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Found a fox den

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ugh...I feel a little sick in the stomach...today I found a fox den just 150m (50ft I think?) from our house :(, at the base of our front paddock (we're on 84 acres of farm).  I know they're around, they're everywhere here (Victoria, Australia), but to actually know definitively for a fact exactly WHERE they are living is so unsettling. 

 

We free range our 7 Isa Brown hens during the day if we're home and they are locked up securely at night.  Occasionally I have to pop out during the day, and seeing as I haven't taught them to come into their coop 'on command', I take my chances and leave them here.  They spend a lot of the day in the big calf shed, and I have supplied water and food (layer pellets) in there for them so that they don't have to go back to the coop during the day.  Now that I know just how close the fox den is I feel like it's only a matter of time before that little fox family realises there's live food available during the day.  What I'd really like to do is build a secure run for them right off the coop.  Or we have contemplated a livestock guard dog but my DP is a little hesitant to go to that extent for 7 chooks. 

 

When I first found the den I thought the holes were made by wombats (they are native here, totally harmless to livestock but very prevalent and their dens are scattered throughout our farm), but some of the droppings just didn't quite look like fox's.  Then I found the skull of a calf which died of natural causes a few weeks ago, a long way away from the burn off pile where we left it, just metres from the den entrances (seems like a network of holes). 

 

Anyway... no real point to this thread, I just needed to share my horrible finding with people who would understand my predicament.

 

Look how close!... :hit

 

post #2 of 7

You need to seriously think on electric poultry netting. I use it and love it. Have my coop on skids to move with lawn tractor. Can move the fencing and coop to new forage in little over an hour by myself every two to three weeks. It's the closest to free range I can get and still keep birds. Currently live on a 500 acre old farmstead that abuts state forest land. Predators of every type abound here. Not lost one bird. 

 

An option would be to eradicate the fox den. That serves no purpose, as you said they abound in your area, others will move in. Chicken is on every predators menu and though true free range works in some areas I'd think your like me and don't have that luxury. But hey, with a 164' electric net and hotgate with P5 fencer that can plug in or run off 12v battery it's very close to free range. It just costs money and takes labor of moving every few weeks as they diminish the forage in that over 40x40 run. I always include a few trees and or bushes when moving the run. Birds love scratching under and sheltering under those.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I'll look into that for sure. We love the chookies and would hate for anything to happen to them, but I don't want to keep them hidden away totally.
post #4 of 7

I'm guessing you can't just shoot them?

 

 

maybe you can make the den so inhospitable, they will move on?

 

flooding the den constantly with water?  heck, I'd pour a little diesel down in there.

post #5 of 7
We found several dens on our property. Foxes will have many around. We flooded the dens and destroyed them. So far they haven't been back.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
We can definitely shoot them here, any time. My dad has a couple of firearms (a shotgun and a long range one with a scope, don't ask me to name it!) on his farm, I guess I could ask him if he needs some target practice! Flooding the den or making it inhospitable is an option I immediately thought of today when I found it. As soon as I saw it I was like "I gotta get these little bast_rds"
post #7 of 7

I see that as a short term solution. They always come back. Not that den inhabitant but predators will take up residence in area. If they are not there to keep others from moving in then soon others are in area. Take care of them and others move into area. It's a constant cycle of short term solution. Train the predators in your area to respect 6K volts running through your poultry fencing and they instantly learn to stay clear of it. In turn they keep untrained animals that may have learned to jump electric fencing out of your area. The key to electric is to not have started with non electric fencing. Coyote and other animals that can jump will learn to do that with non electric then any amount of electricity is useless. Curious by nature animals exposed to a fence in area will literally nose around it. One shock is a predator trained for life.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

Reply

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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