CONCORD — As a growing number of Granite State residents raise chickens, an increasing number of wildlife species are recognizing unprotected poultry as an easy food source.
“Fish and Game strongly recommends that the public take a responsible approach to protecting their chickens and other livestock, one that is beneficial to both the state’s wildlife and a homeowner’s property and resources,” said Andrew Timmins, the NH Fish and Game Department’s Bear Project Leader. “Each summer, an increasing number of bears and other wildlife are killed by homeowners protecting poultry and other livestock from predation. This does not represent a sustainable approach to managing our wildlife resources.”
Electric fencing is the most effective and proactive method of keeping bears and other wildlife out of chicken coops and areas where livestock is contained. Wildlife predators are readily tempted by easily accessible and high-quality foods, which include both chickens and poultry grain. In New Hampshire, many chickens are free-ranging or insecurely housed, and thereby are vulnerable to predation. A properly constructed electric fence will typically prevent coop entry by bears and other wildlife. Electric fencing represents a lasting solution to adverse wildlife interactions because it will protect livestock for years to come.
“Electric poultry and bee fence packages are readily available from a variety of stores and distributors in New Hampshire. If properly maintained, this equipment will last many years thereby making the financial investment a very reasonable one,” said Timmons. “Be responsible, go electric!”
See a brochure on protecting chickens with electric fencing at www.wildnh.com/wildlife/documents/chickens.pdf.
Learn more about civilized solutions to wildlife problems at wildlifehelp.org.