How to Build With Chicken Wire

Written by shane grey
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How to Build With Chicken Wire
The traditional application of chicken wire: a chicken coop. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Chicken wire is inexpensive, versatile and easy to use for building. Aside from using it for enclosing chicken coops, you can use chicken wire to build several outdoor structures, including small livestock pens and garden fences. Chicken wire attaches to wooden frames with fencing staples and to metal posts with wire ties. Both types of construction are easy to learn, require few tools and materials, and apply to a wide variety of outdoor building projects.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Shovel
  • Wooden posts
  • Scrap lumber and stakes for bracing
  • Framing hammer
  • Nails
  • Post-hole cement
  • Chicken wire
  • Fencing staples
  • Snips
  • Metal T posts
  • Post driver or sledge hammer
  • Straight, heavy wire
  • Pliers

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Instructions

    Wooden Post Frame

  1. 1

    Dig a hole approximately 18 inches to 2 feet deep for each post. Place a post in each hole, and brace the post upright with scrap lumber and stakes. Nail scrap lumber to the sides of posts, direct the lumber to the ground surrounding the post. Pound stakes into the ground with the hammer and nail the braces to the stake.

  2. 2

    Fill each hole with posthole cement, add water and allow the cement to cure. After curing, remove the braces and stakes.

  3. 3

    Hold the loose end of a roll of chicken wire against the end or corner post. Align the upper edge of the roll with the top of the post. Place a fencing staple over the upper edge of the chicken wire, and drive the staple into the post with a hammer. Secure the wire with to the post with a staple every 6 to 8 inches.

  4. 4

    Unroll the chicken wire to the next post. Align the upper edge of the wire with the top of the post, and secure the chicken wire to the post with fencing staples. Continue to unroll the chicken wire and secure it to adjacent posts.

  5. 5

    Cut the installed chicken wire from the roll with snips after securing the chicken wire to the final post.

    Metal Posts

  1. 1

    Drive metal T posts into the ground with a post driver or a mini sledge.

  2. 2

    Use snips to cut the heavy wire into 3- to 4-inch lengths for use as wire ties.

    Hold the loose end of a roll of chicken wire against the corner or end post, and align the upper edge of the wire with the top of the post.

  3. 3

    Weave a wire tie through an opening at the upper edge of the chicken wire. Loop the wire tie around the post, join the ends of the wire tie, and twist the tie's ends together with a pair of pliers. Twist until the wire tie tightly grips the post. Secure the chicken wire to the post approximately every 12 inches with a wire tie.

  4. 4

    Unroll the chicken wire to the adjacent post, align the wire with the top of the post and secure the wire to the post approximately every 12 inches with a wire tie. Continue to unroll and tie the wire to the metal posts.

  5. 5

    Cut the chicken wire from the roll with snips after tying the wire to the final post.

Tips and warnings

  • Trim the ends of the installed chicken wire to remove sharp edges.
  • Close post spacing strengthens the fence; 6 feet to 8 feet apart is suitable for general purpose enclosure, but 3 feet to 4 feet is best for applications that require extra holding strength.

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