Either a Red Fox or Coyote?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by junglebean, May 27, 2010.

  1. junglebean

    junglebean In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I live in Austin, TX, in the city but an open part of the city. I was sitting on my porch reading while my 11 week old chickens were scratching around and laying down in the shade about 30 feet from me. They were nearby the fence line, which is just 3 strands of barbed wire, with a field on the other side. It was about 6:45pm but the sun was still up. I know that we have coyotes, so I lock the chickens up at night. I usually keep an eye on them during the day or let our dog out when I go inside, because we have nasty neighbor dogs that would love a snack. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw what I thought was our dog, running along the fence on the otherside. The chickens start screaming and flapping/running towards the porch and our dog suprisingly jumps up from right beside me and takes off after it, while "mystery predator" is chasing one of our Australorps into the field next door. Trees hid any evidence of tail identification. This thing was fast! I jumped the fence and went looking up and down the field and into their woods a bit, no sign of anything. All the while our dog is all puffed up and growling back and forth. No feathers, blood, or tracks. Big ears and I would like to say reddish (not sure though, maybe brown), because of me thinking it was our dog, who is the size of a full grown fox and red. The coyotes I have seen in our yard are bigger than our dog (15lbs). In talking with my father, who is my neighbor, I am thinking fox. He says that he saw a fox in the evening in his yard a few months ago and called it thinking it was my dog. It turned around and trotted away with a big bushy tail. Do coyotes hunt in the day time? I have only seen them at dusk, dark, and very early morning. I saw a fox once about a year ago down the street in the day time. Also, my chickens are teens...would a fox/coyote go for a fully grown 12lb chicken? Would getting a rooster help at all?

    So, I could fix up the fence. 3-strand barbed wire serves no purpose anyway, except to snag me as I am chasing a mystery predator that has one of my chickens. Would a 6 or 8 foot field fence do anything to keep out a fox or coyotes? My property is the gateway from the rural-ry part of the neighborhood to the suburban part, and there are racoon and deer paths to the neighborhood through my yard. I would like to continue to let my chickens out in the day time, but geez...I thought I would only have problems like this at night. I am all about supporting nature and the circle of life and such, and would rather construct things than shoot anything. I may shoot a coyote though, as we have quite a few.

    Any thoughts???
  2. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    I enjoyed reading your post! Well I don't know a lot about coyotes... But there is a good chance that it was a fox. I've seen them around our coops in the morning and evening... I don't know how fast coytoes are, but foxes are fast!!! The red fox is much redder than the coyote.. Plus now they have kits so they need a quick meal. I'm sorry about your bird. Those foxes are hard to keep out but a 6-8 ft fence should definitely help!

    I don't think getting a rooster would make a difference in a situation like this, unfortunately. By the time they sound the alarm, it will be too late [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2010
  3. junglebean

    junglebean In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for your input! I discovered another chicken disappeared this morning! I think you are right on that it is a fox...and having kits would make them come for my chickens; good point. I made a trip to Home Depot for fencing and stuff to cover the top as well. Hopefully, I can get it all up in a reasonable amount of time before I am out of chickens! Down to 8 now.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  4. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    It could have been a red wolf.

    I have a pair here, they are very rare,they had been re-introduced in our area(southeast texas) i think back in 1996

    here is a young male we have here. I thought something had happen to the female,because i had not seen her in a while, but she showed up a week ago and has either had her pups or is going to from the looks of her, the male comes to the feeder all the time, he has a redish coat.

  5. trapper_josh

    trapper_josh Hatching

    May 26, 2010
    There really isnt too many ways to keep fox and coyotes off of your property other than a very watchful and protective pair of dogs. Unless you burry the fence several feet in the ground, I doubt it would help much. One of my clients own a high fenced hunting ranch. He has a 12' high woven wire fence with an additional 2 ft burried in the ground. The coyotes still dig under it to get to the fawns in the spring and the red and grey fox can squeeze through the holes in the woven wire. The point is, if they want your chickens they will find a way to get to them. They arent stupid. Hire a local trapper to thin them out for you.
  6. DaKid

    DaKid Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Berkley , Ma.
    I'm going through the same thing now my next door neighbor has a momma and 5 kids living under his shed and we are trying to trap them all so we can relocated them all seeing that I have had about 8-10 chickens missing these last few weeks and seeing them the last few nights running from his property to mine, . Hopefully we will catch and release them all deeper into the woods way back on both of our properties
  7. junglebean

    junglebean In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Zazous that is an amazing picture. I had not even considered that a possibility, until now. The reason there is not a nice big fence around my property is because I know that the coyotes will just dig under it. It's just a never-ending battle against nature, isn't it? I was able to round up the chickens and put them back in their retired tractor for the day, at least for now. Hopefully, whatever it is will decide there is something easier to find to eat and move on. If that be not the case, trapping is the next step. [​IMG]

    Thanks, Y'all
  8. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
  9. junglebean

    junglebean In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2010
    Austin, TX
    So, yesterday I moved the chicken tractor nearby the site of the first attack. I thought I could get on the roof and watch (tractor is secure). I was standing in the yard chatting with my mom, and what do ya know? My dog comes tearing through the yard barking, I look over, and a coyote is about 15ft from the chicken tractor. Got a real nice look at it. My dog rammed him and the coyote nipped his butt, but my dog chased him out of the yard anyway. Good boy. My husband checked the time and it was exactly 6:45pm, the same time as the last attack. I will try to have my camera ready if I see it again, but hopefully the coyote thinks this is too much trouble. Thanks everyone for all the advice!
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Be careful that the coyote doesn't lead your dog back to the pack. They will not hesitate to kill and eat dogs or cats.

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