Wanting to raise chickens but worried about attracting predators

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sciemi, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. sciemi

    sciemi New Egg

    Feb 5, 2009
    So we have 5 acres in central British Columbia. We would like to raise chickens for meat/eggs but as a mother of 2 young kids I'm worried that having chickens will attract predators - particularly bear and cougars. Bear are commonly sighted around here and our neighbours who have a llama ranch lose a few animals to cougars every year.
    Understandibly I'm worried about my kids...never let them out unsupervised or at dawn/dusk.
    Is having chickens just asking for trouble? Or would the cattle ranch on one side, the llama ranch on the other plus all the horses etc. around be more tempting than my chickens or children?
  2. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    So we have 5 acres in central British Columbia.

    Nice, bet it is beautiful there.

    Gosh, have no experience with cougars & bear-- humans wiped those things out here in Alabama centuries ago! There are reports of a bear here every few years but extremely rare. Instead, we are overrun with White-Tail deer because they have no natural predators-- Alabama has more than 1 million deer, more than ever before.

    Generally, aren't bears & cougars afraid of humans? If food is scarce, then I think a hungry animal would be more inclined to go after livestock, including chickens.

    I say appreciate having such predators around. Get a good Guardian Dog or dogs & build a good coop.​
  3. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    We live in the Black Hills of SD and are completely surrounded by Forest Service land. We have mountain lions, coyotes, wolves, weasels, bald eagles, and so on (no bears:))

    Everyone told us that we were asking for trouble, but we decided to do it anyway and have never regretted the decision. We made the coop as sturdy as possible and hope for the best. Fortunately, we have had no problems thus far. And we definitely have mountain lions here at night.

    I HIGHLy recommend you try it. As you can see from some of the postings here, even those in the city have problems with predators (albeit the two-legged kind or else man's "best" friend!)

    I wanted to mention that we also have two young children, ages 10 and 9, and are greatly concerned about their safety. We just continue doing what we have always done at dusk/dawn, etc.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have black bear, eastern cougar, pine marten, bobcat, coyotes, foxes, raccoons, and more. We predator-proofed, not sure if it would forestall a grizzly or Kodiak, you might want enhancedconstruction on the run. It also helps to use 'snow boards' to strengthen the structure and to take away the sight of birds from a distance. You'll need hardware cloth and some buried and secured. Be sure your pop door is extra-secure, too. We installed two, with inaccessible locks should one be breached. It's in our home page. So far so good, *knock on wood*. No free-ranging for us, and the hens are happily locked up. We know the predators will focus on the easy buffet rather than bother us.

    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  5. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    It's probably possible to create a coop/run that will keep all but the most motivated wild cats out, but bears are a bigger threat as they are incredibly powerful. You'll need to make sure that you keep your property very clean and as untempting as possible to these animals: dispose of animal carcasses, waste, and feed quickly and properly.

    Do join the chicken contingency. It's a lot of fun and you'll really enjoy it, as will your kids.
  6. nnbreeder

    nnbreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2008
    Hot wires will work for most predators if the charger puts out enough. The very good quality ones are expensive but will last much longer and do a better job at keeping things at bay.

    Be sure though to educate the children well and always watch them around the wires.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by