Lesson 560 – When you wish upon a star

This is the back of our henhouse. Notice the trees. Our property is surrounded by lots of woods.

Which makes me a little concerned because in our town we have daily sightings of a mama bear and her two cubs.

When I teach chicken workshops, I tell people that the best way they can spend their money is to get a secure henhouse. Don’t fool yourself into thinking those little prefab ones at the Tractor Supply (I like to call them “Tinker-toy coops”) are going to protect your flock.

They aren’t. Your chickens would be gone in a heartbeat.

Our coop is built to housing standards and all three doors close with a lock.

Here is nesting box door.

And here is the side door from which we humans enter and clean out the coop.

The interior yard door which the girls use to go in to and out of the coop is also locked every night and finally the enclosed pen door is inspected and firmly locked each night.

That’s a lot of locks, and while it’s probably good enough to keep away the raccoons, foxes, skunks, and maybe even a fisher cat. No matter how many locks we have, I don’t think it would be enough to keep a full grown bear, who is looking for food for her cubs, out of our hen house. If a bear wants our chickens, I think that a bear is going to get our chickens.

And that’s why each evening when I lock up the chickens, I look at the metal star on the side of the coop and make a quick wish on it to the chicken gods above for our flock’s safety throughout the night.



Filed under All things chickens, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Personal, Resources

4 responses to “Lesson 560 – When you wish upon a star

  1. lscheuer

    Ooooh you’re a good chicken mama. 🙂

  2. Wow! That’s serious security. We have to worry about foxes and wild dogs, but no bears. You can keep those. We’ve had the neighbours bulls and a few kangaroos in our yard but that is all. Perhaps we are lucky.

  3. Thanks for sharing your lovely coop and scenery. I hope your security measures hold and your star continues to bring good luck!

  4. Our pens only have a hook latch, but the houses all have serious bolts on all doors. So far, so good.

    We do indeed have black bears in our neighborhood here in Penacook, but so far, they’ve only shown interest in the wild bird feeders, even though they are now 20 feet up in the air – we use laundry lines that runs from the side of the house out to either an old telephone pole on one side or a tree on the other to hang the feeders. The bears have climbed the pole on occasion, but weren’t successful, even though their efforts pulled the one of the hooks off the house. The feeders were still hanging too far up. We heard it come down in the wee hours, turned on all the outside lights and grabbed the air horn (so far, our most effective anti-bear device – I even keep one in my gardening bag). Of course, that was before we had chickens.

    One thing we’ve made a point of doing is walking our dog around the perimeter of our yard whenever there is a bear sighting in the neighborhood. I make sure the hound has plenty of opportunities to mark, mark, mark. Seems to discourage the ursine attention, and we haven’t had an attempt since I started doing this. The only tough part is that it means I have to keep more of the back part of the yard near the tree line weed-whacked so it’s walkable.

    That said, I hope, I haven’t just jinxed the chickens…

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