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My mom needs a chicken run. I would like to repurpose an old dog kennel for that. The kennel has one access gate but I would like to butt the kennel up against the coop and give the chickens access from the opposite side of the gate so she can still get inside easily to clean out. The kennel is chain link so I'm wondering if anyone has any experience working with that and how I should go about cutting an access hole in it if possible.. it doesn't have to be pretty but it does have to be safe for her birds and I would like to be able to frame it so that I can connect it to the coop. I just don’t want it to lose tension or come undone or for the links to separate.. Thanks!

3 Answers 3

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I would make a "hoop", or similar out of something like rebar.

Then I would attach the links to the rebar tightly. Once fixed, the links can be cut to match the opening based on the rebar shape, this means the rebar will keep the tension for the rest of the fence.

The "hoop" may need to be closed and a flat bottom to provide the tension for the lower wire stringer.

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  • Bottom of the hole could simply be tied together with some wire spanning the bottom of the opening.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jun 20 at 13:14
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    Rebar is hard to bend. A loop of fencing wire would be totally adequate.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 21 at 3:57
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    @Criggie a bench and a vice plus some force works well plus some natural strength...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Jun 21 at 4:36
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Keep it simple. Chain link doesn't really fall apart when cut, and a hole that small won't affect tension substantially.

I would just cut your opening at the center of each link span and bend the tails back over the crossing wire. Now use small strap clamps or screws with large heads to fasten the wire to the wall.

If you find that you would like a little more tension, any suitable wire woven through the edge loops and tightened down in a ring would do. There's really no need for it to be rigid.

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If the mesh is true chainlink, then you should be able to prise open the folds on both ends of one link (that is a single vertical length of wire) and untwist it up.

Chain link fence is really just like a normal chain, but "stretched" in the vertical dimension. This will leave some strands extending up above the fence. Best part - you can reassemble the chain-links.

If the chain link doesn't have horizontal stringers at the bottom, you may want to add one, or secure the bottom corners to the ground with ground anchors like tent pegs, or perhaps U-nail it direct to the coop.


If your mesh is chickenwire then cutting is the best option. Fashion a loop of wire out of a metal coat hanger, as big as you need it. Hold loop up to wire mesh, and cut away the middle part so that there are a lot of "fingers" that you can wind around the loop. Avoid spiky ends pointing out to face the chickens.

Also leave some mesh across the bottom below the hole if you can, to provide support underneath.

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    It’s the thick chain link wire. I’m not sure how easily pliable it is. I am considering soldering or otherwise fastening the border of where the access hole would be and covering cut points with a wooden frame.. I just have so little experience with any of those things and I’m not sure if that is actually going to keep the fence from warping somehow.. would like to mitigate any possible issues before attempting. Commented Jun 21 at 17:05

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