Electric fencing question

jeepgrrl

Songster
Feb 25, 2017
217
303
207
North Central Ohio
Hi everyone, today I lost one of my favorite hens, Baby Blue, to what I think was a fox. My avatar pic is the one I lost, she was a Blue Cochin :rant😭 My chickens free range from dawn to dusk. We have a 5 ft no-climb (welded wire) fence. There was a pile of Blue's feathers on the other side of the fence, nothing else, so whatever attacked her was able to get her over the fence. No breech/holes in the fence anywhere in that area so it had to have climbed or jumped it. That part of the property backs up to woods. I brought my chicken-friendly Husky out into the area where I think Blue was first attacked. Lexi immediately picked up a scent and followed it over to the fence where the feathers were piled up on the other side of the fence. Another one of my huskies also did the same thing so I'm certain this was a ground predator, not an aerial predator, like a hawk. A neighbor notified me of a red fox that was on their property a few weeks ago around 10 am, more evidence of a fox. Could anyone suggest what type of electric fence/hot wire I could add to the existing fence to keep this fox out? I'm planning on getting a LGD but I need a quick solution as I am sure it will return. A small flock of Babydoll sheep and a couple of Pygmy goats are planned for next spring. Shooting the fox is not an option. Thank you for any input/advice you can offer!
 

Wicked Storm

Songster
Aug 10, 2019
287
582
172
I'm sorry for you loss:hugswe have a Fox problem as well, all we do is try to scare it away. Is there any way you can set a trap?
 

jeepgrrl

Songster
Feb 25, 2017
217
303
207
North Central Ohio
I'm sorry for you loss:hugswe have a Fox problem as well, all we do is try to scare it away. Is there any way you can set a trap?
I don't want to trap it and relocate it. I think it's male or female bringing dinner back to their den to feed the kits. I went back into the woods as far as I could go (thick with brush) and found two piles of feathers, no carcass. As much as I hate this situation, I wouldn't want to take the parent from the kits, then the kits also die a horrible death of starvation/dehydration, or become dinner themselves. I made a lot of noise when I was out in the woods, and I'm having the huskies patrol that area, hopefully their scents will be a deterrant. I'm going to sit out there tonight and see if I can hear them. I also ordered night vision binocs to see if I can see them in the woods at night. At least my coop is Ft. Knox predator proof, so the rest of the girls will be safe at night.
 
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hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
I don't want to trap it and relocate it. I think it's male or female bringing dinner back to their den to feed the kits. I went back into the woods as far as I could go (thick with brush) and found two piles of feathers, no carcass. As much as I hate this situation, I wouldn't want to take the parent from the kits, then the kits also die a horrible death of starvation/dehydration, or become dinner themselves. I made a lot of noise when I was out in the woods, and I'm having the huskies patrol that area, hopefully their scents will be a deterrant. I'm going to sit out there tonight and see if I can hear them. I also ordered night vision binocs to see if I can see them in the woods at night. At least my coop is Ft. Knox predator proof, so the rest of the girls will be safe at night.
I agree, it's best to protect the flock than to concentrate your efforts on killing a fox that will only be replaced by another fox.
I'm not really sure what a no climb fence is but foxes can climb most anything, including straight up anything that is wooden.
You need a hot wire at the bottom and then another one a few inches up.
@Howard E is the expert on electric fencing.

And I'm sorry for your loss...it's devastating to lose them. :hugs
 
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Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,924
296
Missouri
I don't know if super-fox is able to leap tall buildings.....or 5 foot fences.......in a single bound. Have never seen one do it. I doubt it. Most likely, they jump for the top and are able to hook a paw on top and pull themselves over. If so, a hot wire.....or two....running across the top would mean they would be inclined to grab the hot wire to pull themselves over.

So depending on how the 5 foot fence was built.......insulators could be selected that would project the wire 3 to 5 inches above the top. If the lower fence material is wire, then it could be bonded to the earth ground.....so when front paws grab hot wire, rear paws would be in contact with woven wire and zappo!

And depending on fence location and outside situation, a 2nd hot wire could be run about a foot or so off the ground, outside the fence. That one could be baited for them to sniff or lick.....which would send them packing before a jump was even being contemplated.
 

jeepgrrl

Songster
Feb 25, 2017
217
303
207
North Central Ohio
I don't know if super-fox is able to leap tall buildings.....or 5 foot fences.......in a single bound. Have never seen one do it. I doubt it. Most likely, they jump for the top and are able to hook a paw on top and pull themselves over. If so, a hot wire.....or two....running across the top would mean they would be inclined to grab the hot wire to pull themselves over.

So depending on how the 5 foot fence was built.......insulators could be selected that would project the wire 3 to 5 inches above the top. If the lower fence material is wire, then it could be bonded to the earth ground.....so when front paws grab hot wire, rear paws would be in contact with woven wire and zappo!

And depending on fence location and outside situation, a 2nd hot wire could be run about a foot or so off the ground, outside the fence. That one could be baited for them to sniff or lick.....which would send them packing before a jump was even being contemplated.
Thank you for the input! Yes, the fence is woven wire so your suggestion to run a wire along the top should work. My barn cats patrol the woods on the other side of the fence so I’d be worried about them getting zapped if I baited a wire close to the ground, not to mention my neighbor’s dogs that he lets run loose. But that is a great suggestion I would have to consider if a hot wire along the top wasn’t sufficient.

This fox is a new adversary. I’ve had chickens for three years now, and my issues have typically been aerial predators (hawks). So the next thing to do after installing the hot wire would be to procure and train a LGD, which will be a long and arduous project. Thank you again for your input!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
26,801
19,531
781
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
This is my electric wire. I have eliminated a couple of fox who killed some of my birds. Once they make a kill they will be back lurking and looking for an opportunity when you least expect them. Since I have seen more fox on my game cameras. Lately I have seen one most nights when they mostly roam here. They know the electric wire is there. As long as they don't bother my birds, I don't bother them. This is my chick/grow-out coop. Also a LGD may not always be a solution.
DSCF0002124 05.jpg
2014-11-18 17.08.29.jpg
 

hayley3

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 16, 2007
2,061
1,941
426
Southern Indiana
Thank you for the input! Yes, the fence is woven wire so your suggestion to run a wire along the top should work. My barn cats patrol the woods on the other side of the fence so I’d be worried about them getting zapped if I baited a wire close to the ground, not to mention my neighbor’s dogs that he lets run loose. But that is a great suggestion I would have to consider if a hot wire along the top wasn’t sufficient.

This fox is a new adversary. I’ve had chickens for three years now, and my issues have typically been aerial predators (hawks). So the next thing to do after installing the hot wire would be to procure and train a LGD, which will be a long and arduous project. Thank you again for your input!
You are gonna need one at the bottom too. My neighbor's dog touched it once and no more. They learn fast not to touch it again.
Foxes will dig underneath otherwise.
 

Howard E

Crowing
5 Years
Feb 18, 2016
2,881
3,924
296
Missouri
Haley has a good point about diggers.......the bottom wire on the outside is ideal, but again, that depends. If the fence is entirely on your property, then no worries. If it is on a property line, and the hot wire projects onto the neighbor's property, that gets a bit dicey.

But if on your property, where you can maintain things inside and out, a 2nd hot wire along the bottom is a huge help. No worries about cats, neighbors dogs, nothing. Purpose of the hot wire is to stop all traffic, which it will do and a physical fence alone will not. It is not being mean, nasty, vindictive or cruel. They come, they sample, they get zapped, they leave and don't come back. Birds get to enjoy a quiet existence inside the fence, with far fewer animals out to eat them.
 

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