Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by erinm, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    Well the fox that took my buff orp yesterday AM was back this AM.. This time I was up and watching because i knew it would be back looking for chicken dinner. Poor thing looked so skinny though. Anyway I ran outside and chased it off. My neighbor came over 5 minutes later and said a fox tried to take his rooster.{ nothing is getting near that big boy} and to watch out. I said I had just chased it out of my yard and it went his way that was why. My girls were locked up in the run so it would have a more difficult time getting them today. Do fox dig under or will they not bother? i would assume they dig right? ErinM:eek:
  2. cheepchicks

    cheepchicks Songster

    May 6, 2007
    I wish I knew the answer so I could help.

  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Are your chickens free-range? Or where is he getting them from? We know we have a fox, too...he has never tried to dig into our barn that we know of, but we have it pretty well dig proofed, except for one wall that for some reason the predators have never tried to dig under. We think our fox grabs stragglers he finds in the evening as they're heading to roost, or in the early morning. I would try to dig proof whatever shelter they roost in; you can bury wire fence around the perimeter eight inches deep, or pour concrete. A temporary fix, (not very pretty but it works) is just to lay plywood sheets on the ground as close to the exterior wall as you can get; and then weight it down; they can't dig through plywood. It's surprising that he would be grabbing a big chicken like a Buff Orp; ours seems to only get the small ones. Predators like foxes are a problem, because we don't want to trap or kill them.
    Dont know about your situation but we found that if we can get our dogs to go out in the early morning or at dusk when the fox seems to hang around most, that seems to help. Ours does not come around all the time; only once in a while. There's lots of other stuff to eat now.
  4. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    When the fox got her she was out in the yard. We usually let them out around 8 am but no more. not until evening when we are out with them from now on.And I will be out there with them until time to go to roost They were in the run today when it came back. I think i will bury the chicken wire around the run. It cannot dig into the coop as it is a fully enclosed coop floors etc and raised off the ground 1 foot. I will also get a have a heart trap and relocate it if I can catch it. Anyone know how far I should relocate? Oh she was small only 31/2 mo old. ErinM
    Oh and one of my dogs was out there. she did not even bark yesterday or today. Some watchdog Huh? of course she is just a pommy so how could she possibly protect anything? I need to leave buster out in the AM he is 100 lbs of lumbering dog.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007
  5. lady chicken whisperer

    lady chicken whisperer Songster

    Aug 8, 2007
    Trust me, foxes dont just go after small birds. I had a Golden Laced Wyandotte rooster that was absolutely monstrous. He must have weighed 15 pounds, and sadly he was taken by a fox. My prized birds are always the ones to go. Out in the country where i live though its a big problem. Im not sure if you can tell, but if the fox you saw was a female you might as well just kill her because she will have babies which will grow up and go right to your chickens as well. Dont think that fox is the only one, theres always more. Sadly, if you dont kill her, i would say it isnt safe to let your birds out in the yard anymore at all. My parents were actually out in the yard only yards from the coop when my birds were taken, so dont think just because your in the yard a fox wont bother.
  6. usbr

    usbr Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Foxes dig, they live underground in dens afterall. I cant directally answer if they will start to dig to get to the chickens, I havent let any get that far but your fox seems to know where the all-you-can-eat buffet is.

    It should be noted, it is illegal to trap and then release animals in Massachusetts (AKA "rehoming", "relocating"). Scroll down to the FAQ. It seems you can trap them but if you release them alive, it has to be at the trap point.

  7. rufus

    rufus Crowing

    May 17, 2007
    So would that be the first law they have broken? Grow some testicles; release it in Hyannis Port.

  8. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    I did not kow it was illegal. I guess i will continue with building fort knox! ErinM
    Rufus, why hyannisport? [​IMG]
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Cuz Hyannis is far away from lots of people?
    Nantucket would be so much's an island. LOL
  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Songster

    Apr 18, 2007
    A fox is capable of digging, but generally will not do so. Too much time and effort. While a vixen will den underground frequently when she had a litter, it's typically in an abandoned groundhog hole or such, not one they dig themselves.

    But if we're talking just a little scratching to get under a fence wire a few inches above the ground, the fox is much more likely to give it a shot. They can fit through a remarkably tight opening. They torpedo through the 6x6 openings in my field fencing for example.

    More importantly, they jump superbly. So if your fence is only a few feet tall, and open above, they'll just leap over it.

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