As the roll was wrapped in plastic and required only to be transferred from the truck to the barn for storage, I thought I could ignore my own advice and perform the task without and protective clothing.
Always wear gloves, sleeves and long pants when handling this stuff; and I would add protective googles to that list. Hardware cloth likes to use all of its potential energy to return to the coil is remembers being wound up in for so long.
On the other side of the coin, the same attributes that cause this warning also may deter snakes/rats/raccoons/small mammals trying to find an opening to get to my chicks. Same goes for mice trying to get the chicken feed or rabbits trying to dig under into my garden.