Bear Season

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Piper Notch, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. Piper Notch

    Piper Notch Just Hatched

    We have a flock of 80 chickens, various breeds, all great egg layers. Two very protective roosters keep the girls in line, and are great at fending offf small predators, such as hawks, fox, and raccoons. Last Spring we drove into our yard toward the barn and coops, and realized there were chickens out and about. Our birds have free run of the property during daylight hours, but we coop them at night for safety. There was blood on many birds, and when we approached the barn we found the coop door and part of the actual barn siding ripped off... two feeders were out on the lawn, and there was a mess of shredded chickens, and a pile of dead girls. The culprit was a bear... approx 300 lbs, as approximated by the game warden and bear biologist, using the paw prints and length of reach. All in all, we lost 40 birds, and had several thousands dollars property damage. With their help, we installed an electric fence, and auto lighting, and had no more carnage, but the bear still visited us many times. One day, at NOON, he stood on his hind legs and stared us down, not 15 ft from us! So now it is the season again, and I want to know what else we can do to prevent attacks this year, along with the fence and lights. I am sure folks have little tricks to keep their girls and guys safe and stress free! Kim Heath, Piper Notch Farm, Colebrook, New Hampshire (yup, 8 miles to Canada)
     
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't help although black bears are starting to show in Missouri again.

    Are these black bears?

    If a black bear and I know attacks on humans are rare but do you pack a gun when you go out? I wouldn't want to chance it.

    How about a good dog?
     
  3. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think your best friend is that electric fence. Curious what you were told to use and how did you install it? Not knowing how large of an area you have, one thing you could do is to expand the perimeter to establish a larger safety zone. Move em way out and make it hurt. We are not talking a little wimpy fencer that gives them a tickle...........it needs to really screw up their day with a violent, painful shock. Hopefully, that is what you have.
     
  4. Hallock234

    Hallock234 Just Hatched

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    You're living in Black Bear central. Secure fencing and lighting are all good measures, but Black Bears are notoriously stubborn and clever when it comes to getting at tasty food (I'd imagine your chickens taste far better to it than anything it is encountering out in the wild). The electric fencing may work for a bit, but if you see this bear continue to demonstrate such bold behaviors, you should seriously consider getting a livestock guardian dog. Most bears have a natural tendency to avoid or run away from barking dogs, especially in NH where hunting them with hounds is legal.

    Otherwise if you're not looking to get a dog, you could talk to a local trapper or houndsmen about removing this bear (I'm fairly certain that NH has depredation permits). Your local wildlife officials should have more information on that option.
     
  5. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bears can be very problematic. If they want in your car or house there is not much you can do to stop them. I have a resident bear we are seeing on a regular basis. Last evening I went to the back yard to pull in the bird feeders, and saw him 30 feet away eyeing the same feeders. I ran inside, grabbed my Nikon and took some photos and then grabbed the feeders and high tailed it out of there. He has not caused much trouble, a couple of bird feeders. He has never tried to break into the coop. But if he did, electric fence would be my #1 choice. I use the net fence from Premier1Supplies, and it keeps any animal at bay. I run my electric fence at 8000+ volts.

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    Here is the electric net fence. It is 4' high.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    To piggyback on to what Thomas suggests.........a couple videos.......

    This from the NOLS folks.........

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    And from this lady............

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  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I use 6K + volts to deter bear from the beehives. 8k is right but you'll have weak spots on large fence and those need to be min 6k. that's why you go large to cover the weak links. We use poly wire and 1 joule fencer as it's a very small apiary. With such a large area your fencing you likely need a larger fencer to produce 6k and up. We only use .5 joule on the poultry fence to deter predators. Bear don't bother our chickens at all. Once they came and attacked a pen but that was when feed was left out. Bring feed in house or shed every night and they wont be attracted. Bear come for the feed and stay for chicken dinner. Now that it's keyed in on chicken changes things some. Your electric if properly maintained will keep the bear at bay. Make sure you've a low enough wire, a member of our bee club posted photos of a trench dug overnight by a bear trying to get in. Huge amount of excavation but not quite enough for it to crawl under the bottom wire without getting zapped. Electric is king when it comes to predator control.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017

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