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Bear in Coop

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We've had a bear problem around our place. A yearling Black Bear has been sniffing around since early spring.  We've chased him off on more than one occasions, only to have him return up to a dozen times in the same evening. 

 

Yesterday, when we got home from work, we noticed our recycling bins tipped over, so we knew he had been around. Then we noticed that our chicken fence had been bent over, evidence that he had climbed into the chicken run. Thankfully, all 14 hens and our rooster were accounted for and unharmed (they are all 6 weeks old). 

 

We were even more surprised when we went into the coop and saw that our large chicken feeder had been dragged 8 feet across the coop and was now blocking the 12"x12" pop door. 

 

The "human" door into the coop was still latched so whatever dragged the feeder did so by entering through the pop door. 

 

We started to think that maybe a raccoon had gone into the coop and not the bear, but a little CSI work revealed large tufts of black bear fur on the edges of the pop door. 

 

So now what? We realize that our run isn't very predator proof, but for a black bear, that won't matter too much. Its unrealistic, both from a construction and financial standpoint to bear proof a run. The coop (when the pop door is closed at night) is bear proof I'd say, but this bear was around during the day. NH Fish and Game hasn't been much help... they are over run with bear complaints. They offered to loan me some electric fencing, but that won't help on doorways and for the bears around here you need to bacon grease the wire so the bear hits it with its nose or tongue to get enough of a jolt.  

 

Shotgun? I have neighbors near by so I am hesitant to shoot, and I know Fish and Game would frown upon it. Plus, the 300-plus investment in a gun is tough to swallow. Maybe borrow a gun and try to get rubber pellet rounds? I'm not sure. I'm glad the bear hasn't gotten any chickens yet, but I know it's just a matter of time before things get worse. 

 

Any ideas?

post #2 of 12

check your with your  local fish and game. maybe they can relocate him.

California Certified Nursery Pro

 

Breeding Crele Penedesenca ,Black Penedesenca  and White Empordanesa

plus the

Blue Crew ( my Silver Ameraucana hens )

for olive egger purposes

 

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California Certified Nursery Pro

 

Breeding Crele Penedesenca ,Black Penedesenca  and White Empordanesa

plus the

Blue Crew ( my Silver Ameraucana hens )

for olive egger purposes

 

"Penedesenca Breeders and Fan Club " on Facebook

www.penedesencausa.com

Reply
post #3 of 12

Electric fencing is the only way to prevent a bear from getting in.  You can also put strands of electric wire on your gates as long as you insulate them from the wood or metal of the gate itself.  Good luck.  We have a bit of a bear problem ourselves.
 

Chicken Math in action -- sell three, buy seven -- build another coop - harvest two, order 12, and then some more and some more.

32 chickens and 23 quail own me.  Add about 30 chicks but loose 14 to predators. I need me some more chicks, me thinks.

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Chicken Math in action -- sell three, buy seven -- build another coop - harvest two, order 12, and then some more and some more.

32 chickens and 23 quail own me.  Add about 30 chicks but loose 14 to predators. I need me some more chicks, me thinks.

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post #4 of 12

Boy, that's a tough question. Once a bear gets habituated to being around humans and their delicious belongings, it's hard to get rid of. Trouble bears here are usually shot by the wildlife agencies if they intrude regularly into residual areas. Very young bears can sometimes be transported far, far away and released. It sounds as though "your" bear has lost all fear of humans, and that's not a good sign.

 

Do you have a wildlife park or rescue group in your area? They can sometimes help when the official agencies can't. If not, I think you need to call NH Fish and Game and tell them you don't know what options you have other than shooting the bear, and see if they'll at least give you permission to have a hunter come in and take care of it. (Win-win, as far as that goes; you get rid of the problem without having to buy a gun and the hunter gets a nice bear pelt and some meat.) Good luck!

ATM, 1 husband, 17 Columbian Wyandottes, 1 border collie, 1 chihuahua, 2 eclectic dogs (in other words, mutts), and 1 angry, angry cat, all on 6 acres in the beautiful oak savannah of SE Minnesota.

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ATM, 1 husband, 17 Columbian Wyandottes, 1 border collie, 1 chihuahua, 2 eclectic dogs (in other words, mutts), and 1 angry, angry cat, all on 6 acres in the beautiful oak savannah of SE Minnesota.

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post #5 of 12

fish and wildlife usually wont be bothered with bear complaints unless its attacked a person.  bear problems typically mean we have inhabited their neighborhood, not the other way around.  you need to discourage them first by making sure garbage and recycle bins are always kept in the garage, and no food in compost piles.  bird feeders have to come in shortly after winter.  remove all other attractants, otherwise this will reoccur regardless of what happens to this guy.  luckily he appears to only be interested in the feed rather than the chickens.  im hoping not to end up with the same problem as i live in the woods and have caught quite a few bears on the security cameras, but lots of people in the area keep chickens without bear issues.  maybe try a cheap radio on 24/7?

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

We have a tough place to bear proof. Two people in a small little cottage. No garage. Hardly a shed. Not even a closet. Pretty modest living without the resources to suddenly build a nice bear proof shed. We've done our best to rid the area of temptations for him, but we can't take the feeder out of the chicken coop. We're going to have to get creative. 

 

I don't want the bear killed, but when he couldn't care less about walking across my deck with my dogs (1 chow and 1 coon hound) barking on the other side of a cracked-open sliding glass door 4' away, there is an issue. I've been within spitting distance chasing him out of the yard with a shovel... and he comes back within minutes... 


Edited by Kwehme09 - 6/17/12 at 10:47am
post #7 of 12

its not easy to just start keeping chickens in wildlife country without the means to do it properly.  youre probably going to have consistent problems.  dont know what your neighborhood/neighbor situation is, but unsecured garbage bins are typically the top reason for nuisance bears and raccoons.

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

We're all pretty good about our trash. Mine never even goes outside, it goes straight away when it is filled. The bear couldn't care less about my compost. The bear has broken off the stink pipe on my neighbors septic... I don't think she can make her septic go away. It's clearly a problem bear, we've taken the reasonable steps. 

 

I do have some resources, I am just trying to choose the best possible way to use them to rid myself of the problem short of keeping my chickens in the coop, pop door closed 24/7. 

 

I like the idea of electrified netting for the run, and might take that plunge as another poster suggested. I just need to figure out some logistics like how us "people" can enter then run through the electric netting (I haven't seen a good gate option), and also how to run it through uneven woodland as opposed to flat fields like I've seen in most pictures of the netting. Those logistics may take another post. 

 

Below is my coop. The top of the ladder through the pop door is how the bear got in, believe it or not. 

 

061112-Copp & Run.jpg

post #9 of 12

thats a real nice and secure looking coop.  i can see how the run would be problematic, but him entering through that pop out door seems unfathomable....must be real young.  now id also be a little worried that mom might also be around so be real careful chasing him off.  you could give the electrifying a shot if its cheaper, but i could also see substantially framing out to above the chicken door to fully enclose the place.  the chickens will probably be able to fly out of that on their own, eventually.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

I think the run design (and maybe some rubber shotgun buckshot) may be the answer. I worry that NO run construction will ever to totally bear proof (larger black bears bend steel dumpster lids around here). I'm thinking of burying cedar posts with about 6' left above ground then connecting the posts with horizontal 2x4's, with one down low, one in the middle and one at the top. Hardware cloth on the lower portion, chicken wire on the upper, and netting over the top. Most of the materials, other than the netting and the hardware cloth, I can get on the cheap.The hardware cloth will be the toughest one to swallow, but if it works I think it will be worth it. 

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