Are Black Bears a Big Threat To Chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickenlady, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. chickenlady

    chickenlady Songster

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I have never had a black bear bother my chickens except to sit and watch them. Over the last two nights, I have had 2 and 3 black bears in my yard at a time. I have no idea why all of the sudden. I have been staying awake laying in bed with my shoes on and flashlight in hand to run outside when I hear them and chase them away. I cannot do this anymore as I am exhausted. Do black bears really pose a threat to my chickens? Or are they after the chicken food? Has anyone had any encounters good or bad with black bears? Please share. Thanks.
    vtcath likes this.
  2. JimnJanet

    JimnJanet Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    S.W Pa.
    Soon as they figger out that there are eggs in there they will most definately be a problem. In fact, as soon as they discover any kind of food there they will most definately become a nusence.
    I would start employing tactics immediately to scare 'em off every time they show up.
    CAREFULL..if you are gettin more than one at a time be absolutley certain that you do not have a sow with cubs. You are in very real danger if that is the case. Other wise, lots of loud noises and such when they show up and absolutley nothing for them to eat should halp disway them from coming back.
  3. esmith

    esmith In the Brooder

    Apr 18, 2008
    got a firearm? Discharge it into the ground (not the sky! What goes up must come down! [​IMG] )
  4. NoelTate

    NoelTate Songster

    Apr 8, 2008
    Mobile, AL
    I have always wanted to move to the Smokies in TN, but one of my concerns would be my chihuahuas and chickens with bears and other predators up that way. It's good to know the bears have not bothered your chickens yet. I remember an antique store in Gatlinburg in an area frequented by bears that had chickens running loose around it. Maybe they are not a preferred source of food or maybe they move too fast. I'd LOVE to find bears in my yard as long as they didn't kill the pets! [​IMG]
  5. 6chix

    6chix Songster

    Jul 24, 2007
    Western Ma
    Think of a bear as nothing more than a very large racoon....varmit. Remember everyone wants a free chicken dinner [​IMG]
  6. MissDeb

    MissDeb Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    Mat-su Alaska
    We live in bear country, Alaska and have yet had a problem with them. BUT, they will become a nuisance once they discover there is a food source there.
    The method that has worked for us is keeping our 20 gauge by the door. If they make their way into the yard we'll give em a shot in the butt with rock salt. We have loaded our own loads for this specific reason. We dont even want to give them a chance to "think about it" and it does nothing more than sting them in the rear. I havent seen a bear this year......but I'm prepared if I do! [​IMG]
    We also have a friend who rigged up a electric dog fence around the outside of her chicken pen. She has some funny stories!
  7. whatnow?

    whatnow? In the Brooder

    Mar 17, 2008
    SE PA
    Bear country is getting blurred. The found a 345lb black bear roaming suburbia in New Jersey. I don't know how I'd react to seeing one this size in the yard...

  8. mangled

    mangled Songster

    We have a bear den on the new acreage we've just aquired. We've seen them at the salt lick many times. The salt lick is about 300 feet from the house.

    So far, we've not had much troubles with them. They have torn through the compost area more than once. To keep them away, I don't keep wild bird feeders, the trash is carted down to the end of the drive, and the chickens are always locked up.

    I look at it like this: it's not a matter of *if* they try to get into the coop, it's a matter of *when*. Thankfully, the dog goes INSANE when he hears them or smells them, and they hibernate in the winter when food is most scarce.

    We discharge a couple 12 gauge rounds into the ground, and that seems to head them in the opposite direction.

    Good luck-
  9. Meesh

    Meesh Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    There were some photos on the Gardenweb Rocky Mountain forum of someone's coop that was torn open by a bear.

    Ah, here they are. Coop is flipped and torn open.

    One of my friends had a bear climb into her stock trailer and take a container of feed. How the bear managed to crawl in, we still don't know. But it took 50# of Equine Sr. (plastic container and all) and ate every bit of it. I would think they will go after chicken feed just as well.

  10. lizardz

    lizardz Songster

    Jul 18, 2007
    Grass Valley, CA
    I know one of the members here had problems with black bears tearing up his coop and run and taking out pretty much his entire flock. I know he shot (with a bow!) at least two. I don't remember how he said he kept them out - I think with electric fencing. You might try looking up his posts - I think he went by panner123. Good luck.

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