Bear attack nearby

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Curlyginger, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. Curlyginger

    Curlyginger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last week a black bear attacked a chicken coop in my town, about a mile away from my house. It killed 5 chickens and a duck. This same bear has been seen all over the area, including my neighborhood.

    I do not live in a rural area. I live in a suburban town of 30,000 people. My lot is a 1/2 acre, with a tiny wooded portion behind my back lawn, although I can still see neighbors on all four sides. The town has refused to take any action, and to a degree I don't blame them. Until now the bear hasn't really caused any problems.

    Now, however, I am pretty nervous. For one thing, I have a small child. For another, I'm worried for my chickens. This bear has developed a taste for chicken, the attack was only about a mile away, and he's definitely been through my neighborhood before.

    Because I live in a neighborhood with such small lots, the traditional ways of fending off bears (electric fencing, LGDs) just aren't going to work. Plus, a small child and a dumb (but loveable) dog also further rule out electric fencing. A gun is not an option for me, either. I know there is nothing to do but keep my fingers crossed, but I'm still nervous!
     
  2. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why?

    There's no reason you can't have electric fencing with a dog and children around.
     
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Agreed - I have both children (my own and neighbor children) and dogs and quite like my electric fencing. Will they likely get shocked, yes - but they'll learn very quickly to avoid doing so and will not be hurt in the process.
     
  4. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well its also a matter of liability.. say someone comes over for a party, a kid who just started to walk sees some shiny line and touches it. ZAP!
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Liability relates to damages. Since the charge is not going to cause an injury, there is no issue of liability - yes, the child would be "zapped", but the zap causes no actual injury or damage.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The electric fence is the way to go. If you are worried about the liability of someone getting shocked, you can unplug it while people are in the yard.

    I live in the NW corner of CT, and every time you heard a story on the news about a bear in an urban area, CT Dept of Wildlife officials tranquilize the bear and bring him to my town! The drop off area is about 2 miles from my home. So electric fencing is a must since I live on a main bear thoroughfare!
     
  7. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Modern electrical fence chargers are very different than old-school ones.


    The older ones had a couple of problems:
    1. Some were always-on - basically you'd touch them, your muscles would contract, and you couldn't move much - this was the typical reason for animals getting stuck in them and dying. Modern chargers pulse, usually once or twice a second - that gives you plenty of time to instinctively react and jump back.

    2. Some were 110v AC / 15 amp- standard household current. You could kill people with these - but hey, a cow can usually take it. Modern chargers are typically somewhere in the range of 10-15K volt DC, .01 mA current. Current is what is dangerous - voltage is basically a measure of how much electricity can jump - it's also a pretty good measure of how much things hurt. Modern chargers hurt like the heck, but they don't really do any physical damage - there's not enough current. They're also DC, which doesn't cause as much muscle lock.

    Modern chargers have way more bark, less bite. They're more effective and less dangerous.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Curlyginger

    Curlyginger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm very nervous of the electrical fence. My daughter only weighs 38 lbs - a good jolt is likely to be damaging. My neighbors (including the 18 month old next door) come and lean on the fence for a chat. While I have a 1/2 acre lot, half of that is woods. My backyard is about 1/8th of an acre. My neighbors have been very tolerant of the chickens, but I do not think they will be tolerant of electric fencing.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    It's not that hard - unplug the fence when there are people over. If it's not going to be unplugged, the parents of the "kid who just started to walk" should be supervised by parents who are informed that there is an electric fence.

    Again - unplug the fence when your daughter is outside, or supervise her. My 3 sons grew up with electric fence all the way around our yard (to keep the horses in the pasture and off the lawn). When they were really little, they were supervised or the fence was unplugged. As they got older, they did as all kids will do and checked it out for themselves. They only did it once. We also had a black lab that ran under the fence with his tail up - once. He tucked it down from then on. Kids and animals can both learn quickly with the proper motivation. If you already have a fence for your neighbors to lean on, an electric one shouldn't be a problem, either. Keep it on the inside of the "leaning fence". It won't affect them a bit. I understand your reluctance, due to your unfamiliarity with electric fences, but that's really about the most effective way to discourage your bear. Why would your neighbors not be tolerant of it? That just doesn't make sense to me. It's your yard - why should they have a problem with you putting it up around your chicken coop?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Electric fences are not death sentences if you touch one. When I was younger I was in the habit of grabbing a-hold of my electric fence at Sundown and standing there in the gathering dusk for up to a minute watching the blue sparks shoot out from the soles of my work shoes and run to ground. I only did this during dry weather when I wasn't as well grounded. The jolts did wonders for my tired muscles. But I can assure you that any child or chicken killing varmint who touches an electric fence is not likely to go near an electric fence for a very long time. The suddenness and unexpected nature of a few thousand volts running through your body is a good wakeup call for vermin to leave your chickens alone.

    The Black Bear terrorizing your neighborhood is not the responsibility of your local government. Your state Government is responsible for overseeing these troublesome animals, infact by a matter of law the bear belongs to the State of Massachusetts. Complain to the State Game, Fur, & Fish department if you want action. You will likely get them to at least relocate the offending animal. Black Bears are a grave danger to children and women, even breaking into houses to kill and eat the inhabitant. Black Bears are much more likely to launch a purely predatory attack against a human than the larger and more menacing Grizzly Bear. Remind the Fish and Game folks that they ultimately bare [or is bear] responsibility for this animal.

    Do be advised however that if you are not prepared or even eager to feed a few of your chickens or maybe a child to the bear for your neighbors' morbid amusement, that there are some people living in most communities who will look down their noses at you for being insufficiently green.
     

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