Pastured Poultry in Bear Country – An Optimist’s Cautionary Tale

I live right on the edge of town where the foothills turn quickly into mountains.  So even though I don’t feel like we live in the woods, we share space with a lot of wildlife. Right now there is a herd of about 11 bachelor bull elk wandering the neighborhood and a larger herd of cow elk with their calves. There are several foxes, some coyotes, at least one skunk and quite a few raccoons judging from their midnight screaming sessions. And I know there are at least three to five bears living in the area. They're all congregated here for the same reason we like it. There's water - something rare in arid Colorado. We're bounded on three sides by water - the Big Thompson River, the Buckhorn Creek, and the Long Irrigation Ditch. Wow! What a cool place, right?! But if you get it in your head, like I did that, "I have 3 acres, so I should be able to grow our family veggies, eggs and some pastured poultry," it presents some challenges. Still, as an incurable optimist, and someone who likes to solve unsolvable problems, I was sure I could handle it. My neighbors provided my first lesson: don't let your chickens wander around the yard during the day, especially if you're not going to be at home. [caption id="attachment_3303" a

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3 thoughts on “Pastured Poultry in Bear Country – An Optimist’s Cautionary Tale

  1. Laughed out loud. Love the website, even though I don’t raise livestock. I do; however, try to garden on an acre of high desert sand in Washoe Valley, Nevada. My particular nemeses are rodents, deer and quail which love to try everything I plant and we have the same weather variables as your late snows. This spring it was a late blast of frigid air for a week that seems to have killed outright the little cherry tree that provided it’s first delicious crop only last year.

    I keep thinking about trying chickens, but your cautionary tale has helped bring me back to reality. Keep up the good work.

  2. Just curious what type of electric fence you are using as we sell to contractors that are bear proofing homes in Tahoe, a contractor who fences dumps in Alaska, bee farmers in CA, and a large pasture chicken farmer in Red Bluff; all of which have great success in keeping out the bears permanently. We would be glad to be of assistance to help you save your chickens from predation. Give us a call! Or email me and we can set up a time to talk.

  3. Good luck Kathy! And i know you won’t take it out on the bears; they are just doing what come natural to them -OBTAINING ENERGY…! Thank you for sharing your experiences.

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