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So SAD!~

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dtmm81, May 5, 2011.

  1. dtmm81

    dtmm81 Hatching

    Dec 27, 2010
    Hi everybody,

    I haven't posted here much, but read lots of great advice and enjoyed all the chicken stories. Today is a SAD day in our VT household. We live in bear country, so we are always careful to close the coop at night, keep the feed inside the closed garage and we don't feed birds after the weather changes and the snow starts to melt. Of course we never thought a bear would actually break into our coop to eat the chickens, maybe the feed, but not the birds. Ignorant attitude that was!

    Last night I closed the coop right at dusk, once the hens(and couple of roosters) were inside. This morning while sipping my coffee I noticed one of the roosters making lots of racket. He likes to make his presence known anyway, but this time seemed very loud. Looking out from the kitchen window I noticed him and one hen walking around. This surprised me as I was sure I had closed and latched the door the previous night. Out I went. When I got to the coop (basically a large shed with half reserved for cordwood and the other half for the birds) I noticed the light wouldn't come on. After returning with a flashlight I saw the carnage. Back outside I saw birds carcasses all over the place. More careful inspection and I saw bear prints everywhere as well as a couple of piles of obvious bear scat. All in all we lost 6 out of our 10 birds. We have 2 roosters left and 2 hens. The worst was that my daughter was just crazy about these chickens. We have had predator attacks before and one of our oldest chickens survived them all and was her absolute favorite. They used to sit on the swing together and she'd just pet her and talk to her. She was beside herself this morning upon the news of Pringle's demise.

    Not sure what to do with the bear. My wife told me she saw him running after the remaining chickens just now (at 3-pm) and I have called the game warden. It's just so sad to see my daughter missing her birds. Now what? I don't know if I want to get more chickens. My wife is scared this will happen again. Maybe it's time to build fort knox for new birds. We had some really cute ones and the relationship my daughter had with them can't be replaced.

    Thanks for listening/reading.


  2. lovethepeep

    lovethepeep In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2008
    that is terrible!! [​IMG] so sorry for your losses
  3. carrlr

    carrlr Songster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    So sorry for your losses. [​IMG] Bears are tough to stop and prevent when they are determined. Please keep your distance. Not sure if Vermont has a relocation program, but it was a smart move to call the Game Warden.
  4. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I have read great things about electric fence and bears. Set up the fence, wrap a bit of bacon around the fence. Bear will take the bacon and learn about the fence. Chickens should be safe from bear behind electric.

    [​IMG] for you daughter and your whole family, it is a tough way to wake. [​IMG]
  5. dkvart1

    dkvart1 Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    Paul, I'm so sorry for your family's loss. [​IMG]

    I too am glad you called the game warden. In some areas they relocate, sadly some relocated bears do make their way back to point of origin. In other instances they destroy nusiance bears. Either way the game warden should take care of it. They don't want to take the risk. I would let them know that the bear came back if you haven't already which should spur them into quick action.
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  6. coloradochick

    coloradochick Songster

    Dec 19, 2007
    Brighton, CO
    Oh Paul that's tough [​IMG] Your poor daughter. Even as a 45 year old woman I still get crazy sad when my animals get killed. Give her a hug for us [​IMG]
  7. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    so sorry for your loss. build it bigger, and better and more secure and your daughter, get her some more chicks. it will be okay. [​IMG]

  8. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Songster

    Apr 22, 2011
    West Coast USA
    I truly sorry for your loss. [​IMG] I hope you continue on with the chickens, as it sounds like it's been a very special part of your daughter's life. We don't have bear problems at our place but we have a mess of coyotes, raccoons, possums, skunks and even feral cats. We use three strands of hot-wire fencing around our coop and run and it seems to work quite well as a deterrent for ground predators. Even after I turn the fence off myself, I'm still hesitant to touch it because the memory of past shocks is firmly planted in my mind, to the point where it overcomes reason.
  9. dtmm81

    dtmm81 Hatching

    Dec 27, 2010
    Thank you all so very much for the kind words. I really appreciated. I'll keep you posted as to how things pan out with the game warden. It sounds like the electric fence is the way to go. My daughter is already pleading with my wife to allow her to get new chickens. So we'll see how that pans out. First we need some time to get over the shock.
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  10. PaulaJoAnne

    PaulaJoAnne Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Bears taste really good. Aim right above the front leg broadside, or right between the eyes facing toward you. Sometimes rubber bullets, beanbags, or blunt arrows will be enough of a deterrent, but chances are he'll come back. Electric fence definitely works, too. Good luck!

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