Flock devastation by foxes, 22 reduced to 9, Help!

cluckable

Chirping
5 Years
Aug 15, 2014
10
0
65
Rozet, WY
My flock is 14 months old and very healthy. I usually let them out of the coop around noon and they return to the coop at dusk. On 5-6-15, shortly after letting them out, I went in my home for about ten minutes and when I came out I saw a red fox running off with one of my hens. A short search found her without her head. For a couple days I kept my girls in their coop and I searched 7 acres for the fox with no luck. Feeling a little more relaxed about my girls I returned to their routine of letting them out for half of the day, yet I stayed with them when they were out. That was a mistake! On 5-11, shortly after letting them out, I walked out to the mailbox and when I came back I was horrified. Their were dead chickens and chicken parts everywhere around the house. I went around the house and saw two foxes shredding another of my girls. I went for my gun in the house and as I did I saw a third fox from a window killing another hen on the third side of the house. By the time I got outside the foxes took off. There were only two hens carried off, the rest were simply butchered and left laying where killed. The rest of the hens ran off and it took me hours to find them. My only white egg layer named spot was a good twenty five feet up in a tree.

I've set cage traps and put a dead chicken in each to catch the predators. No luck. I've seen the foxes three times since but they notice me so quickly I have no time to get off a shot. I did check with the game warden to make sure my actions are legal.

Does anyone have some real good ideas on how to bait, catch or kill red foxes? Poison is out of the question because there are friendly dogs that come around sometimes and I don't want to kill them or my own dog.


I've ordered new chicks but it is late in the season and I won't be seeing eggs from them for quite some time.

Thanks.

P.S. May Cluckster rest in peace, the only hen (Barred Rock) to lay a spotted egg everyday without fail.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,191
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Your foxes are feeding a family. Look for the den and when you find it destroy all the foxes (if able). Also using a live chicken as bait is a good strategy like the nice man from Holts Summit suggested. You can also sit quietly with a shotgun on your lap and waylay the whole fox family while you wait on the foxes to show. Do nothing and you'll only end up with more foxes than you'll know what to do with.
 

wamtazlady

Crowing
7 Years
Jul 18, 2013
1,681
2,038
306
Kalispell MT
I had the same problem with foxes last year. Unfortunately the den was in the state park next door so it was off limits. Catching them in a cage trap seems to be very difficult from what I've read. I've decided to go with electric poultry netting. Although a fox "could" just jump over the netting, apparently they check it out with their nose first. Zap and they are run off. To make sure they get zapped it was also suggested to put some peanut butter on the netting so they'll lick it and get a bigger zap. People in the forums here seem to have had good luck with the netting. You may want to do a search in the forums here for "electric poultry netting" and see what others think about it.
 

BarredRocks3

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
97
4
41
New Hampshire
If possible, set up a string or something like that to the door of the chicken coop then wait for the fox to walk itself in and close the door with the string and trap it in their and then kill it. Another thing that may work is to urinate around the coop to get your human scent around there and get some hair from a barber and spread it across the property.
 

Zwolf84

In the Brooder
May 14, 2015
10
7
23
California
I had a fox problem last year where I lost several chickens, ducks, a couple of geese and at least ten guinea fowl to them. Usually happens around spring when they have their kits. Foxes, like most canines, are stimulated by movement and are not being malicious when they decimate the flock. It's like wolves in a sheep pen, each time they kill one another one moves and attracts their attention. In the wild, prey animals all make a run for it when one of their buddies get caught so the predator can eat without needing to chase after more prey. That doesn't happen with domesticated animals as they are limited on where they can go. Since last year's massacres, I have put up a better/taller perimeter fence but most importantly, I got a livestock guardian dog. The dog is young, still a puppy but he is doing a great job and runs off the foxes whenever they get within visual distance. The birds are free range all day and I have not lost any to foxes so far. The fox family has grown and recently I counted 6! baby foxes playing outside of the fence. Since they can't get my birds, the foxes are now helping me with ground squirrel infestation, the gopher population is down and I have not seen any mice. This for me is the ideal situation where the predator control is non lethal and they can do what nature intended them to do, eat fast reproducing prey animals like rodents. Killing them is unfortunately just a temporary solution as other foxes will move into the newly vacated territory.
 

NickyPick

Songster
10 Years
Sep 18, 2010
804
307
231
Pine Valley (New Waverly), TX
I'm worried about this too. 4 years ago, a fox denned under my barn, had a litter, and started picking off my hens one by one. We sealed the holes under the barn, so next spring, the fox denned under the neighbor's barn. They fixed that and we've gone 2 years without an issue, until now. One of the neighbors, a couple houses down, has caught a fox grabbing several of her hens. I just know, that as soon as she starts locking her hens up, that fox will head down to my pens to look for a daily meal. I really hate the thought of locking the hens up AGAIN. They only just started to get back out to their job (fly control) from being penned up for 6 weeks until the migrating hawk moved off. Guns are out, seeing that we're in a neighborhood and it's really hard to trap - I catch my dog more often than any varmints!!!!
 

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