Last week, I wrote about Sweetie Pie's panicked escape and our three-hour search for her. A few days later, Elaine and I learned why the hen and the rest of the flock were acting so stressed last Tuesday.
We found bear paw prints on the compost bin that borders the chicken run, and we also saw where a bruin had bent down the top of one side of the fence, torn off the netting that covers that side, and left claw prints on the wood support. The only thing, we believe, that kept the bear from entering the compound was the fact that it must have been repeatedly shocked by the solar powered fence (two wires about eight inches apart run around the perimeter) as it tried to break in.
The day after the attack, the chickens refused to leave the henhouse and neither Boss nor Johnny crowed. It was as if every bird was trying to hunker down and stay inside for safety. The quartet only came out after much encouragement from me.
We have taken a number of precautions to keep our birds safe in terms of fortifying the run, but nothing we have done has been as important as constructing the solar powered electric fence.