Can a small gray fox defeat electric netting?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by UrbanFarmgirlEm, Aug 9, 2016.

  1. UrbanFarmgirlEm

    UrbanFarmgirlEm New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Aug 9, 2016
    Hi!

    Long-time lurker & student, first-time poster. Have learned so much from reading BYC!!!

    We recently moved to a new house & are dealing with new daytime predators. We bought Premiere 1's electric poultry netting and I-25 solar energizer for our run, but were getting a weak charge (3k). As we worked on troubleshooting to improve the charge I was still (oh! foolishly!) letting the hennies out into the run during the day, when I'm usually home.

    Well, last week a gray fox took my sweet Silkie, Mrs. Patmore, in broad daylight. The fox has been terrorizing the rest of the flock & my Angora rabbits since. (All hens & buns are now on lockdown in secure housing.) This fox—or fox gang, as the case may be—looks as tiny as my 6 lb cat. I've seen it/them dashing under and actually *leaping through* the netting like it's nothing. (I thought I was imagining the leaping through until a second set of eyes confirmed it.)

    I've read about everything I could find on BYC and elsewhere about fox fencing and trapping. We hope to trap the current culprit(s), since they have already learned to disrespect the fence, replace the I-25 with a B-50 energizer, and work on the fence until it's hot hot hot. I also want to add hawk netting above.

    My concern is this: Will smoking hot poultry netting truly keep out these agile mini foxes? Premiere and other sources seem confident that their netting works against foxes, if properly energized, but I'm concerned. We have a small flock and we're a tight knit bunch. I'm willing to go pretty hard-core to avoid losses.

    I'm considering adding some secondary wire fencing to better protect against digging under or leaping through, but maybe that's overkill. Any suggestions, thoughts, experiences, info would be welcome! Thanks in advance!

    Emma
     
  2. gmfwlbrdr

    gmfwlbrdr Chillin' With My Peeps

    374
    35
    63
    Jul 31, 2016
    Ohio
    Hot wires will deter fox,,, but it has to be at its full potential dont let any wire get grounded out by tall grass or brush,, Trapping grey foxes are not simple for beginner s but can be done ,a live trap would be not the first trap id try but if well camoed up the live trap could work,I would add a primary perimeter fence with 5 close strands of electric, again a clean grass free fence will turn a fox , try putting a suspended bait like bacon strip on outside perimeter fence so that foxs try to get it they will bite it and get a mouth full of zap,, but put the bait away from chicken fence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,493
    2,146
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Yes. But generally speaking the fox will cease efforts once shocked. If pressed and there are no complicating issues like another threat and chickens appear easy to reach then fox will invest more effort. I tree close to fence will make learning curve much easier.
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,206
    403
    151
    Feb 18, 2016
    Missouri
    Do you recall which netting you have? Assuming it is the version with 3" spacing between wires, I can't imagine a fox or anything else getting through that without getting zapped. The version for sheep & goats with 6 or 12 inch spacing, yes, but not the 3 inch. If so, that would be impressive.

    If they are going through the 3 inch version, then your fence is not working right......either not hot enough to be a deterrent or not grounded properly.

    If all else is hot and it is working right, and they are simply able to dash past it......clever..... try putting a short layer of the black plastic one inch bird netting inside the fence. Use zip ties to secure it. They should not get past that and it may cause them to get hung up half the way through, to experience multiple zaps until they can wriggle free. That should take the fun out of it.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,493
    2,146
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Fox could be simply jumping over fence. They can learn to do so and can go a good 48" vertically. Coyotes and even dogs can learn the same. I cheat and place another hotwire about 1 foot away from poultry netting on outside about 8" above ground. That is position fox will use as a starting point when running up or jumping your fence. If it is clearing fence with a chicken weighing more than a couple of pounds then fox either has a very easy route to run fence or is getting beneath it some how. This assumes all of fence is hot.
     
  6. UrbanFarmgirlEm

    UrbanFarmgirlEm New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Aug 9, 2016
    Thanks everyone for your helpful replies. I will take them into account as I rework my fencing.


    The extra layer of bird netting is a great idea. I'll probably add it just in case. And I had already studied your treatises on fencing & trapping, so double thanks!

    It is indeed the 3-in poultry netting. I would hope that once our charge is better no creature would want to walk through the holes. But I keep wondering if the fox could be jumping through without any ground contact. He seemed to be getting pretty good air. I know it seems crazy, but darned if it didn't look like that was what was happening!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by