Bears don’t care about chickens
Re: “At this point Nelson not ready to welcome chicken and bees,” Letters, January 30
I wish to present a different view on the issue of backyard hens as to what was submitted by Grant MacHutchon
I have nearly 40 years of rural living experience. I spent over 25 years living in the northern Yukon, many of these in my remote cabin, visited by bears on a regular basis. I am bear smart, meaning I did all the right things to keep bears away from my cabin but they came anyways. When spring arrived, I was plagued by them.
My point is that bears will be attracted to the scent of food in your house, wafting into the open air. There is no way to stop this. In my opinion, the addition of chickens to backyards would not amount to even a drop in the bucket to attractants for bears. Even if everyone in town had backyard chickens, I do not believe there would be an increase in bear activity.
On moving to Nelson, my family and I lived on a farm in Blewett, backed onto the woods, with many farm animals, fruit trees and berry crops. Over the eight years we had numerous bears on our property, always after the fruit. Not once did we see a sign of bears go near our chicken coop. Bears are not interested in chickens.
Hypothetically, if a hungry bear were to be placed in a yard with bowls of fruit, berries, compost, garbage, dog food, and chickens in a coop, I can guarantee the bear would only be interested in the food and not give the chickens a second look.
Mr. MacHutchon suggests a bylaw that would need to be enforced if chickens were permitted, most noticeably an electric fence. If this logic applies, then we also need electric fences for our fruit trees, berry patches, garbage, compost, pets, and our homes. Should I buy one for my barbeque?
I agree there would need to be a bylaw governing the number of hens and requirement for a secure coop, but I would hope that in the near future I, and my neighbours who so wish to, will be allowed the right to have access to our own home grown eggs. They are so good.