Will Chicken Wire Keep Animals Out?

Do you find yourself constantly battling with critters that are making a feast out of your garden? Are you considering building a fence to keep them out, but unsure if chicken wire is the answer? Fear not, my friend. I have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Chicken wire has been a popular solution for farmers and homeowners alike when it comes to keeping animals at bay. Its affordability and ease of use make it an attractive option, but does it live up to its reputation? The answer is not as simple as you may think.

While chicken wire can effectively keep out smaller creatures like rabbits and chickens, it may not be strong enough to deter larger animals such as deer or bears. Other factors such as fence height, material, and installation also play a crucial role in ensuring maximum protection.

In this blog post, we’ll delve deeper into the effectiveness of chicken wire in keeping animals out. We’ll explore which animals it can and cannot keep out and provide tips on how to get the most out of your chicken wire fence installation. So sit back, relax, and let’s find out if chicken wire is the solution you’ve been searching for.

What is Chicken Wire?

Chicken wire, also known as poultry netting, is a fantastic material that has a wide range of practical uses. This type of metal mesh is commonly used in various applications such as fencing, gardening, and crafting. It is typically made of galvanized steel or stainless steel wires that are woven together to form a unique hexagonal pattern.

One of the most common uses of chicken wire is as a barrier to keep small animals such as birds and rodents out of gardens or other areas where they are not wanted. The small and evenly spaced holes in the mesh make it an effective barrier for these pesky critters. However, it’s essential to note that the effectiveness of chicken wire in deterring animals depends on various factors.

To ensure that your chicken wire fence is effective, consider the following factors:

  • Hole size: If the holes in the chicken wire are too large, rabbits or small rodents may be able to squeeze through. Therefore, choose a wire with small and evenly spaced holes.
  • Fence height: If the fence is too low, larger animals like deer or coyotes may simply jump over it. Consider the height of your fence based on the animals you want to keep out.
  • Wire strength and durability: If the wire is flimsy or rusted, it may be easier for animals to break through or chew through it. Choose high-quality wire that can withstand harsh weather conditions and animal activity.

In addition to its practical uses, chicken wire is also popular in arts and crafts projects due to its flexible and lightweight nature. It can be easily shaped and molded into various forms to create decorative items such as lampshades, baskets, and even clothing.

Factors to Consider When Using Chicken Wire

Chicken wire can be your knight in shining armor. However, before you get started on fencing off your garden with this versatile metal mesh, there are a few critical factors you should consider.

Firstly, it’s imperative to identify the type of animal that’s causing trouble in your garden. While chicken wire may be effective at keeping out smaller animals like rabbits or squirrels, it might not be enough to deter larger animals like deer or coyotes. Therefore, before investing in chicken wire, make sure to assess the animals that are causing mischief in your garden.

Next, consider the height and placement of the chicken wire. The wire should be buried at least six inches into the ground to prevent animals from digging underneath it. Also, ensure that it is tall enough to prevent animals from jumping over it. If you’re trying to keep deer out of your garden, opt for a chicken wire fence that is at least eight feet high.

The third factor to consider is the durability of the chicken wire. Cheaper and thinner chicken wire may be easier for animals to chew through or break down over time. Invest in high-quality chicken wire that will withstand the elements and potential animal damage.

Lastly, it’s critical to think about any potential harm the chicken wire may cause to animals. If you’re trying to keep cats out of your garden, for example, the wire may pose a risk of injury if they become entangled in it. In this case, alternative solutions such as netting or fencing with smaller openings may be more appropriate.

Types of Animals That Can Be Deterred by Chicken Wire

Chicken wire is a popular choice for deterring animals from entering a certain area, but not all animals can be kept out. Here are five types of animals that can be deterred by chicken wire.

Small rodents

Mice and rats are known for their ability to squeeze through small spaces, but chicken wire has small enough holes to prevent them from entering. Chicken wire can also be used to create barriers around gardens and other areas where rodents may try to enter.


These cute critters may be a delight to see in the wild, but they can wreak havoc on your garden. Chicken wire is sturdy enough to withstand their efforts to burrow and chew through various materials. Installing chicken wire fencing around gardens and other areas where rabbits may try to enter is an effective solution.


Covering your garden or other areas with chicken wire can prevent birds from swooping in and stealing your fruits and veggies. Chicken wire can also be used to cover openings in structures like sheds and barns to prevent birds from nesting inside.


Depending on the size of the mesh, chicken wire can keep out snakes and lizards. However, larger reptiles may be able to push through or climb over the wire.

Larger animals

While chicken wire may not work for all larger animals like deer or bears, it can still be an effective solution for deterring some of them. Using a heavier gauge of chicken wire and installing it at a higher height can prevent these animals from jumping over or breaking through the fencing.

Pros and Cons of Using Chicken Wire

As an expert in the pros and cons of using chicken wire, I can tell you that it is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of projects. However, before you dive in and start using chicken wire for all your animal-proofing needs, let’s take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages.

One of the biggest advantages of chicken wire is its affordability and accessibility. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain from your local hardware store or online. Additionally, chicken wire is durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions, making it ideal for outdoor use. It’s also versatile and can be used for various projects, such as creating a fence or enclosing an area.

However, chicken wire has some drawbacks as well. While it can keep out smaller animals like rabbits or squirrels, larger animals like deer or raccoons may not be deterred by it. Determined animals may also be able to bend or break through the wire, making it less effective over time. Additionally, chicken wire can rust or corrode over time, reducing its effectiveness as a barrier. Finally, it’s important to note that chicken wire can be easily cut or manipulated by humans as well.

So what’s the verdict? Chicken wire can be an effective solution for certain situations but may not be the best option in all cases. Consider the size and type of animal you want to keep out before investing in chicken wire. If you need a stronger option, electric fencing or a more durable material may be a better choice.

In conclusion, while there are both pros and cons to using chicken wire, it remains a popular choice for many people looking to protect their gardens or other areas from unwanted animal visitors. To summarize:


  • Affordable and accessible
  • Versatile for a range of projects
  • Durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions


  • May not be effective against larger animals
  • Can rust or corrode over time
  • Can be easily cut or manipulated by determined animals or humans

Height of the Fence

Well, chicken wire fences can be the perfect solution for keeping unwanted animals out. However, before you start building your fence, it’s essential to consider the height of the fence and how it can affect its effectiveness.

Firstly, determining the appropriate height of the fence depends on the type of animal you’re trying to keep out. For instance, if you’re trying to keep rabbits or other small animals away, a fence that is two feet high may suffice. On the other hand, larger animals like deer may require at least an eight-foot-high fence to keep them out.

It’s crucial to note that some animals are better jumpers than others. For example, deer are known for their high jumping abilities and may require additional fencing or barriers to make it harder for them to clear. Therefore, when trying to keep deer out, you need to ensure that your fence is high enough and that there are no objects nearby that they can use to jump over.

The size of your property is another vital factor to consider when determining the height of your fence. If you have a larger property, you may need a taller fence to cover more ground and keep unwanted animals from entering from any direction.

Size of the Holes in the Chicken Wire

Look no further than chicken wire to keep them at bay. But before you buy any old chicken wire, it’s important to understand the vital role that hole size plays in its effectiveness.

Will Chicken Wire Keep Animals Out-2

Chicken wire typically has small holes that are approximately 1 inch in diameter. This size is perfect for keeping out smaller animals such as rabbits and rodents. However, if you’re dealing with larger animals like dogs or deer, you’ll need to opt for a chicken wire with larger hole sizes. These can range from 2 inches to 4 inches or more.

But choosing a larger hole size comes with its own set of challenges. While it may keep out larger animals, it may not be as effective at keeping out smaller ones. So it’s essential to consider the size of the animals you’re trying to keep out before making your purchase.

Additionally, larger hole sizes often require a stronger gauge of wire to maintain durability and strength. It’s crucial to factor in the strength needed for your specific situation when making your decision.

When selecting the right chicken wire for animal control purposes, remember to consider the following factors:

  • Size of the holes
  • Size of the animals you’re trying to keep out
  • Strength needed for your specific situation

Strength and Durability of the Chicken Wire

Consider using chicken wire, but be sure to choose the right wire for your needs. As an expert in this field, I can tell you that the strength and durability of the wire are essential factors to consider.

Chicken wire is typically made of galvanized steel or aluminum, which makes it resistant to rust and corrosion. However, the thickness of the wire can vary, with some being much thinner than others. Thicker wires are generally stronger and more durable, making them better suited for keeping out larger animals like dogs and raccoons. Thinner wires may be suitable for smaller animals such as squirrels or birds.

But thickness isn’t the only factor to consider when assessing the strength and durability of chicken wire. The quality of the wire can vary depending on the manufacturer. Cheaper chicken wire may be more prone to breaking or bending under pressure, while higher-quality wire will be less likely to suffer damage. So, invest in a high-quality wire that is durable enough to withstand outside elements.

Lastly, don’t forget about the gauge of the wire. The gauge refers to the thickness of the wire, with a lower gauge number indicating a thicker wire. Generally speaking, lower gauge wires are stronger and more durable. So, opt for a wire with a lower gauge number.

Alternatives to Using Chicken Wire

While chicken wire may be a common solution, it’s not always the most effective option. Fortunately, there are several alternatives that can be just as useful, if not more so.

One option is to use hardware cloth, a heavy-duty wire mesh that is much more difficult for animals to penetrate than chicken wire. This type of wire is particularly useful for larger animals like deer and raccoons that can easily chew through ordinary wire.

Another alternative is electric fencing, which can be set up with low voltage charges that will deter animals from entering your property without causing them harm. The electric fence may seem drastic, but it’s a safe and effective way to keep unwanted visitors out.

For those who prefer a more natural solution, consider planting certain types of plants that repel animals. Mint and lavender are known to repel cats and rodents, while marigolds can help keep deer away from your garden.

In addition to these options, physical barriers such as fences or walls can also be very effective. These barriers can be constructed from various materials such as wood, brick, or stone. The choice of material depends on the desired aesthetic and level of durability.


In conclusion, chicken wire can be a cost-effective and accessible solution for keeping animals out of your garden or other areas. However, its effectiveness depends on several factors such as hole size, fence height, wire strength and durability, and the type of animal you’re trying to keep out. While smaller animals like rabbits and squirrels can be deterred by chicken wire, larger animals like deer or bears may require more robust barriers.

When using chicken wire, it’s crucial to consider the placement and height of the fence to ensure maximum protection. It’s also essential to choose the right hole size and gauge of wire based on the size of the animals you’re trying to keep out. Proper installation is key to avoiding any potential harm that could be caused to animals.

If chicken wire isn’t suitable for your situation, there are several alternatives available. Hardware cloth provides a more durable option than chicken wire but can be more expensive. Electric fencing can also be effective but may not be practical in all situations. Planting certain types of plants that repel animals or installing physical barriers such as fences or walls are other options worth considering.

Ultimately, choosing the right method for keeping animals out depends on your specific needs and circumstances.