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The Fence Post

A Cage for Your Rabbit

March 27, 2020 | by Joe Morrell

Cage Ideas to Keep Your Bunny Healthy3 bunnies in welded wire cage

Creating a Space with Wire Mesh

Your bunny's health depends on sturdy galvanized wire mesh. The right gauge and openings are critical for airflow, hygiene, and the safety of bunny's paws and more. To begin, the cage should be at least 4 times the size of your bunny. Two feet by three feet for a bunny that weighs up to eight pounds; for larger bunnies, cages should be two and a half feet by three feet at least.  The height of the cage should be ample enough so that your pet can stand up on its hind legs and stretch out. 

Recommended for sides and top of cage: 14 gauge, 2" x 1" galvanized wire mesh

An Unappealing Truth

A big drawback for your pet's health is the flooring materials. Waste and urine contamination of flooring materials, particularly a pen using straw, is a poisonous combination for your bunny. Prolonged interaction with pellets and urine can bring difficulties such as parasites and the resulting ammonia and contact with puddling urine is toxic. 

Flooring: A Good Option

It seems that a mix of flooring is the best option, though studies show that bunnies seem to prefer clean and dry wire, spending most of their time on the wire mesh part of the cage. Therefore, a section of the cage's floor should be plexiglas (or another surface that can't be chewed) and the other half wire mesh so waste pellets can drop through. Do not be misled to think that these docile creatures are easy to keep and can simply stay in their cages. Your rabbit needs out-of-cage time or its muscles will atrophy. The best times to target outside or house play is when bunny is most naturally active--in the early morning and at dusk.  

Bunnies that stay in their cages too long suffer from:
  • their feet becoming inflamed
  • thinning of bones which means they are broken more easily
  • a weakened heart, and as a result, poor muscle tone
  • difficulties with urination and difficulty defecating
  • troubling behaviors--chewing the cage, lethargy, chewing its own fur, becoming aggressive

Recommended for flooring: 14 gauge (or 16 gauge for smaller breeds), 1/2" x 1" galvanized wire mesh

A Very Practical Concern

It is very important to consider the wider needs of your pet rabbit. In a natural habitat, much of a bunny's day is spent in retreat in a burrow underground. Hence, for a domesticated rabbit, security is a priority and quite rightly, this is something that is up to you to provide consistently. During out-of-cage time, if you let your bunny roam in an enclosed space outside, make sure that there is protection from predators as just the approach of a strange animal can overwhelm a bunny that has no means of escape, with the ensuing panic possibly causing a heart attack. 

Rabbits on grass with wire cage surround 

 

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Topics: welded wire mesh, galvanized after, rabbit wire

Should I Build or Buy a Pre-Built Rabbit Cage?

December 5, 2019 | by Debbie Page

Rabbit behind mesh cage

Safe Enclosures for your Rabbits

Safety is the most important priority when building and buying rabbit cages. We specifically sell and recommend materials that keep rabbits safe. This article includes information on ready-made rabbit cages shipped from Pennsylvania. It also includes two materials that are safe for building your own rabbit cages from scratch: 1. Baby Saver and 2. Welded Wire Mesh.

DIY Rabbit Cage Materials for Customizing Rabbit Cages

The Baby Saver or Protecting Your Kit

Baby Saver wire is designed specifically for protecting kits (baby rabbits) in rabbit cages. Unlike standard welded wire mesh which has a 1” x 2” mesh for the entire width, this wire mesh has a ½” x 1” mesh for the bottom 4” which prevents kits from falling or being pulled through the cage.

Even though baby saver wire is more expensive than the standard wire used for rabbit cages, the cost is more than worth it to prevent the loss of kits. After all, what good is a rabbit cage if it does not protect the kits?

Baby saver is welded from 14 gauge wire and is available in both GAW (Galvanized After Weld) and GBW (Galvanized Before Weld) finish. The GAW wire will last far longer than the GBW. After the welding process the mesh is drawn through a bath of molten zinc. The weld spots and wires are thoroughly protected from rust and corrosion. Although more expensive initially, you will save the expense and hassle of replacement.

Dimensions and Planning

Rolls are 18” x 100’. The bottom 4” has a mesh opening of ½” x 1” and the top 14” has a mesh opening of 1” x 2”. It is made of 14 gauge galvanized steel wire for strength and security.

Protect your kits from untimely death by choosing baby saver wire so you and your rabbits can enjoy peace of mind! Your Mama rabbits will thank you!

Welded Wire Mesh in All Sizes

Although Baby Saver is specified for rabbit cages, there are other options. You can get creative and use what is generally known as welded wire mesh. Welded wire mesh can be used to make rabbit cages and hutches in all shapes in sizes. In other words, you can customize your cages in any way you want. Welded wire mesh in the 16 gauge, 1/2" x 1" is the ideal mesh size to use for flooring. Widths available - 12", 15", 18", 24", 30", 36", 48", 60" and 72". Galvanized After Weld finish is recommended due to its ability to stand up to the corrosive effects of rabbit urine. The 14 gauge, 1" x 2" mesh is the perfect size for the sides and top. Galvanized Before Weld wire can be used for these panels to save money, if needed. These products will keep your rabbits (and other small animals) safe and secure.

Remember that domesticated rabbits have lost some of their ability to cope with life outside and it is preferable that they are kept indoors. A hutch left outside is vulnerable to attack by predators; for example, a raccoon can reach in and do damage. It also must be noted that simply the approach of a predator can cause a heart attack as a rabbit has no capacity to run or hide.  

If you have other animals, other meshes are also available that can be used to make cages and pens for larger animals such as:

  • apron fence for beagle training pens
  • woven diamond mesh and 2" x 4" mesh for horses
  • woven deer and wildlife fence

Be sure to Check the Louis Page website for sourcing a huge variety of animal enclosures.

Rabbit Wire

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Topics: welded wire mesh, cages, baby saver, galvanized after, GAW

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

Understanding Wire Gauges Used In Welded Wire & Woven Wire Mesh & Fence

January 15, 2019 | by Duncan Page

micrometer measures wire gauges

 

The Definition of Wire Gauge

Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines wire gauge as any of various systems consisting of a series of standard sizes used in describing the diameter of wire.

It all starts with heavy coils of large diameter wire called rod made in a rolling mill. The rod is then shipped to a wire manufacturing mill. To make the wire used in wire fence and mesh, single strands are "drawn" through a series of increasingly smaller dies or plates and reduced to a specific gauge/diameter. The gauge is determined by the wire's final use - single strand wire, welded wire mesh or woven wire fence. Heating of the wire is not required in the drawing process.

Wire Gauges Over Time

There have been several different gauge designations since this process was introduced. Numbers have been used to designate wire diameter since 1735. They originally referred to the number of draws used in the process. The first draw was called 1 gauge, the second 2 gauge, the third 3 gauge, on down to the final draw of the thinnest wire being made. This is why thick wires have a lower gauge number than thin wires. 9 gauge wire is thicker than 14 gauge because it requires fewer "draws" than 14 gauge.

The Birmingham Wire Gauge, also known as the Stubs Iron Wire Gauge, was originally developed in early 19th-century England as a means of standardizing gauge sizes. It has been used in a medical setting (needles) since the early 20th century. In 1855, Brown and Sharpe established a formula-based progression of 39 steps - from 1 gauge through 40 gauge. This is now known as the American Wire Gauge and is used extensively in the United States.

Common Wire Gauges

The following values show in inches the most common gauges of wires used in welded and woven wire mesh and fence:

  •  8.5 gauge - 0.155 inch
  •  9 gauge - 0.1483 inch
  • 10.5 gauge - 0.128 inch
  • 11 gauge - 0.1205 inch
  • 12.5 gauge - 0.099 inch
  • 14 gauge - 0.080 inch
  • 16 gauge - 0.0625 inch
  • 18 gauge - 0.0475 inch
  • 20 gauge - 0.0348 inch
  • 21 gauge - 0.0317 inch
  • 23 gauge - 0.0258 inch
  • 27 gauge - 0.0173 inch

There are many different combinations of wire gauge and mesh size manufactured. You can select the right product for the requirements of your project.

 

Shop Online at https://shop.louispage.com/

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Topics: welded wire mesh, woven wire, wire gauges

How Welded Wire Fencing Materials Are Made

March 8, 2018 | by Debbie Page

Wonders of Automation

Have you ever considered how wires are welded into a mesh? What kind of machine can do that? What does it look like? How fast is the process? How can individual wire be fastened together securely and turned into the mesh we know and love? Here you go!

 

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Topics: welded wire mesh, welded wire fence

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