I have the dog tied beside the chicken shed (8' x 12') and the bee hive. So far his barking has kept the bear away. The bear will come and tear down the bird feeders but will not go near the dog (or chickens and bees).
My six hens are three years old and their laying is sporadic. Yesterday I got four eggs, today I got one egg. I think they are soon going to become soup and there will be a dozen new chicks come Spring.
I like Rhoad Island Reds and will probably stick with them.
96 degrees here today. I am really looking forward to starting my stove! Last year I started it October 8. That is less than two months away. WOOOOO HOOOOOO!