Originally Posted by Kleonaptra
Now I have people telling me everywhere that foxes do this, that is common for them to kill blindly in a frenzy, that they kill for fun, that they leave a mess. I tell you in ten years of bird keeping I have never seen this or heard this. Foxes sneak in, grab a meal and sneak out. I've had domestic dogs do this for play, pups or bored hunting dogs, never foxes. This thing was skinny too, it literally blew my mind he did not even try to take one with him. I've heard stories of them having this cunning, that because I was at his den he hit the house knowing I was not there, I have just never experienced it, and certainly never seen a hungry wild thing kill with no thought for food.
The Red Fox, here in U.S. Midwest, (Vulpes vulpes fulvus), in this area, will kill individual fowl and cache them (during the winter). During breeding season they will often hunt in pairs and will kill as many fowl as possible and then move the dead to a cache site where the fowl can be stripped and the meat taken to kits in den. So, what would appear to be a "pointless" massacre if interrupted - would simply appear to be an empty pen/run with a few feathers & dried blood if discovered after the fact.
Our closest neighbor lost 13 Silver Laced Wyandotte pullets in about 15 min. to a pair of Red Fox (caught a glimpse of one headed off). Only a few feathers in the yard to mark their passing. I found the cache site in our tree line adjacent to one of their pastures about two hundred yards from the kill site - nothing but mounds of feathers. I then block searched our woods until I found the den.
We've had good luck with snares in the winter (the Fox like to follow fence lines), destroying all dens found, etc.. However, Reds are nothing if not brazen (if they're scared off - they'll almost always return within the hour to get those fowl killed - but abandoned in the rush to escape) and the majority of the Reds have been shot (and easy shots at that). Our neighbor's problem occurred in 2007. Between the neighbors and I we retired 18 fox. After that it has been a matter of rubbing out individuals looking to "move in" (2014 - 3 fox).
It goes without saying that all "free range" time, here, is armed, supervised free range. Retire as many of the vermin as possible. Yes, more will show up to fill the "niche" but, in general, one's overall "frequency" of predation will decrease dramatically.
Good luck and look to your passive defense (electric fencing, etc.).Edited by ivan3 - 11/15/15 at 11:16am