Fox - all it got was feathers - likely to try again?


9 Years
May 3, 2010
First off - I have to say thank you to everyone on the BYC boards - I have had my hens for 2 years now and have always been able to find answers to every question we have had without having to post. This place is such a wonderful wealth of information!

Second, and I probably just did not search right - but we had an 'incident' with a fox and one of my 1 year old Australorp hens. They were out free ranging and I was in the kitchen and I heard an very unusual sound, looked up and saw the little bugger with my hen who was putting up quite the fight. I went flying out screaming like a crazy person and he did drop the girl. Amazingly enough she was OK, just the smallest scratch, and missing nearly all the feathers on her back. I am glad her amazing feathers helped her. I would think that if he got one of the Amber Links she would not have made out as well. She has been blue-koted, electrolyted and fed some fried egg. She has not laid an egg yet, but I am keeping a close eye on her.

They are on highly supervised free ranging - which they are displeased about. Normally they go out for a few hours each evening when we are home, but not necessarily outside. I was wondering if, since we had never seen the fox until the other day and that he/she did not actually get a taste of chicken, and was frightened off by my screaming he/she will maybe not come back this way? If we keep an eye out around the same time for a few weeks and don't see it, what are our chances of being in the clear? From what I have read this AM on here I might be crazy, but figured I would ask.

FWIW, they are in a hardware cloth covered run and attached elevated coop. The run is not expansive, but they do have plenty of space in there. They, of course, know when it is time and start yammering at me to come out. It is the classic debate I am sure we all go through. Safe and locked up or out eating bugs and zooming around but less safe?

I would recommend either none or closely supervised free ranging for the next several days at least. The fox has located what it regards as a food source. Now they are hunting for and teaching half grown kits. More than likely it will give your chickens another try. Be ready, and good luck.
Thank you very much Sourland! We have been doing the supervised free range, my gardens are looking very weed free! I am hoping that with us being out and about a lot during the long weekend, and my husband doing all kinds of noisy tractor work we scared it away. Not taking any chances for a while though.

The girls seem to have adjusted to the short time out - yesterday after about 45 minutes they wandered back to the coop. The advice I read on here to train them to come when called has proved very valuable!

Thanks again!

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