Chicken wire

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File:Chicken Wire close-up.jpg
Close up of chicken wire used in a chicken coop.

Chicken wire, or poultry netting, is a mesh of wire commonly used to fence poultry livestock, such as chickens, in a run or coop. It is made of thin, flexible galvanized steel wire, with hexagonal gaps. Available in 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) diameter, 2 inch (about 5 cm) and 1/2 inch (about 1.3 cm), chicken wire is available in various wire gauges usually 19 gauge (about 1 mm wire) to 22 gauge (about 0.7 mm wire). Chicken wire is occasionally used to build inexpensive cages for small animals (or to protect plants and property from animals) though the thinness and zinc content of galvanized wire may be inappropriate for animals prone to gnawing and will not keep out predators.

In construction, chicken wire or hardware cloth is used as a metal lath to hold cement or plaster, in a process known as stuccoing. Concrete reinforced with chicken wire or hardware cloth yields ferrocement, a versatile construction material. It can also be used to make the armature for a papier-mâché sculpture, when relatively high strength is needed.


In the United Kingdom, Charles Barnard, an ironmonger, built the world's first wire-netting machine in 1844. He based his design on cloth weaving machines. Soon the firm of Barnard, Bishop & Barnard, established in Norwich were selling wire netting all over the world. [1]

Other uses

In chemistry, molecules with fused carbon rings are often compared to chicken wire — see chicken wire (chemistry).

In photonics, the chicken-wire effect is a predominant pattern of low transmission lines between multifiber bundles in a fiberoptic used to couple the intensifier tube to the CCD sensor. The lines have a pattern similar to that of chicken wire.

In machine tool design, chicken wire may be used for safety guarding.

Chicken wire commonly used in construction has been found to block or attenuate Wi-Fi, cellular and other radio frequency transmissions by inadvertently creating a Faraday cage.[2]

See also


  1. Ward, Ken. Victorian Norwich. A History of Norwich, 28 November 2006, p. 6.
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External links