Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by silkydayz, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. silkydayz

    silkydayz Hatching

    Oct 29, 2007
    We live an area that has bears. Just last week one actually broke open the coop door and snatched a couple of chickens and then came back for the next couple of nights scaring the daylights out of our hens. Now they refuse to enter the coop on their own at night and are just roosting in the trees. It's getting colder around here and I really want to them to go into the coop. We have reinforced the door and I have caught a couple with a big dip net but I still have 5 that are staying out at night. Any suggestions on how to catch them or should I just leave them out for the winter? We live in an area where the average winter temp is 32 degrees but can get colder with wind and snow storms. Any advice would be greatly appreciated because we sure like our girls and want them to be safe and happy! In case you were wondering our rooster disappeared one day about a month ago and I have gotten a new one but he is only 8 weeks old and not the leader I'm sure he will be when he grows up. Thanks in advance for your advice!
  2. alex

    alex Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    i wouldn't give them food at feeding time and put the food into the coop or show it to them and when they come in i would close it and lock it up...or build a fence in the area you want them to stay...doasn't have to be a big fence....if they fly to high cut theyr'e flght feathers...(the first 3 long feathers...)
  3. silkydayz

    silkydayz Hatching

    Oct 29, 2007
    Thanks Alex,
    We do have a fence that is attached to the coop but they have free ranged all summer and have been real good about roosting in there at night until the bear incident. Right now they are still scratching around in the yard so they might be getting enough food until it snows. We clipped the older hens wings but the young ones from this spring aren't. They sure are hard to catch because they take cover under and in the trees in our yard. They have a 3 acre yard but usually don't go to far from the main house. Any good ways to catch a hen?
  4. FrozenChicken

    FrozenChicken Songster

    Apr 1, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    A fish net works pretty good [​IMG]. Or wait til night when they are perched and just catch them. Chickens don't see well in the dark.
  5. And, I had hoped the bears where hibernating by know.

    So, what are the plan for keeping the bear away? They get really hungry just for they hibernate.

  6. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    It is near immpossible to build a coop a bear can't get in if he wants to. From my experience with bears, an electric fence is the only way to go. If you check out this site will give you detailed instrutions on installing an electric fence. I DO NOT care what anyone tells you to use for the electric wire, use barb wire. The small wire you get in the kit WILL NOT penetrate thier coat. But when they touch the barbs, they go right to the skin. This is the same method that is used for sheep.
    DO NOT use this method around other animals, for they might get tangled in the barbs. It also kept my neighbors lab pup out, he only rushed the fence twice. Now he watches the chickens from the top of the property. Bears can be a real pain in the backside. Be sure to kept a loaded gun handy and OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. I would put a radio in the coop also.
    As for getting the chickens back in the coop, put their food and water only in the coop. After a day or two they will be back in the coop.
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    I agree with what panner said. In addition, I want to point out that the chickens are no safer in the trees, since bears climb trees. Of course, the bear is not after the chickens..he wants the feed. The chickens just happen to be in the way in most cases. I would contact your game and wildlife agency and have this nuisance bear trapped and moved. If he was a repeat offender, he will be euthanized.

  8. I feel really sorry for the chickens, they know what happened to their friends and dont want to suffer the same fate so they roost in a different spot. It could take time to get them to roost back in there again.
    Have they gone off the lay? I hope you can keep the bear out of your coop from now on. It must be really difficult where you live to have to contend for that size predator.
    I also say try a radio, the bear may think that humans are in the coop!!! and stay away. good luck.

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