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Black bears and chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cwcochran1961, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. cwcochran1961

    cwcochran1961 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    LURAY, VA
    Hey everyone,
    We live in the shenandoah valley of va and are in process of moving to out new property. We have been clearing the property for the last 8 months and have recenty found Bear tracks... OH God! Now, we are not oblivious to the fact that there are all varieties of wildlife here, but the bears have never been seen before now.. Will they attach chickens? It has alsways been my understanding that black bears are herbavores manly, and not meat eaters.The coop and pen are in the process of being constructed and believe me we are taking every precaution and are building it like Fort Knox.( heavy fencing, buried with buried permiter, heavy roof, reinforced, locks,( something koons cant fugure out) and electric fencing.) Any other suggestions?
    We are planning to alsokeep the feed for the birds inside the coop rather than out in the pen. of of sight to predators.
    Im nervous, I just started on this chicken adventure and surely dont want to find a pen full of dead birds.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I've read that the best deterrent for bears is an electric fence with some zap to it. Yes, bears will eat chickens.
     
  3. cwcochran1961

    cwcochran1961 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    LURAY, VA
    well then I am covered. the electric fence will do its job, and if not the 44 will. but only as a last resort of course.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Bears are omnivores. They'll eat YOU if they can catch you. Yes, they'll eat chickens, deer if they can catch it, etc, etc.
     
  5. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    My Coop
    Bears will eat chickens, eggs... but they are often VERY interested in chicken feed! It doesn't run away and smells delicious to them. An easy meal.

    Bears are strong, and much of their foraging involves pulling apart dead wood. I run electric fencing on my run and coop to deter them, because even though my coop is built like a fort, a determined bear could get into it and not only kill my birds if it desired, but cause a lot of monetary damages. A neighbor of mine had a bear tear two doors off of her shed like they were nothing, to get in to her guinea fowl.

    A strong pop from an electric fence is the best non-lethal bear deterrent there is.
     
  6. cwcochran1961

    cwcochran1961 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    LURAY, VA
    yes I know they love seed. like bird seed we keep that in a differant place sealed up tight in metal cans so they cant smell it(hopefully). we have the electric fence in place, but I am sure if they are hungry or determined enough even that will not stop them. so far no unwanted visiors have been seen around, so..
     
  7. cwcochran1961

    cwcochran1961 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 6, 2012
    LURAY, VA
    Hey yall have not been on here is a while. Coop and pen are finished and have seen evidence( paw prints) of several bear visits on property but thankfully nothing has bothered the pen. We have put electric fence around and poured concrete around the perimeter over top of the chicken wire on the ground. The roof of the pen surrounding the coop originally was just chicken wire, but we have since covered wth metal on top of the wire.
    On a sadder note, have managed to lose one of the friendly barred rocks.. she just diappeared one day. No evidence of a fight or struggle, she was just gone. We searched everywhere, on our property and for hours around our property. Not even a feather. The day folling the disappearance, we caught a neighbors dog chasing the hens while they were out. Hubby chased him away, and we have not seen him since. I just wonder....
     
  8. lmatvey

    lmatvey Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2012
    Glad to hear that the construction went well. We are in northern MN and have lots of black bears!
     
  9. stephanietpeter

    stephanietpeter New Egg

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    I live in North Central Florida (in the Ocala National Forest), Black Bears are apart of our everyday life. We do all we can but sometimes they win. In this last year they have torn into my chicken pen twice. The first time he killed 15 and 1 actually lived. We then named her Luckey. This time I went smaller thinking the smell was attracting them. I had Luckey and 4 more. All dead this morning. I have always stored the feed in the pen in metal cans. Both attacks the feeders and cans were not distubed. they were knocked over but not eaten. I will be installing electric on the next go around.
     
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    A deer doesn't stand a chance in a foot race with a bear. One of the things that the Forest Rangers in the Smokey Mountain National Park look forward to every summer to relieve the boredom is an animal lover rushing in to rescue a deer from the jaws of a black bear. It usually doesn't end well for the rescuee or the rescuer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fatal_bear_attacks_in_North_America#Black_bear

    The above list of fatal bear attacks going back to 1900 shows that if you are going to get eaten by a bear, not just killed, it will in most likely hood be a black bear that does the deed. Also notice that it seems that you are no safer inside your house than your chickens are inside their coop. Bon Appetite Smokey.
     

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