35 flock owners have reported conflict with wildlife involving their coops since 2012. Over 70% of those conflicts were with bears. Grizzlies seem to have a particular taste for chicken.
In 2018, we enrolled four Whitehorse area flock owners in our Bear Safe Egg Producer Program. We wanted to find out what supports egg producers need to keep their flock safe from bears and bears safe from their flock.
We developed criteria for being a Bear Safe Egg Producer, helped participants design, finding funding for and install electric fencing and gathered feedback from them all about the program.
Here is what participants are saying:
“The biggest reason I wanted to fence was the reality of the number of bears destroyed across the territory in 2017 due to human interactions. I felt as a new chicken coop owner I needed to ensure my actions were not contributing to this number. As I live on the interface of rural residential and forest, bears were in the neighbourhood all summer. This limited my use of the trails
and my feeling of safety when out with my kids. It was VERY important to me that I do not enable bears to get into my coop and become 'problem' bears which would put my family and neighbours at risk, as well as the bears. So I would say out of your list, my top reason is to increase the survival rates for chickens and bears, and the safety of the neighbourhood.” (Debi Wickham)
”I used to run out to the coop whenever I heard weird calls from the chickens during the night fearing they were in danger. Now I know that nothing can get in - from wildlife to neighbourhood dogs - and it feels great not to worry. It's easier getting a house sitter when needed to as I don't need to worry if something happens while I am away. I also appreciate the fact that keeping my flock safe also keeps wildlife safe and keeps predators reduced in my neighbourhood. It lets you sleep at night! The investment is totally worth it!” (Ellen Thomas)
now do you want to become a wildwise certified bear safe egg producer?
Please review these documents for information about how to become certified. We can be reached by phone at 335-5212 if you have questions or want to enroll. Or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We also found out that flock owners have a big job on their hands looking after the health and well-being of their flock. We came across some very helpful resources along the way. If you have chickens or are planning a chicken coop, you may find these come in handy.