One of the first things you realize when you start gardening or raising chickens is there are tons of wire fencing options.
One of the most common and versatile is 2″x 4″ welded wire fencing (sometimes called hardware cloth).
I love the stuff. But over the years, I’ve learned what it is good for and what it’s not. Here’s the rundown.
What It’s Good For
Low Security Fencing
Want to keep rabbits, dogs, and chickens out of your garden? Use 2 x 4 welded wire.
I say low security because this is for situations where an animal will encounter the fence and not try to actively dismantle, destroy, or jump over it. They’ll hit the barrier and walk away.
That is not true of all animals (see below).
I LOVE 2 x 4 for trellises of all kinds. I’ve used it for decorative vine-covered dividers and for cucumbers to climb on. Nothing like a roll of 2 x 4 for a trellis.
Tip: If you’re making a trellis in an outdoor living space like a courtyard, I recommend the vinyl-coated type. It’s fancier.
Welded wire also makes nifty protection to keep tender plants safe from vicious weed trimmers (there is actually a little blueberry bush growing in there).
What Welded Wire is Not Good For
High Security Fencing
Welded wire fencing really has only one weakness. If you need to keep the really nasty animals out – raccoons primarily – do not use welded wire.
This is especially true of chicken runs. The welded wire will work at first, but over time (usually a couple years) the welds will break and that will let the bad guys in. It takes only one broken weld for a raccoon to slither in and kill your chickens.
So what fencing should you use for a secure chicken coop? Chain link and nothing else. It’s so important I did a whole video on it.
2″x 4″ welded wire fencing is great stuff. You should have a roll of it around your house at all times. Just don’t use it to protect animals from wily night crawlers like raccoons.