Do Bears Like Chicken?


9 Years
Oct 18, 2010
My chicken coop in is an old dog kennel with chicken wire over the sides and top to keep predators out. Yesterday morning the kennel wall was pushed in a few feet making it hard to open the door, which was weird, but there was a storm and I assumed that the wind did it. Last night my husband heard something out at the coop, went out to find a large, big dog size bulky animal tearing up the tarp at one corner. Initially it didn't run off until he yelled, it paused a few feet away the lumbered off into the woods. It was TOO BIG to be a raccoon, skunk or badger. Even he admitted that it looked to be a bear!
Yes, they like chicken. I've lost some to a bear. I'm assuming you're in PA, good luck dealing with the game commission here. I called them to see if they would trap it. They basically told us it was our fault because we live in the country, grow a garden, have chickens, have a compost pile, and burn our garbage. However, if it does destroy your pen or birds, there's an obscure section about reporting it and getting restitution from them for bear caused damages. I didn't know that at the time, or I'd have filed the papers to get replacement birds and a roll of wire.
I am in Ohio, there were 2 confirmed bear sightings in our county last year. One close to me. I wouldn't want to kill it. I would think it'll move on if it can't find food.
reinforce your coop and run, keep the girls locked up at night and, if possible, keep food, compost and such away from the coop/run. Bears are omnivours and if they want in something they will get in, but if you take precautions you could be alright with no incidents. It does sound like the bear already found its prize. It may give up but it may not. A bit of electric fence about nose high on your bear may be all it takes.
Bears love chickens, amongst all the other things that they eat. If they are there, and accessible they will go for them. When they get their mind to go after them they can destroy your whole pen and well you know what comes next to the chickens.

I built my pen as strong as possible because I live in bear country, but we have many other predators too and large ones at best. But truth be told if a bear wanted in it would get in no matter what. However I got dogs and their barking keeps the bears at a good distance from the pens. Every spring and fall we have bears that use our driveway and the side of the house as a crossing into the back of our woods. In the summer I can look out my front window and in the field across the road I can always guarantee to see either a moose or a bear just sunning away with or without cubs/calves. And about 2x per day I see a fox or two roaming about the house but its too challenging for them to get in so they just go around sniffing things out.

I keep all chicken feed inside the coop and my girls are locked up as soon as it is dark. and locked in tightly inside the barn. I make sure I do not leave anything out that could tempt a late night curious bear to try and get in the run. In the spring, summer and fall I leave the run door open after the girls are gone in for the night so if a passing bear wants in to sniff around he will not break my run door. the pop door leading int to the barn is screwed shut every night on the outside and there is a secondary pop door on the inside too that also gets screwed shut. Ya some people say a bit much, but I know that my girls are secure in this manner.

keep an eye out for that bear if he comes back make sure you are ready, get an air horn, and some bear bangers (even fire crackers will work) and when you see him let loose on that horn or light up a cracker and throw it in the air. the bear will run and if he comes back again doing the same procedure will ensure he will remember your house and avoid it.

Good luck,

Now I am freaking out. I think my son is going to stay up tonight and watch seeing as it's been 2 nights in a row. He is studying Wildlife management and is going to talk to his professor today about what to do. I certainly don't want the bear or my chickens hurt. It needs to move on, we are not quite rural enough to support bears.
I think an electric fence may be in order. I have bears. I use the fences and I bait them to lure predators into discovering the fences nose first so they will not be insulated by their hair against the charge. I also take all my feed in at night. Bears will eat chickens, but they are frequently drawn in by the feed and scratch. Then they discover that there is also meat available at their buffet. Being pretty opportunistic, they would not turn down a chance to have some chicken with their dinner.

Be safe. Good luck.
I had a bear probalem last fall. Lost a lot of chicken feed, but no chickens. One time one even took the feeder over to the next property over and a drop light we had hanging is still missing. I called the Fish&Game and they recommended keeping lights on outside, turning a radio on talk radio, hanging worn cloths so it looks like a person is outside and has human scent, put electric fence around your coop/run at 12" and 36" high and secure the heck out of it. Also lock your feed inside and he told me to keep my garbage in the garage to not attract them(even though a bear could get in there if he really wanted!). Go aroung and look at everything and think 'What would the bear think is food?'. Chickens definately especially if its a mama trying to feed cubs. My grandparents lost their whole flock to a bear and they ended up finding out she had 2 cubs.

I was getting ready to go to work one night last fall (it was around mignight. I work graves.) and I heard something eating cat food on my front porch. We have a feral dog probelm around here so I was going to scare 'the dog' off. I thought WOW I've never seen a dog that BIG.. Bahhhh BEAR!! Scared the heck outta me!

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