Darn fox!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by merryreader, May 4, 2007.

  1. I have had my 12 hens free ranging for about 3 weeks. I was getting supper yesterday and looked out the window and a fox was carrying a chicken across the back yard. I ran out and he dropped her and she ran off. I counted and 4 hens and the rooster were missing. I found 3 dead hens and I found the fox chasing another. She was flying up into the air to get away from him. I was glad she was o.k as she is my favorite. I chased him up the road, yelling and swearing at him. He was so brazen! Darn fox!! So I have 9 hens left and never found the rooster. I didn't hear him crow this morning, so I guess he's dead too. I'm lucky that I have a covered pen they will live in from now on. No more free ranging for these hens! Oh, and I'm SO mad at my husband! he kept saying"I told you so. I told you a fox would get them!" Don't I hate that!! Merry
  2. Oh. What I also wanted to say was that he was killing them 1 at a time and stashing them to pick up later. He would have wiped them all out in no time. he also had chewed the head off of one. I hope this helps someone else identify their predetor. Merry
  3. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    I'm so sorry to hear about your hens and rooster. It's a shame you can't even go inside for 5 min. without a fox visiting. I can't blame you for wanting to keep them in there run now. Those fox now know where to get an easy meal. I pray this doesn't happen again or to anyone else's chickens.
  4. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Feb 28, 2007
    South Eastern Indiana
    Oh Merry. I am so sorry for your loss. It is spring, and they are looking for an easy meal, for thier pups. Terrible. Might be a good idea to set a trap...or....SSS.
  5. MarkR

    MarkR Songster

    Mar 11, 2007
    Ivy, Virginia
    Quote:Until very recently, I was a big believer in trapping/relocation and SSS, but I've had sort of an epiphany. It's my job to protect my flock. Unless I can be with them continually, free ranging just isn't safe. With all the building going on around here, a lot of wildlife is being displaced. I know it's happening virtually everywhere in the U. S. If you still want the benefits of free ranging, I think it's becoming necessary to use chicken tractors. Ultimately it's the kindest, least harmful, best option for me, the chickens, and the wildlife. Well-built tractors during the day, secure run and coop at night. Everyone's a winner.

  6. Mr.Dad

    Mr.Dad Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    North Jersey
    That really stinks merry......I'm really sorry to hear that......

    As far as the husband goes maybe you can have him start on that tractor for you this weekend, that will keep him busy for awhile [​IMG]......

    EDIT: for typo
    Last edited: May 4, 2007
  7. I think he's fed up with chicken farming for now. He has done so much so I could have chickens. Now his favorite, a brown leghorn is 1 that is dead. She would jump up in his lap to get a treat. I will look into a tractor. What size do I need for 9 hens? Thanks for the support. Merry
  8. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Oh, merryreader, so sorry for your loss. :aww

    Mr. Dad is on to something there, if your DH is busy building a tractor, he won't have time for the dreaded ITYSs!

    MarkR, I have to agree there. That's the reason, though I have six acres, that I chose to build a hard wire covered/surrounded run for my girls. As far as displaced habitats, some of you probably read we have a Fisher Cat around here, and of course there are always the odd raccoon and oppossum.
    As much as I too would like to have my hens free-range, the closest they will get to do so is in a tractor...[​IMG]
  9. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Maybe your rooster died defending your hens. Maybe a good guardian dog would help. Sometimes coyotes and such are put off by a dog nearby, course there is always the risk of dogs killing chickens. I hear Great Pyrenees are fantastic dogs. Believe me no fox is his right mind would want to tackle a Great Pyrenees. Alot of people are using dogs to protect their livestock these days.
  10. I'd like to think he died defending them, but he was a young inexperienced rooster, only 1 year old. I more think he tried to "fly the coop". I have a collie and a border collie/lab. They usually warn me if anything is going on outdoors, even if they are in the house. My husband wants to get 2 more barred rocks to replace the ones we lost, but I don't want to. We have 9 chickens and we raised them all. Somehow it wouldn't be the same. Merry

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