Can Raccoons Climb Chicken Wire? – Raccoon Vs Chicken Wire

can raccoons climb chicken wire

Can Raccoons Climb Chicken Wire?

Raccoons are remarkably adept climbers and can easily scale fences, PVC pipes, trees, and even vertical surfaces. Despite its name, chicken wire alone may not be sufficient to keep raccoons out of your coop or run.

Problems With Climb Chicken Wire:

  • Bendy material: Chicken wire is easily bent and manipulated, providing a foothold for raccoons.
  • Large openings: The mesh size of chicken wire is often large enough for raccoons to reach through and grab onto.
  • Loose attachment: Chicken wire is often stapled or nailed, which can become loose over time, further compromising its effectiveness.

Can Raccoons Chew Through Chicken Wire?

Yes, raccoons can indeed chew through chicken wire. While chicken wire is designed to provide a barrier against certain predators but raccoons possess sharp teeth and strong jaws that enable them to gnaw through various materials, including chicken wire. 

Can raccoons chew through chicken wire because:

  • Sharp teeth and strong jaws: They have evolved for omnivorous diets, allowing them to tear through flesh, vegetation, and even tough materials like bones.
  • Persistent and determined: Raccoons are known for their perseverance and won’t easily give up on gaining access to a perceived reward.
  • Creative problem solvers: Their intelligence allows them to find weaknesses in barriers and attack them strategically.

How to prevent raccoons from climbing chicken wire – Making Chicken Wire Raccoon-Proof

To prevent raccoons from climbing chicken wire and make it raccoon-proof, consider the following specific measures:

Reinforce the wire itself:

  • Upgrade to hardware cloth: This has smaller mesh openings (1/2 inch or less) and thicker gauge wire, making it much more resistant to climbing and chewing.
  • Double layer the chicken wire: Attach a second layer of hardware cloth over the existing chicken wire for added strength.
  • Reinforce weak points: Use metal plates or mesh over corners, doorways, and areas with loose attachments.

Make climbing difficult:

  • Trim nearby branches and vegetation: Eliminate potential climbing aids within reaching distance of the coop.
  • Create a smooth barrier: Cover the bottom of the wire with chicken wire fencing buried a foot underground to prevent digging under.
  • Install an overhang: Extend the roof of the coop beyond the perimeter of the wire to limit access points.

Utilize deterrents:

  • Electrify the fence (carefully): Install an electric poultry netting system following safety guidelines to deliver a harmless shock upon contact.
  • Motion-activated sprinklers or lights: Sudden surprises can deter curious raccoons from approaching.
  • Predator urine or repellent: Apply commercially available repellents around the coop perimeter, refreshing regularly.

Other considerations:

  • Secure the coop thoroughly: Ensure a strong door with a secure latch and no gaps around windows or ventilation openings.
  • Minimize potential food sources: Store birdseed and other attractants well away from the coop area.
  • Regularly inspect and repair: Check for damage to the wire, loose attachments, and other vulnerabilities, repairing them promptly.

Alternatives to Chicken Wire That Will Keep Raccoons Out

Here are some alternatives to chicken wire that raccoons can not climb:

Stronger mesh fencing:

  • Hardware cloth: This heavy-duty mesh has smaller openings (typically 1/2 inch or less) and thicker gauge wire compared to chicken wire, making it significantly more resistant to climbing and chewing.
  • Welded wire mesh: Even stronger than hardware cloth, this mesh is constructed with welded joints instead of woven wires, offering an even higher level of security.
  • Poultry netting: Similar to hardware cloth, but with specific features like rolled edges and tighter mesh sizes tailored for chicken coops.

Electric fencing:

  • Electric poultry netting: A system designed for chicken coops, delivering a harmless shock to deter raccoons when touched. Requires careful installation and maintenance for safety.

Solid barriers:

  • Concrete blocks: Create a sturdy base wall around the coop perimeter, extending underground to prevent digging.
  • Wood panels: Use treated wood panels in combination with mesh fencing for added strength and visual obstruction.

Other options:

  • Fox fencing: Made of woven metal wires and designed to withstand digging animals like foxes, potentially effective against raccoons too.
  • Livestock panels: Large metal panels used for enclosing larger animals, can be repurposed for a robust coop enclosure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Raccoons and Chicken Wire

Q1: Can raccoons get through chicken wire?

A: Yes, raccoons can potentially get through chicken wire. Their dexterous paws and sharp teeth enable them to manipulate and chew through the openings in chicken wire, allowing them access to the coop or run.

Q2: Will chicken wire keep raccoons out?

A: While chicken wire may provide some level of protection, it may not be sufficient to keep raccoons out. Raccoons are skilled climbers and can easily scale chicken wire or find ways to manipulate it to gain access to your chickens.

Q3: Will placing deterrents like noise-making devices or predator urine near the chicken wire help keep raccoons away?

A: While some deterrents may temporarily deter raccoons, they may eventually become accustomed to them or find ways to bypass them. It’s essential to use a combination of physical barriers, deterrents, and proactive maintenance to effectively protect your chickens from raccoons.

Q4: Can raccoons be trained to avoid chicken wire barriers?

A: Raccoons are intelligent animals, but training them to avoid chicken wire barriers is not practical or reliable. Their natural instincts drive them to seek food sources, which may lead them to attempt to breach barriers regardless of training efforts. Therefore, physical deterrents and reinforced barriers are the most effective means of keeping raccoons away from chickens.

Q5: Are there any signs that raccoons have breached the chicken wire?

A: Yes, signs of raccoon intrusion may include damage to the chicken wire, such as chew marks or bent sections, as well as evidence of raccoon activity inside the coop or run, such as missing or injured chickens. Regular inspection and maintenance of the wire can help detect and address any breaches promptly.


While chicken wire may offer some initial protection against raccoons, it is not always sufficient to keep them out. Raccoons are intelligent and resourceful animals capable of finding ways to bypass or damage chicken wire barriers. 

To effectively safeguard chickens from raccoon predation, it’s essential to employ additional measures such as hardware cloth, electric fencing, and proper maintenance. By taking proactive steps to fortify coop security, chicken owners can create a safer environment for their flock, reducing the risk of raccoon intrusion and ensuring the well-being of their feathered companions.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind My mission is to share my knowledge about raccoons through insightful blogs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Join me on a journey to learn more about raccoons, their behavior, and the importance of ensuring their safe relocation when necessary. Let's together create a world where raccoons and humans coexist harmoniously and safely.