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Chickens won't leave bush after being scared by fox... How can I get them out???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fuzzychickenss, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. fuzzychickenss

    fuzzychickenss Hatching

    Jul 1, 2015
    Okay so I'm a first time chicken owner and I've had this flock for a bit over a year. Last night the chickens (7 in total) had all fit into the smaller coop that I own which has a very tiny run- for some odd reason they like that one better than their own. So this morning before i left for school (around 7) I decided to let them out to free range so they could have more space. Free ranging is not foreign to them but the time frame was definitely a lot earlier. Anyway, a fox ended up grabbing three this morning while I was at school (my mom had tried to save them but she wasn't fast enough) and the other four ran and hid in their favorite bush. It's severely overgrown and is around 11 by 4 feet with a height of 5. It's filled with poison ivy, thorns, and low hanging branches. I personally could not fit myself in there but they refuse to leave. Three of them excited for a few minutes when I brought them water but only because it wasn't too far away (only a foot out from the bush). Any tips on how to get them out???

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Whist it may seem harsh, I'd try and get them out at all costs, as the fox could well likely return. Noise, sticks to poke them out, a hose pipe - anything. If they choose to stay where they are, it could be curtains for them. Just my opinion. I've had birds traumatised by predator attacks and i know that it takes a good deal of time before they feel comfortable again and return to their normal behaviour. My priority would be to try to remove them from further threats of predation. I'm sure that other members have a totally different view, and thats totally fine. You should consider all advice given and do what you feel is right for you.

    Good luck
  3. fuzzychickenss

    fuzzychickenss Hatching

    Jul 1, 2015
    Thanks for the advice! Believe it or not, poking around and making loud noises was my first option. About fifteen minutes ago I drug my brother and I outside and we tried using the stick end of a mop to scare them out of the bushes (we didn't hit them of course). I was very surprised that it did work and rounding them all back into their coop (the one with the larger run) was definitely a hassle. Good to know someone else had the same idea! Wasn't sure if I should've done anything special. Thanks!
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    You are aggrevating situation by going after them like that. Speaking from experience. Park yourself out there with a lawn chair and wait them out. Do not try to catch them, rather let them go to roost. You do still have potential for serious problem where fox is very close by waiting to come back for rest. You just concentrate on keeping fox in the know you are present and a threat to it until you get birds penned up.
  5. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Songster

    Mar 31, 2014
    Luring with food would be my 1st resort. I'm so sorry your others got attacked. It will take a while for the others to start feeling comfortable again. Usually about a week.
  6. FarmerTony

    FarmerTony In the Brooder

    Sep 7, 2016
    If they wont leave, wait until after dark, then move them into the coop, and retrain them. Keep them locked in the coop for 2 weeks to reinforce that it is home.

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