My neighbor’s chicken enclosure was surrounded by chain-link fencing with the same on the top. A bear recently came on their property at about 4 a.m. and destroyed this enclosure to get some chickens. The top collapsed from the bear’s weight, and the animal tore apart the chain link on the side to enter. The coop inside was torn apart.
My chickens next door were okay. They are protected by a flimsy electric fence. Wild animals have been eyeing my hens for a long time, but they have needed to go next door to get a meal — my neighbor has lost chickens before to coyotes and raccoons.
My neighbor came out and the bear ran away. Three hens survived the attack. Now they have sanctuary in my chicken enclosure until a safe home can be created for them.
At first, my two hens pecked at the new residents, but that behavior has stopped and they’re all getting along.
I learned about electric fences from Jeronimo who sells eggs and meat products at the Saturday Farmers Market. He informed me that despite having his farmed animals in the midst of wild animal territory, the electric fences he uses have been effective. He told me bears come through his property all the time.
The electric fence is so effective that my chicken coop doesn’t even need to be closed at night.
The four-foot-high electric fence unit I have and the solar unit that powers it aren’t that expensive to purchase. Chickens have more room to roam in such an enclosure than many of the cramped pens in our area. The biggest problem with an electric fence is that one may forget to turn it back on after leaving the chicken enclosure.