As backyard chickens have become more popular, chickens and chicken feed have quickly become a major attractant for bears leading to numerous conflicts throughout the region, resulting in property damage and multiple bear mortalities, including grizzly bears. If you choose to raise chickens in bear country the best option is to install a bear-resistant electric fence for your chickens. Electric fencing is a cost effective and highly adaptable way to protect your chickens and minimize conflicts with a variety of wildlife species that might raid your coop. Click here for more information on electric fencing.
If your pets are allowed in the house, feed them in the house. If they are outside pets, feed only during the day, and feed only the amount the animal eats in a single feeding. Bring the bowls in at night so there is no uneaten food left outside.
Livestock & Poultry Feed
Especially attractive to bears are horse pellets, 3-way mixes (corn, oats and barley mixed with molasses), cracked corn and oats, and chicken scratch. Store all feeds in metal containers with lock down lids. Another option is to store feeds inside a secure building, garage or shed. Store feed in a bucket or tub so that you can remove and secure any uneaten food. Do not place these feeds out for other wildlife species. It is illegal to provide supplemental feed to game animals in Montana.
By securing pet food and livestock feed where bears cannot get to it, you can minimize the likelihood of having a bear conflict on your property.