Bear Attack


5 Years
Sep 9, 2014
We had a bear rip open the cleaning doors of our coop and kill one of our chickens tonight. We've moved the remaining two chickens to the garage for the night. Our coop is attached to a chicken run made of hardware cloth & 2x4s with a solid roof. I've read through some past posts and it seems that electric fencing can be a deterrent for bears.

1. What sort of electric fencing should I use? Does electric poultry netting work against bears (i.e., Powerfields P-89 Poultry Net or Premier 1 Poultry Netting) or do I need something stronger?

2. I have young children (5-7 years old). Will the electric fencing harm them or is it just a zap that will teach them not to touch it again?

3. I leave the chicken feeder in the run that is attached to the coop. Should I move the feeder? Does it attract bears?

4. I ordered Predator Guard solar LED lights that supposedly repel predators. Does anyone have experience with these?

5. Does Wolf urine actually work to repel bears?

6. Is the bear likely to come back for another meal? Will they come only at night or anytime? I usually let the chickens roam in the yard during the day. We do not have a fenced yard.

7. Any other advice to keep the bears away?

Welcome to BYC - sorry for the circumstances.

1) Whether you use netting or hot wire, put strips of bacon on the wire so that the bear makes contact with it's nose or tongue. Bears got into my neighbor's apiary several years ago. Hot wire baited with bacon assured the bear that a return visit was not a good idea. Hopefully someone knows whether netting or hot wire is more effective.

2) Watch your children around the hot wire and assure them that contact is a BAD idea. I got shocked as a kid - and the memory is vivid in my mind - of course I happened to be standing in the middle of a stream at the time.

3) The feed is absolutely an attractant.

4) I doubt that the LED lights will work against bears as they have become habituated to humans in most areas.

5) I seriously doubt that wolf urine will repel a hungry bear stoking up for winter.

6) It is very likely to return. Most likely it will return around the time of the first attack, but may keep coming back if unsuccessful.

7) Remove any and all attractants - garbage bags, bird feeders, outdoor feed for cats - ie, anything that a bear might consider edible.

Good Luck!
Very sorry for your loss. We have bears, and they are very hard to protect against - if they want in your house, you are going to be hard pressed to stop them! They can break into cars as if they were sardine cans.

I have electric netting around my chicken yard, and a couple of months ago we heard something scratching against the side of the house. We flipped on the lights, and it was a bear. He was leaving the coop alone since it was protected by the electric fence, but the house was not, so he was scratching on the side of the house!

Bears will go after feed. I have neighbors who have not lost chickens to bears, but they have broken into the coop to get the feed. Make sure you remove any other sources of food - bird feeders are high on their list of snack foods.

Bears around me have a routine, sort of a circuit that they patrol. So we generally see them every 15 days or so, as they follow the same large path around the area, and I am sure they have a checklist of which houses have bird feeders, which ones have chickens, which ones have honey etc.

Not sure where you live but, if its a black bear, if he/she is hungry enough, a little ol' zap of electricity is not going to stop it... and, certainly not grizzlies. I have an old black bear that's been hanging around my house for several years...Its actually broken into my neighbor s garage a few years ago and ravaged a trashcan full of BOSS... The only damage its done at my house is eat the foam from my boat seats, foam archery targets and any BOSS we have around.... So, now I leave the critter some BOSS to eat in a 5 gal bucket covered with sticks and rocks. I remove the seats from the boat, put the targets in the garage.....He eats the seeds and moves on, never bothering the chickens...(which are not more than 30 yards away. That's not to say that he won't bother them, and if he ever does, he'll then be in the freezer. Until then, I kind of enjoy watching him lumbering around and just hanging out.
Poultry netting is designed to keep in poultry - it's going to run at a lower voltage (mostly because it's partially shorting into ground). If you're trying to keep bears out, you need a big charger, and you need to use regular galvanized electric fence wire, and you need big grounding rods driven deep. There are very few things that a 10KV shock won't stop.
I agree with using actual wire and always have a good ground. Warn your kids about the fence, they will probably touch/run into it anyway and it shouldn't really hurt them, most farm kids remember learning about fence= shock= don't touch. Also agree with poster about baiting the fence with bacon, just make sure the fence is properly installed so they get the "poke" when trying to get the bacon.

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