    • Chicken wire is easily bent around piping whereas a heavier mesh would be great for the wood panels.
    • Vinyl-coated black is less noticeable, more attractive, and will last for many pets to come.
    • There are a wide variety of welded wire gauges and mesh openings to choose from. Choose by the size of your pet and what you’re trying to keep out. 1” x 2”, 1” x 1” meshes in 14 and 16 gauges are good choices to eliminate predators.
    • PVC piping can be used to make panels all the way around. You can have them cut to any size and fasten them together with glue and safety ties. There is also a PVC primer that can be used for welding pieces.
    • Pressure-treated 1” x 3” strapping can be used, wider if making large panels. Sandwich the fence in between and staple or nail the strapping together, using the same method for the top and door.

Gray Cat

Your cats will now have the best of both worlds. And no more expensive vet bills. You can leave the money in your wallet!

Terry     Terry

Welded Wire Mesh

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Topics: wire mesh, cat cage, panels, black vinyl coated, chicken wire

How Do You Make Art Out Of Chicken Wire?

October 1, 2012 | by Duncan Page

Sculptures Made with Chicken Wire?

There are many different uses for chicken wire. It is much more versatile than you might expect. Here, a unique practice is crafting the hexagonal netting into sculptured works of art. Ivan Lovatt, a sculptor from Australia, has created a stunning collection of artwork. Using galvanized chicken wire, he has made representations of both people and wildlife. A bust of John Lennon? Bring it on. This type of chicken wire is moldable with a neutral yet characteristic sheen. The small, light gauge mesh allows him to bend, fold, crease, and cut the mesh into its final shape. The result is an amazingly life-like rendition. Take a look at this video and see what you think:


A Wide Variety of Applications

The most common specifications of chicken wire available are made using 20 gauge wire woven into 1" or 2" hexagonal mesh. Other types available are ½" x 22 gauge, 1" x 18 gauge, and 1½ x 17 gauge.

Finishes available are: galvanized before weave (GBW), galvanized after weave (GAW), PVC vinyl coated (VC), and stainless steel. Not all specifications are available in all finishes.

This fencing material is ideal for use around the home, farm, and in industrial applications - any place where a lighter weight mesh can be used. Here are some conventional uses:

  • deer fence
  • craft projects
  • stucco netting
  • window guards
  • game bird flight pens
  • garden perimeter fence
  • tree and shrub protection
  • holding insulation in place
  • exclusion barriers for birds
  • chicken runs and poultry houses
  • trellis for climbing plants & flowers
  • backing mesh for post and rail fence
  • framework for sculpture and float decorations

Yep, not just for chickens!

How many different ways can you think of using chicken wire? Have you tried using it that way?

Duncan PageDuncan Page signature

 P.S. See the finished bust of John Lennon here.

Chicken Wire

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Topics: hex netting, galvanized, vinyl coated, chicken wire

How To Install A Wire Fence In Your Garden - Video

January 19, 2012 | by Duncan Page

Blocking those Bunnies

This video shows you how to protect your garden by installing a wire fence. This is a good example of a garden fence that will keep rabbits at bay, with your plants safe and secure for a long time.


Did you find this video helpful?  Here's another gardening blog that will help you protect your plantings.

Click me

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Topics: woven wire, garden fence, vinyl coated wire, how to, chicken wire

Chicken Wire Fabrication - Video

January 26, 2011 | by Duncan Page

Chicken Wire in Production   

The video below shows how chicken wire mesh is woven. You can see how the wires are twisted together to make a hexagonal opening. Chicken wire is also known as poultry netting or hexagonal netting.


The Continuous Weave Creates Inherent Strength

This particular machine is weaving mesh used in making gabions. Although the mesh is larger (3") and the wires used are heavier (11 gauge and heavier) than the chicken wire you can buy at your local store, the manufacturing process is similar.

There is one difference. This machine is doing continuous weave -  the twisted wires run in the same direction the entire length of the twist. Chicken wire available in stores is made with a reverse twist - the twist switches direction (reverses itself) halfway through the length of the twist. Continuous weave is inherently stronger than reverse twist. Good to know.

Is this the first time you have seen a loom weaving chicken wire?

Hexagonal Netting

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Topics: woven wire, hex netting, poultry netting, chicken wire

How To Build A Chicken Wire Pen - video

January 15, 2011 | by Duncan Page

Building it Yourself

This helpful video shows you one way of building a chicken wire run.


Chicken Wire Pulled Tight  

Stop Replacing Wire 

You can use black vinyl coated 1" hexagonal chicken wire for the added benefits of a longer-lasting product--reducing the cost, frequency, and hassle of replacement--plus a more attractive pen. The black coating of the wire makes the fence virtually invisible. You can see your birds through the fence more easily.

Do you have other ideas or suggestions about building a chicken run using chicken wire?

Chicken Wire


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Topics: hex netting, black vinyl coated, galv after, chicken wire

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