Game wardens in Vermont advise bird owners to guard against predators


RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) — Vermonters with chickens and other birds on their property are being advised to take precautions against predators.

Vermont Game Warden Col. Jason Batchelder said Monday there have been complaints across the state of bears, foxes, raccoons, fisher cats, skunks and bobcats eating birds and bird feed, the Rutland Herald reported.

The state recommends chicken owners invest in electrified wire or netting for fencing and wire or plastic netting to cover pens. It also suggests keeping feed secure and feeding animals only what they can eat at one time.

Batchelder said there have been reports of bears around the Londonderry and Landgrove area, Bellows Falls and Underhill.

“There were some isolated incidents around the state this weekend where some bears had to be euthanized, unfortunately,” he said.

In Underhill there were numerous reports recently of a bear killing dozens of chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and peacocks, Game Warden Jeremy Schmid said in a statement.

But Schmid said nonlethal deterrents are effective.

“These homeowners took a strong initiative for nonlethal measures, and it has now been a week with no complaints on this bear damaging coops and killing poultry,” he said.