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!...