Damn Fox

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Crack N' Egg, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Crack N' Egg

    Crack N' Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    250
    1
    119
    Jul 29, 2009
    Flemington, NJ
    So Saturday late afternoon my 16 chickens...15 hens and 1 roo, were free ranging around our yard. I was inside making my margarita's awaiting our friends arrival.

    I heard one of my girls squawking away behind our house. I look out our french doors and I see a black and red fox come loping out of the woods. Now this fox has been stalking us for about a month now. So I go darting out of the house (almost through the screen door) yelling, screaming and flapping my arms. The fox runs through the prickley bushes into the woods. I then proceed to get some scratch to round everyone up and put them in their enclosure. Once in I begin to count and and notice that I'm short 3. [​IMG] Then I begin to look at all my breeds to figure out who is missing...I gasp in horror that it's Sienna (my Buff Orpington) Marble (my SLW) and Big Red (my RIR). I start looking around frantically and I come to two different large piles of feathers. One was clearly my BO and the other my SLW. My husband grabs a large branch and marches off into the woods in search for fox, chicken, carcass. I run around our property shaking a bucket of scratch in hopes that they are just hiding. I stop at the edge of the woods and scream some loud profanities in the hopes that the fox is listening (and understands). Nothing...nowhere. I find another large pile of SLW feathers in a different location. So much that I thought it was her. At this point my rage is spiking and I was on the verge of a crying fit. These girls have been with me since they were fresh out of shell.

    I go inside the house and explain to my 5 year old what had happened. Since she saw the furry fury trying to grab our Leghorn. I walk outside with her and suddenly out of the corner of my eye I see and orange fuzz walking toward me. It's my BO!!! No blood, no bare skin, just a tail that was almost completely gone. She walked right up to me and I scooped her up into my arms. She just was limp and panting. I carried her back into the enclosure with the others and luckily she began to eat and drink. Ok, one found. That's good. Instead of 3 lost now it's two. My husband begins to yell from the front of the house and when we get there I see my little old neighbor had walked over. She begins to tell us how she opened her door to let her dog out and a black and white chicken ran into her house and hid in her bedroom. Now her house is a good 500+ft away from us. When I got to her house Marble was hiding in her bedroom under a table up against the corner of the wall. She wouldn't move. I gently picked her up and she just collapsed in my arms. I carried her back to the enclosure where her family was waiting for her. I set her down gently and when I did I noticed she looked about a foot stubbier than normal. Her entire tail was gone. Again, no blood or bare skin, just no tail. How odd chickens look without tails. Anyway, she was ok. But what did make me angry [​IMG] at that moment was the rooster wasted no time in mounting her. My friend joked that with no tail it was easier access![​IMG] Poor girl!!!

    So now I was only down one. And this may sound mean, but my BO and my SLW I had since newbies. The RIR I only had about a week or so. A friend had given us 6 hens. So I didn't feel such an attachment to her. But I was still sad. And unfortunately she never came home. And oddly enough, I never found a pile of her feathers anywhere. I guess the fox really snuck up on her and she didn't stand a chance.

    So my question to all you seasoned BYC'ers is this. We who free range obviously have to deal with a list of predators. NJ gun laws have become impossible to even buy a darn bb gun. (ridiculous!) How do we go about trapping this menacing fox that keeps coming back and is not afraid of the fact that he is attacking very close to our house? And it's by my kids playground. My concern is also, if I'm inside making lunch or dinner and my kids are outside playing...I feel this fox has no qualms about going after them. My son is 2 and my daughter 5. So they are sort of chicken sized. We have a larger humane cage which we use to trap and relocate large ground hogs. If I purchase a guinea pig for live bait will that entice a fox? I figured fox like live prey not dead.

    What are your guys thoughts??? I thank you all for taking the time to read this and sharing your knowledge!!

    BYC Rocks!!
     
  2. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,799
    11
    209
    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    A black and red sounds like a red fox if the feet are black. if the black is on the chest it sounds like a grey they can be enticed into a cage larger is better 15 wide 18-24 tall 36-48 deep . live bait is better most likely not legal in jersey a squeaking mouse is a really good bait for fox there are electronic squeakers that are not live bait that achieve the same result that sourland mountain place by you is probably holding a fair amount of wildlife now they have found a food supply it will probably be an ongoing thing predator control programs work better then just trying to trap just one animal.
     
  3. Crack N' Egg

    Crack N' Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    250
    1
    119
    Jul 29, 2009
    Flemington, NJ
    aprophet- thank you for your response. We are going to try to capture the fox. It's definitely a red fox. She is beautiful, and under normal circumstances I would love to see her, but we don't have normal circumstances. We have a great place for relocation...that's if we could capture her.[​IMG]
     
  4. Turner

    Turner Chillin' With My Peeps

    148
    1
    100
    Jan 2, 2010
    Northeast OH
    Fox in the hen house is no good. Unfortunately this time of year they are feeding cubs. I would keep your guys locked up because that one will be back. Good Luck
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by