Andrew Timmins: (603) 271-2462
Becky Johnson (603) 271-3211
June 12, 2018
CONCORD, NH — As more New Hampshire residents raise chickens in their back yards, an increasing number of wildlife species are recognizing unprotected poultry as an easy food source, and conflicts continue to increase every year.
“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, N.H. 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. If poultry and livestock owners were willing to take proactive precautions to protect their investment, there would be no need to remove a potential threat through trapping or lethal means.”
Electric fencing is the most effective means of keeping bears and other wildlife out of chicken coops and other areas where livestock is contained. Wildlife predators are readily tempted by easy and high-quality foods, which include 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 wildlife conflicts, as 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 protecting livestock from predators, visit www.wildnh.com/wildlife/predators.html, and for civilized solutions to wildlife problems, visit wildlifehelp.org.