How to keep Bears out of the chicken coop

As far as chicken predators go, bears are the worst of all! Not only will bears break a chicken coop to pieces looking for the feed, but they will also eat any chickens or eggs that they find inside. They are huge in size, much stronger than us and can effectively destroy almost any coop we have built. Because of that, this post isn't about keeping bears out of the chicken coop, it's about deterring them from even knowing there's something good inside!

bears eat chickens, here's how to keep them away

I know people like to say that bears don't eat meat but I promise you that is not true. I saw it myself. Two years ago in April the bear in the picture above ate my silkie rooster. I saw the bear in the woods behind the coop and after he left I went to where he had been to see what he had been eating. All that was left was feathers and a head. Poor Rusty Roo. Though I don't doubt that cocky little guy ran right up to the bear like 'hey, get away from my girls' like he did to everybody and everything else. The point is, bears will eat chickens.

MYO first aid salve for chickens

Lets recap what ya'll know about me real quick: I love chickens and I do everything as frugally as possible! Here's something you probably don't know though...I'm pretty deep into herbalism. In started in about 1993 and I have a whole other blog where I talk about that, but my easiest herbal healing salve is both cheap and can be used on chickens, other pets or people. Plus it's super easy to make. So today I want to give you my recipe for a wound 'salve' that can be used on chickens and talk you through making your own!

MYO herbal first aid salve for chickens

This is the easiest and cheapest herbal wound treatment you can make. It can be used on cuts, scrapes, bug bites, plucked feathers and other minor skin irritations. It will relieve mild pain, itch and stings and it may help prevent infection.

Plus I picked an herb that literally grows everywhere so you definitely have access to it. In fact, you're probably familiar with it as a weed! The truth is that there are several herbs that can help to heal a wound. If you have some of the others, then add them in! I actually grow several herbs that are great for this purpose and I'll list other beneficial herbs down below plus a more complex recipe. 

Today though I wanted to go super simple with 2 ingredients, both chosen because you probably already have them.

Which chicken books are you reading?

What better way to spend the lazy days of summer than reading up on chicken keeping? I have several chicken keeping books on my reading list and today I want to share them with you. I'm really big on learning new things and there are so many amazing chicken books out there written by fellow bloggers and other authors. It also helps that some of these are free...cause you know how much I love free stuff...especially when it comes to chickens! 

best chicken keeping books

All of these books are available on Kindle but for those of you that prefer books, many can be ordered in paperback also! For us older folks who grew up with a paperback in hand, vacation reading just needs a 'real' book! Of course you might want to take a peek in your local retail or discount bookstore for secondhand books, cause why pay more? 

Even though I've been raising chickens for 10 years, I still learn from reading about chickens. I'm currently learning more about genetics and how certain disorders can run in family lines. My experience with Wry Neck in Chicks and wry tail in ducks is what started that interest. Not gonna lie, it's kinda boring. lol I promise you none of these chicken keeping books will be boring though!

How to keep chickens out of the garden

I have had a garden for as long as I've had chickens. Gardening and chickens just sort of go together after all. Unfortunately they don't quite understand that the garden is not for them! The first year that I had them I learned how to keep the chickens out of the garden. Fencing! Since then I've learned that keeping chickens out of the garden is really simple and almost any barrier will do. 

Keeping chickens out of the garden

Of course some barriers work better than others and garden fencing can get quite expensive, especially if you chose a tall wooden fence! There are many cheaper fencing options though that are less permanent and allow the chickens closer to your plants (so they can eat bugs and weeds) without letting them in to destroy things. Let's talk about those...

Can chickens eat Cicadas?

Here in Pennsylvania we are deep in the throes of the 17-year cicada invasion. My chicken's couldn't be happier. The first time I saw a chicken eat a cicada it was one of my tiniest Silkie hens. I actually thought she might have flung it away because it seemed too big for her to actually swallow until I watched her eat a second one almost immediately. I had to tell other chicken keepers this and the first thing they said was "Can chickens eat cicadas?"

chickens eating cicadas

Well, she did! But that made me start thinking if cicadas are okay for chickens to eat? Is there any harm chickens eating cicadas? So I decided to look it up and found a surprising amount of information on the nutritional content of cicadas. The are high protein, low fat and have no carbs.