Locking them up didn't work! :(

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by emen8, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    A bear got our four hens last night. I've been putting all my efforts into making the run secure, but the bear opened the top of the coop and got our pets. I got the coop for free, and wasn't worried about it because it was so solid. I never thought he'd be able to open the top because it's a bit awkward even for me. I'd used two eye bolts joined with a small carabiner to lock it up. One of the eye bolts just tore right out of the wood. The good thing is that the bear obviously walked on top of the run, but the welded fencing held up, except for a few screws/washers that popped off.

    Now I'm wondering how to go forward. I got a double hinged safety latch, and I think it will be strong enough if I use bolts, washers & nuts to install it instead of just screws. But should I try and get new chickens right away? Or should I install the new latch, and see if the smell of the shavings, poop, and remaining food and feathers will entice him to try again? If he does try and fails, maybe he'll realize it's too hard and give up. On the other hand, I don't want him to think of my yard as his nightly dining room. Any thoughts?
  2. chickengirlnm

    chickengirlnm Songster

    Sep 4, 2007
    clovis, new mexico
    I am sorry for your loss of your pets. I dont live in an area where bears are a problem but I do have my share of neighborhood pitbulls and I have been installing electric fencing around the run.
    Do you think something like that would work against a bear??
    I am sorry I cant be much more help- I hope someone here will give you a better answaer.

    Again I am sorry to hear about your pets.

  3. Firefyter-Emt

    Firefyter-Emt Songster

    That's going to be a hard one to fix.. A .30-06 would best fix the problem. That bear will most likly be back if he has been once.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'm sorry you lost your hens, after all the trouble and work you've gone through to protect them. I'd say, if you have bears, you need electric fencing. There are lots of people here with electric fencing, that can help you with any questions you have.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2007
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    I don't think I would be in a hurry to get new chickens unless you eliminate the bear in some form or fashion first. You might try your local fish and game dept. for help, maybe they can set a trap and relocate it. If worst comes to worst you may have to shoot it.

    Its very hard to build a coop that can withstand a bear attack because of their sheer size and strength.

    An electric fence might deter it.
  6. Yonaton

    Yonaton Songster

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    As others have said, an electric fence (buy one that gives the stoutest shock you can afford!).

    Another thing...try to build the coop from sawmill oak (preferably already cured). Things tend not to come apart very easy (you'll also find that most 16p nails are made of rubber when nailing into that kind of lumber. lol).
  7. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    Thanks for the quick replies. Black bears are a fact of life here in the Poconos. For the most part, they avoid humans. I'm not sure it will be worth the expense for an electric fence for four pet chickens, though. I just did a brief Google search, and I couldn't easily find pricing on fencing that's enough to repel bears. Can anyone tell me roughly what it might cost to fence off an area that's about 12'x15'? I have two kids, 8 and 10 years old, and occasional younger visitors. Would the fence be safe to have near the house?

    I'm still hoping I can make everything secure enough without an electric fence. The coop itself is pretty solid, and my fencing held up well. If I can make it too difficult to break into, will the bears eventually learn that it's not worth trying?
  8. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    I think it would be a bad idea to have an electric fence strong enough to repel a bear around children. There's always the fear that it could make the bear mad if it's not strong enough. How about a motion sensor light? I don't know much about repelling bears, but it might make them jump. Ideal sell a special red light that is supposed to repel all predators, but I don't know if that includes bears. You could always get a big dog.
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    Sorry for your loss. Just want to put in my two cents for electric fencing and lead.

    On EZBYC, year before last, someone up in the PA boonies posted a couple of shots of their large, walk-in coop (and very nice it was-or had been). Very sturdy construction.

    Bear tore it open like it was a sardine can.

    Good luck!
  10. emen8

    emen8 In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2007
    The Poconos
    I really appreciate everyone's comments.

    I spoke to a neighbor who thinks that black bears don't eat live food. He thinks it's more likely a coyote did the dirty work, or maybe the bobcat that's beens sighted. That would be good news if it's true, because I think it'll be easier to make the coop & run safe from those animals than from a bear.

    Any more thoughts.

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