First time seeing a fox

LlamaGirl4

Crowing
Nov 2, 2018
387
2,202
272
NW Ohio
About 2 hrs ago as I was checking on the poultry for the last time I heard my German Shepherd puppy going ballistic from inside the house. My puppy, rascal is being trained to protect my flock and other livestock safe from predators and he is trained to not bark unless he smells something dangerous. I knew something was wrong and I could hear loud hissing coming from the chicken coop.
I went and investigated and saw about half of my flock(about 30) were sitting low in a tree. The rest were either already asleep or hiding somewhere in the coop. The door was open for the chickens to go in and they have always just gone inside the coop. Well on the side of the coop opposite of the door I saw this pair of eyes and at first thought it was a coon. I quickly turned on the coop lights to see what it was and saw a dark red fox. I ran over to it and it ran away into the woods. I have never seen a fox around here but I know they are very smart. I couldn’t find any chickens bodies but I’ll have to count the chickens tomorrow to make sure *sigh* that’ll be a lot of counting. I double checked the ducks and they were all sleeping soundly. I put the remaining chickens in the coop and searched the ground And for holes and weak spots using a flashlight. Nothing.

I’ve never seen a fox around here before and it worries me.

Will foxes hunt during the day? My chickens and usually ducks are free ranged.

What is my best bet on keeping the flock safe from foxes?

Should I start letting my German Shepherd puppy out? He is only 6 months old and not done with training. I don’t want him to accidentally killing or hurting one of the birds thinking he was helping.

TIA
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,687
2,055
306
Kalispell MT
Yes, foxes will hunt during the day. Fall is always the worst time for me and foxes. The baby foxes are on their own and hungry and not really good at hunting yet. Poultry means an easy quick meal.

The only way I have kept the foxes away is electric poultry netting. A fox tends to sniff the netting, gets zapped, and stays away. Foxes are very difficult to trap. They are smart. My property backs up to a state park. There is always a den of fox in the park.

The netting didn't help with the cougar that came around last spring. I have since locked up my birds to keep them safe.
 

LlamaGirl4

Crowing
Nov 2, 2018
387
2,202
272
NW Ohio
Yes, fox will hunt during the day.
Either keep them confined to a secure run or stay out with them.
I keep mine in an electrified poultry netted area.
Has your pup spent any time with the chickens under supervision? How are you training him as a livestock guardian?
Rascal (my dog) has been supervised with bigger animals like my donkeys and mules and llamas but his next step in his training is spending more time with the poultry. Rascals mom was our old farm dog that would protect the dogs so we are hoping he has his mothers skills in him. Unfortunately he never got to watch his mother protect the flock bc she was killed by our neighbors Doberman. Rascal is being trained by a group that is local and has been in business for about 10 years. They work on dogs with poultry, livestock and kids. They use what they call the “treat method” yes I was skeptical at first but it had worked so far. Rascal has never been aggressive to anybody or anything. Rascal is used to getting treats when he does something good and punished when he does something bad. So far his mothers skills are showing a bit. We are hoping to eventually move him permanately to the chicken coop and make a section for him but he needs to be more comfortable right now. Like I said rascal does great with larger animals but isn’t sure about the faster smaller animals. He isn’t aggressive just almost scared
 

LlamaGirl4

Crowing
Nov 2, 2018
387
2,202
272
NW Ohio
99496D01-68F2-4555-B667-155C634BDAF3.png
This is the only pic I have of my coop. On the other side we have a large dog kennel that can Be moved around and hitched to the coop to make more space since in the front of the pic our coop has grass and we have that kennel I should keep them in until I can watch them or rascal can be out there? I will probaly he out there frequently since I have llamas, donkeys, Mules, ducks, and chickens
 
Nov 2, 2018
3,784
54,148
1,042
NSW Australia
Yes to foxes during the day
I have lost more chickens during the day than I have to foxes at night. Be very careful once it knows your poultry is there it will try to keep coming back.....
If you have a safe coop or run you can keep them in then I suggest you keep them in that.
Is your coop lined along the bottom with wire? And I suggest tomorrow you double wire your cage, I have only had one attack at night and that’s when a fox chews through single wire and it broke in to kill three chooks.
Any thing you can do to keep your chickens safe and remember foxes can most definitely can and will climb, dig, chew or anything they have to do to get in and try to get your chickens so it about us the owners of our chickens taking the nesissary precautions to protect our pets.
Wishing you the best of luck
 

LlamaGirl4

Crowing
Nov 2, 2018
387
2,202
272
NW Ohio
Yes to foxes during the day
I have lost more chickens during the day than I have to foxes at night. Be very careful once it knows your poultry is there it will try to keep coming back.....
If you have a safe coop or run you can keep them in then I suggest you keep them in that.
Is your coop lined along the bottom with wire? And I suggest tomorrow you double wire your cage, I have only had one attack at night and that’s when a fox chews through single wire and it broke in to kill three chooks.
Any thing you can do to keep your chickens safe and remember foxes can most definitely can and will climb, dig, chew or anything they have to do to get in and try to get your chickens so it about us the owners of our chickens taking the nesissary precautions to protect our pets.
Wishing you the best of luck
Thanks. The coop has double wire and concrete around the base. I’ve been keeping them in the run. Also supervising rascal with the chickens. His trainers are coming later today to work with him on poultry
 

Northern.Ontario

Songster
Mar 16, 2018
351
302
138
View attachment 1582826 This is the only pic I have of my coop. On the other side we have a large dog kennel that can Be moved around and hitched to the coop to make more space since in the front of the pic our coop has grass and we have that kennel I should keep them in until I can watch them or rascal can be out there? I will probaly he out there frequently since I have llamas, donkeys, Mules, ducks, and chickens
Walk your dog everyday around the coop. Let him pee around the area. Scatter his poop along the bush line. The scent may be enough to deter the fox.
 

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