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South Florida Black Bears vs. Chickens & Coops

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Fire-Chicken, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    This is a call for help from those living south of Lake Trafford, Florida.

    I have a 4'x8' "stilt" chicken coop, elevated 30" off of the ground, with a fully enclosed pen underneath (in case I can't let the girls free range in the yard).

    I have 2 black bears frequenting the coop. One, a 250 pounder, will sniff all corners and head to the back of my property and eat the deer corn...not too much problem. The other, a young 150 pounder, that I caught on my game camera, sniff 3 sides, then, climb to the top, pull the door slightly open and look inside, all the while hanging off of the side! (I will post a picture at a later date, check back, it's worth seeing! Also...when I learn how to :D)

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to make the coop more bear-resistant? I have 'tapped' a couple of bears, a couple of times with a rubber-tipped arrow, from 30 yards, to scare them off. As you Floridians know, they're protected and cannot be shot. But, they are becoming more adaptable to the neighborhood and more persistent.

    I recently reinforced the coop (after losing all 4 on the Fourth of July) and put our second set of girls (5 of them) in the 'big girl' coop. After seeing the bears' persistence on my game camera, I ordered a 'Red Snap'r' brand, 5 mile, 2000 volt, 0.5 amp fence charger, and hardware to install it.

    Any feedback on the size and type of fence charger I bought?
    Has anyone tried to use this method of protection?
    Any additional thoughts or ideas as to help keep the bears at bay?

    In advance, thanks for any and all input!
    :)
     
  2. J-Sanders

    J-Sanders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2012
    The electric fence will deter almost all of the curious ones. A starving bear? Well that is another matter. I use a double fence system with a electric deterrent on the sides and top edge to prevent climbing. They will react to sounds pretty well. I use a barking dog on a motion detector. It warns me as well as the bear. I have two large dogs but they have to come inside at night due to the Warden's edict...

    Jim
     
  3. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    J Sanders
    Thanks for your input! That "barking dog" thing is a GREAT idea [​IMG], funny too! Idoubled my coop cage also, first with the origional 1/4" welded wire (to prevent smaller, digging intruders), then I added the securtiy of 1" x 2", 16 gauge fencing as well. After that, i brought it outside and the wired it for electric. I too, think it will work. The bears use their cold, wet nose and their bare, padded feet, like humans do their hands, so I think the bears are in for an unwelcome surprise!

    Thanks again!

    PS - I'm going to attempt to upload one of the pix of the bears. The 'climbing photo' I'll post tomorrow.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    J-Sanders,

    Here's a photo of the "climbing bear". Enjoy!
    No pictures / videos of the "effectiveness" of the electrified coop yet.

    Fire-chicken
    [​IMG]
     
  5. FlaRocky

    FlaRocky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Like that photo.... Good thing you built a strong coop.


    Maye
    Ride the Glide......Got Gait.......I Do........
     
  6. J-Sanders

    J-Sanders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2012
    Fire Chicken, That is one determined bear! I had one literally ripping the slats off of my board on board fence to get in my backyard a couple of years ago. Called the wildlife folks and was politely told that they couldn't do anything about the bear as they dropped off their nuisance bears just down the road from my house...

    Jim
     
  7. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    J-Sanders,

    Yeah, same thing here...I called them as we'll, said they couldn't do anything and sent me one "adult" pamphlet, a pamphlet of "how to bear-proof your garbage cans", a coloring book, and a pack of stickers!! What a slap in the face!!

    Just out of curiosity, what city are you located in? I guess we're all in this together.

    I think the next time I refurbish the coop, it won't be a stand alone unit and will be protected with a primary and a secondary fence.

    I have heard rumor that the authorities may open bear season again, requiring tags / permits. We'll see!

    I'll forward more photos or videos as they occur. Hopefully not too often, ;)

    Fire-chicken
     
  8. chickortreat

    chickortreat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    I'd open season myself, the minute I saw a bear trying to get into my chicken coop!
     
  9. Fire-Chicken

    Fire-Chicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2012
    South Florida
    Completely understand, but, I love my job, and would lose it in a New York minute if I did.
     
  10. J-Sanders

    J-Sanders Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2012
    I am in Deland. Next to the river and the Lk Woodruff wildlife reserve.
     

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