Chicken wire

Chicken wire
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. It is made of thin, flexible galvanized 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 spacious yet 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 is used as a matrix to hold cement or plaster, in a process known as stuccoing. Concrete reinforced with chicken wire 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.

It can also be used as a security measure in musical venues to protect the musicians from things being thrown at them, as seen in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers.



Chicken wire netting was invented in 1844 by Charles Barnard, an ironmonger who was the son of a farmer.

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.[1]

See also


  1. ^ Geoffrey A. Fowler (31-DEC-2009). "Culprit in Wi-Fi Failures: Chicken Wire". The Wall Street Journal. p. A6A. 
  2. ^ Reifenberger, Guido; Blümcke, Ingmar; Pietsch, Torsten; Paulus, Werner (2010). "Pathology and classification of tumors of the nervous system". In Tonn, Jörg-Christian; Westphal, Manfred; Rutka, James T.. Oncology of CNS Tumors. Springer. p. 17. ISBN 978-3-642-02873-1. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • chicken wire — ☆ chicken wire n. light, pliable wire fencing, used esp. for enclosing chicken coops …   English World dictionary

  • chicken wire — n [U] [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: Because it is used for making a fence around an area where chickens are kept] a type of thin wire net used to make fences for chickens …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • chicken wire — chicken ,wire noun uncount a type of light wire net used especially for making fences for keeping chickens inside an area …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • chicken wire — noun a galvanized wire network with a hexagonal mesh; used to build fences • Hypernyms: ↑net, ↑network, ↑mesh, ↑meshing, ↑meshwork * * * noun [noncount] : a type of strong wire that is used especially to make fences * * * ˈchicken wire 7 [chicken …   Useful english dictionary

  • chicken wire — noun a) a mesh of wire, usually galvanized, with a hexagonal pattern, generally used for making fences, especially for enclosures for small farm animals and pets. Youll recall that normally any old hen had sense enough not to run or fly into a… …   Wiktionary

  • chicken wire — N UNCOUNT Chicken wire is a type of thin wire netting …   English dictionary

  • chicken wire — /ˈtʃɪkən waɪə/ (say chikuhn wuyuh) noun a light gauge wire netting suitable for enclosing chickens and for a number of other uses, as protecting vegetable gardens, etc. Also, chicken mesh …   Australian English dictionary

  • chicken wire — chick′en wire n. bui a light wire netting having a large hexagonal mesh, used esp. as fencing • Etymology: 1915–20, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • chicken wire — noun Etymology: from its use for making enclosures for chickens Date: circa 1904 a light galvanized wire netting of hexagonal mesh …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • chicken wire — a light, wire netting having a large, hexagonal mesh, used esp. as fencing. [1915 20, Amer.] * * * …   Universalium