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Hi! Wondering if there is any advice on keeping chickens in bear country?? We haven't started our chicken keeping yet, but I'm getting as much information as I can before we start to make sure we have the most successful and secure coop as possible! We live in a very wooded area in western Alberta and bears , coyotes, and Cougars have been seen on our property. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks ,
Courtney
 

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One word LGD's (Livestock Guardian Dogs). We have bears where I live and I have never heard of one getting into someones chicken coop. They have come into town and got into garbage and they have tore up a few peoples bee hives for the honey. The problem with a bear is once they find a food source they will keep coming back until all the food is gone, or you kill it. Better to have some dogs to discourage all of the animals you mentioned from getting close enough to even know you have food available for them. You will not be able to build a bear proof chicken coop, unless money is no object and you got welding skills!!

BTW, there is a forum for guardian dogs here on HT, you may want to visit there and maybe post a related question.
 

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we have bear, fox, wolves, coyotes, skunks, weasels, eagles, hawks, the occasional transient cougar, probably missing some other predators. bear have not bothered our chickens so far. only problem we have had was a fox last year. ask local people with chickens, if there is anything you need to beware of, and counter measures that need to be taken.


keith
 

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I had a black bear (Ontario ) visit my large crabapple tree
that is only a few meters from the chicken pen. The bear
wasn't interested in the birds whatsoever. My kuvasz
guardian dog gave that bear heck by barking and displaying
displeasure about the bear hanging around. I went out that
night with rifle ready to dispatch the bear, but it only had
interest in sitting in the tree gorging on the apples. When it
was full, the bear took off without incident . He had every
opportunity to hassle the chickens , but didn't.
The guardian dog sure is good to have around your stead.
I don't know about cougar problems might come up for you,
though.
 
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I had a bear rip open my mom's chicken house twice and both times he ate the grain that was stored in a metal trashcan and did not kill a single bird.
 

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HOT wire, really hot....baited with raw bacon to teach them right off the bat to stay away....cause you can't kill them all.
I do not have bears where I live but have read a dozen anecdotes from folks with poultry and/or bees who did have serious bear problems and that was the consummate deterrent.
 

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I'm in Alaska and have had chickens since this past March. I have a fenced covered run and lock my chickens up every night. The coop and run are inside of my garden fence. So far so good. We saw bear sign in the backyard during blueberry season but have not had any animals bother the chickens yet. I've seen an ermine under our house the last few days but I think it's been feasting on mice. Any loud dog on the property should help, you don't specifically need a LGD. We have a Bassett Hound. He is very loud , mostly when he knows there's a big animal around. It's also very obvious when there is a bear around. He acts way different than if it were any other animal. All the hair on his back from nose to tail stands up and his growl and bark get way deeper like he means business. He also marks his territory very well. I'm wanting to get pigs next year but will definitely be using electric fence for them. Having said all that. One of my friends had her coop broken into last spring and lost all her chickens to a bear. The next day it came back to dig in her compost pile. Her husband then shot it. If they find a meal once they will keep coming back. She has since gotten more chickens and keeps a radio playing outside. Make sure you keep your garbage where they can't get to it. I feed scraps to the chickens but only put chicken bedding and end of season garden plants in my compost pile. I keep my garbage on my balcony in the summer. Even though it's a pain. leaving it in a can at ground level is just inviting them in for dinner. Good luck with your chickens. Enjoy :)
P.S. Added a picture of my ferocious chicken guard dog,lol.
 

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Crazy Canuck
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Welcome fellow Albertan!
A good fence, a good solid coop to lock them up at night, and one (or two good LGDs considering your location) will keep your chickens safe. Lots of people in the mountains and foothills of Alberta and BC have birds.
I live where we have a serious bear problem again this year and after last years nightly visitors I let my maremma patrol the whole farmyard instead of just the part with critters and he's done a great job of keeping them away.
 

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We have black bears in Florida, and we have had MANY problems with them eating feed. We keep the feed inside the coop, while our run is made from hardware fabric. Surprisingly enough, they have never tore through the hardware fabric, and we have never lost full grown chickens or turkeys to the Bears. We laid chain link under the coop to keep out the pesky raccoons out, because they always have it in for our birds! We have also had to put some serious hardware on the doors to keep the Bears from breaking in....
 
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