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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this is pretty unrelated buuuuut, me and my OH were saying how scary it would be living somewhere that had bears, lol. I'm from boring England, the biggest predator my chickens have are foxes.. I just can't imagine thinking "I'd better make sure the coops locked incase that grizzly comes back" haha :D
Even wolves would creep me out ALOT.
So are bears a big problem, do they sniff around a lot?
 

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Yes, we have bears, wolves, cougars, coyotes, bobcats, fishers, bald eagles, hawks, and falcons. I'm sure there is more but these are what we or our neighbors have seen in this area. So far our biggest problem is with the Bald Eagles since we can't do anything about them and they are federally protected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Omg that is insane! I once got creeped out at a mole hill on the garden cos I thought something was nesting on the ground near the chickens haha... I would be a nervous wreck living where there are so many dangerous animals!!
 

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GenFoe said:
This is at a house of a little boy who goes to school with my oldest daughter. Insane!! There are so many bears around this year.
I had that happen to me when I was living in Idaho! Very terrifying to wake up in the middle of the night and see that! Lol! :eek:
 

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Omg that is insane! I once got creeped out at a mole hill on the garden cos I thought something was nesting on the ground near the chickens haha... I would be a nervous wreck living where there are so many dangerous animals!!
Its not so bad. Most of them come out at dusk or during the night. I just keep my girls locked up extra tight at night. As for my dogs, for bedtime potty, I turn on the yard lights first, make some noise, then go out with them keeping them very close to me and the house. Nosy dogs at dark find smelly skunks making for a really nasty night! Recently there have been 3 confirmed wolf attacks killing big pet dogs in a week about 4 hours North West of me. :mad: Incident happened locally about a year ago as well. I have seen wolves & coyotes during the day. At the moment wolves are protected in my area however, I will defend my "kids" and will not hesitate to shoot. Not uncommon to hear a random gun shot at any point and time of day or night in my area.
 

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I would have a heart attack if that was my house!! We have a lot of foxes, bears, coyotes, raccoons and skunks in our area. But I've never seen bear or coyote myself. My husband has seen a few around our house. I would probably just think they were a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
7chicks said:
Its not so bad. Most of them come out at dusk or during the night. I just keep my girls locked up extra tight at night. As for my dogs, for bedtime potty, I turn on the yard lights first, make some noise, then go out with them keeping them very close to me and the house. Nosy dogs at dark find smelly skunks making for a really nasty night! Recently there have been 3 confirmed wolf attacks killing big pet dogs in a week about 4 hours North West of me. :mad: Incident happened locally about a year ago as well. I have seen wolves & coyotes during the day. At the moment wolves are protected in my area however, I will defend my "kids" and will not hesitate to shoot. Not uncommon to hear a random gun shot at any point and time of day or night in my area.
Of course, you'll have guns there, that's also quite alien to me, anything scary on my garden I have a mop or broom, that's about it haha :D
 

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I forget, you get to have the more free range use of guns do you? Hunting is a big thing and part of sustainable living where I am. Always something in season year round to hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
7chicks said:
I forget, you get to have the more free range use of guns do you? Hunting is a big thing and part of sustainable living where I am. Always something in season year round to hunt.
I'm in the uk, there are strict licenses here for guns and I wouldn't know how to use one, :s they are uncommon unless you're a farmer, and even then the only threat are stray dogs.. The big thing here is fox hunting on horseback, it was made illegal but people still do it :(
 

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We have black bears, coyotes (pests!), raccoon, weasels/mink, foxes and lots of birds of prey. I have lots of locks on my coop and run!
 

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Yup I to have black bears cougars, wolves, mink, pine Martin, raccoons, bald eagles have been really bad and I had a cougar about a month ago 10 feet off my deck. We also have several types of hawks and owls also but I wouldn't change a thing I feel safer among all that then living in the city around people lol.
 

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Yup, bears aren't too bad, usually. It's a respect issue. You have to respect them, and know that you can't have trash laying around to attract them.

I wrote in a past thread of my bear year when we lived deeper in the woods:
In all the loses I've had over the years to predators, the worst was the year of the bear. It started early when I woke up one night to a weird sound. I woke up the husband and we ran outside in our skivvies. He was in just undies and muck boots with the 12 gauge and I was in a thin summer nightie, muck boots and had the high powered flashlight. He had a blast or two when we heard the bear crashing through the brush behind the coop. He destroyed the whole roof by pulling the edges up around the whole thing, then he just punched through above the roosts.

The chickens were quite smart and they all jumped off the roosts and ran out the little door to their enclosed run, so they weren't there when the bear stuck his arm in "fishing". We had to replace the whole roof that day and we booby trapped the edges with chicken wire, so if he stuck his nose up and under the roof he would get his nose torn up and the panels over the roost became metal. I hung noisy things on the ends, so if anything was on the roof or moved it in anyway it would make clanging and jingling noises.

It was about 5 days later that we went through a similar time, but the new roof held and the bear had a backside of buckshot.

The next year was the worst though, I had bears come in the middle of the day and help themselves. I would find cleaned out carcasses in the middle of the yard or just parts here and there. I lost 10 chickens and 2 ducks that year.

An electric fence is what solved it. We tracked the bear poo and found they were all coming from one direction and going in one direction, so when the electric fence went up around the garden that was in their path. I baited it with peanut butter and we never had another bear issue. That year two were caught over one mountain going through dumpsters and a mother and three cubs were caught up the road in a pine tree fence. I had two bear traps put in the field, but we never caught one. There were just too many bears in too small a space that year.

Dealing with the game people was fun, they told me over and over that the bears are after the chicken feed, not the chickens. Hhhmmm, this bear was walking past 30 pounds of chicken feed and killing chickens. I talked to a lady who had bears breaking into her basement and eating her dog food. The game people told her that they could fine her for feeding the bears.
The bear was breaking down an outer door and then another door to get to the metal cans that held the dog food. And THAT is feeding the bears???
When it comes to raising chickens I would be more worried about fishers, mink, weasels and raccoons because they can fit through small openings. If you have a good ground cover the chickens will watch for hawks themselves. However wolves and mountain lions would probably throw me for a loop. We have coyotes, and I have heard them very close to the house, but I have never seen one. The same with foxes. I have photos of fox babies that were living in a ruble house, and I still can't believe they let me get as close as they did to photograph them!

In the last two or three years we have now known people first hand who have spotted mountain lions within 3 miles of where I live. Ever since meeting my very first bear one night (only about 8-ish feet away) I am in the habit of having my dog and a flashlight outside. It can get very dark here and I really don't want to trip over something that might be unhappy!

I have heard of local people hearing noises at night an finding bears in their kitchens and a broken back door, bear prints on windows etc. It comes down to too many bears in too small of an area. As long as they have their space they will leave you alone for the most part.
 

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We have coyotes here in Pennsylvania they dug into my friends turkey run and killed there entire flock! Feathers everywhere!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, I feel really lucky living here now, in some ways at least! I don't have to constantly worry about my animals, but this country is rubbish in every other way haha :D
I can't help thinking though that it would be pretty exciting seeing a bear!
Our coop actually has a lift off lid, not secured or anything, too heavy for chickens to lift off, but sometimes it rattles if its windy! I know I couldn't be that carefree living elsewhere.. Can bears climb fences then? :eek:
 
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