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fox and coyote

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone, I hope someone can give me some pointers on how to get rid of some predators (if possible) without needing to kill them.  As of now between the fox and the coyote (who I came home to running out of my hen house with a bird in his mouth) I have lost about 10 birds.  They seem to take one or two and then are gone for a week or so, and then another one or 2 disappear.  I would really love to be able to free range my ladies again but not if they are just going to continue to get picked off...So, the question is if there is anything I can do to deter the animals to come in.

-I also lost a few to a goshawk but the netting of the top of the coop stopped that from happening again...

post #2 of 9

Is your yard fenced? 

Do you know or have an idea of where they are coming in from?

Have you ever seen them?


Theres ways to protect your flock and that will eventually get rid of them when the chickens are inaccessible. 


I use chili flakes and powder for dogs around my coop and garden to keep them away and from soiling in my yard and that works a bit. Maybe that can work for you? Just make sure your chickens cant get to it either or they wont much like it

post #3 of 9

I agree with the above poster.  We would need a lot more information to be able to make effective recommendations.  Coyotes can take fences, foxes can get through small openings, both can dig.  My plan would be to first make the coop predator-proof, including dig-proof, then move out into the yard.  Sounds like you started that with the hawk protection.


It's hard to protect free range birds 100%, but you may be able to let them out during certain times of the day more safely than at others.  Good fencing should keep out stray dogs, but not necessarily coyotes.  An electric wire on the fence might work for that. 


If it works for your life and property, you might consider a flock guardian.  A rescue out here in California had a couple of Great Pyrenes that were experienced flock guardians.  They lost their homes when their family lost their Alpaca farm in the recession.  I was really tempted to adopt one... you might be able to find something like that to hang out with your chickens.  But it would have to be the right dog, and properly trained.

post #4 of 9

Do you not want to have to kill the predator yourself or do you not want it killed at all?


The former might be addressed by a call to fish and game in your area. They can send a trapper and often will take the animal and dispose of it for you. 


If you don't want it killed, well, golly, I suppose you could get a dog and an electric fence and some strobe lights and... it gets tricky. I'd love to know the solution! 

post #5 of 9

You have 2 choices. #1 allow your girls to free range without protection and continue to provide a lunch buffet for predators. #2 Lock 'em up in Fort Knox.

post #6 of 9
Originally Posted by Baymule View Post

You have 2 choices. #1 allow your girls to free range without protection and continue to provide a lunch buffet for predators. #2 Lock 'em up in Fort Knox.

Actually 3 choice.


#3 Kill the predators!

post #7 of 9

I don't know if killing the predators would solve the problem, in this case.  If you have one very clever and committed predator, maybe.  But if you're dealing with both fox and coyotes, don't think you can solve it that way.  Plus coyotes aren't solitary creatures.  And they are taking chickens sporadically, meaning there is lots of other food available.  So take them out, and you create a void where another predator will step in, or you'll have problems with rodents and/or squirrels getting into the chickens' food, stealing eggs, and possibly killing chicks. 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the lack of details everyone and thanks for the suggestions so far.   We have definately seen both the fox and coyote during the middle of the day.  I live in the woods on the end of a dirt road so I understand that I will probably deal more wiht predators than the average person.  They have gotten a few while they were free ranging in the yard which I expect will happen every now and then.  I I have a coop and a run for them while we are away and cant respond to them getting rowdy.  The predators keep going under the fence so this weekend I dug a trench all around it and put in new fence posts and more chicken wire in the trench before filling it back in.  I havent let the girls out in two days and this morning I went out and there was a new hole in the fence that was just sarted.  I patched it up and hopefully if the ladies arent out in the yard for a bit they will be detered.  I think I am going ot purchase a small electric fence to put around that run as well.  Do they actually work for predators such as coyotes and/or foxes?

As far as killing I would prefer to not kill them at all, but if they keep picking off my ladies I may not have a choice!

post #9 of 9

I haven't tried an electric fence to keep predators out, only to keep my own dog in--I had one escape artist.  To make it effective, I had to know where she would try to get out, as she needed to come in direct contact with it.  She was mainly digging, so I ran the wire low and it worked.  It's best if you don't need to cover too large an area, because you're not supposed to have plants touching it--it breaks the circuit or something, I don't really know about electricity but something like that. So as you said, around your chicken enclosure itself might be best.  It's not like an invisible fence, there they have to wear a special collar to get shocked by crossing it.  It's just a wire, and they have to touch it.  So here's an idea, but not sure if it would work.  you want them to get a pretty bad shock right off the bat, to develop a strong aversion to your fence.  Someone told me to do this--stick a hot dog on the wire, like right through the hot dog, so the dog will bite the wire and get a strong shock.  Well I wouldn't do that to my dog, and didn't need to. I set the shock level low, and she just sniffed it and got a little zap and wouldn't go near it after that.  But maybe the hot dog idea would work with a predator, to make sure they get the message loud and clear.  Has anyone tried anything like this for predators?

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