Here is Your New Title
13 Years
Jun 28, 2009
A bear attacked today, killing our second to last hen D': Our other hen is still alive, but wounded pretty bad. The bear tore open the chicken run fencing, and I'm assuming reached inside and snagged the hen, pulled her out, and well... ate her. I have a couple of questions...

1. At what time is a bear likely to attack?
2. Will it return?
3. How exactly would they catch a chicken?
4. Any helpful info to help hen heal?
1 Any time of the day or night
2 If it tasted just like chicken it will probably be back
3 A bear is adept at catching animals. They can pull a jumping fish out of the air. They are fast, can run as fast as a horse. They are strong, they can run alongside a galloping elk and simultaneously swipe at it knocking the jaw off of the elk.
4 How badly hurt and where?

I really don't know how to keep a bear out of an average chicken coop.
They break into houses and cabins.
You can try to bear proof your coop by putting spike boards on it so they get poked when they try to break in that is what is done on many cabins, or you can run electric fence, that is quite effective on my friend's apple trees and grape vines to keep bears away. I would contact the state dnr or whatever wildlife department you have and see about getting a government trapper to come and live trap the bear and haul it away, that is what is done with problem bears around here.
Bears in Jersey?

If I had bears in my area and they often got on the property then I would for sure have a perimeter fence for the property! It may not stop them but this would allow you to have a watch dog on the property to sound the alarm. I strong woven wire fence run will keep most all predators out and even slow down the biggest of predators.

I live in the mountains of Colorado, deep in the heart of bear country. Now I have never had any problems with bears but here are a few things we have done to help prevent bears.

  • We have 3 large dogs that are outside at all hours. They bark at anything that sounds or smells fishy. We still have elk and deer who come on the property however I have never (to my knowledge) had bear, mountain lion or the bobcats on my property.
  • We installed an electric fence, so if my dogs do not deter a bear the fence will. Bears hate to be shocked. Our first fence is around the perimeter of my home, We have our land sectioned so this is not our entire property but just a smaller section. Our second electric fence is a portable solar operated electric fence we purchased from Premier fencing. We love it! My dogs will not even go near it. This fence surrounds our chicken coop, rabbit hutch, compost and bees all that would seem an open snack bar to the bear.
  • A trash dumpster is located in a completely separate area of the property. Bear love trash if they cannot find food.

If you experience problems with bears it is likely that fellow neighbors are too, I would call the wildlife office near you, make a complaint and if they have enough complaints or a bear is attacking wildlife or damaging your property they will work with you and neighbors to remove the bear to a safer environment for the bear. Bears will come back to the same place, especially if you keep making the food, aka your chickens available to it.

I recommend an electric fence, spike boards also help (bears do not like to step or prickly things), if you compost remember not to compost meat or anything like cantaloupe, and of course Dogs, Dogs, Dogs!

I hope your chicken is okay, give it plenty of TLC, keep its wounds clean and make sure it is eating.

Good luck with your bears, if you want a large number of links (I have read a lot on the subject) I can send you some more information.
if it's a black bear you could get a bear tag and just shoot it
I'm quite sure you cannot just buy a bear tag and shoot a bear any time you want. Bear tags are only good during bear hunting season which in the case of NJ is in early December, I doubt the OP wants to put up with a problem bear until then. However it may be legal to shoot it if it is killing livestock, that would have to be looked into with the dnr or animal control
Oh I didn't realize seasons were different there, our bear season is just starting here and you can go out and buy a tag pretty much anytime you want. I know you can't just go out and buy a bear tag, I hunt. Good luck, hope he leaves your chicken alone!

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