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 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.
The chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is a domesticated fowl, a subspecies of the Red Junglefowl. As one of the most common and widespread domestic animals with a population of more than 24 billion in 2003, there are more chickens in the world than any other species of bird. Humans keep chickens primarily as a source of food, consuming both their meat and their eggs.
The traditional poultry farming view of the domestication of the chicken is stated in Encyclopædia Britannica (2007): "Humans first domesticated chickens of Indian origin for the purpose of cockfighting in Asia, Africa, and Europe. Very little formal attention was given to egg or meat production... " Recent genetic studies have pointed to multiple maternal origins in Southeast, East, and South Asia, but with the clade found in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa originating in the Indian subcontinent. From India the domesticated fowl made its way to the Persianized kingdom of Lydia in western Asia Minor, and domestic fowl were imported to Greece by the fifth century BC. Fowl had been known in Egypt since the 18th Dynasty, with the "bird that gives birth every day" having come to Egypt from the land between Syria and Shinar, Babylonia, according to the annals of Tutmose III.