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Fox??? Help Please!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fradytrc, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. fradytrc

    fradytrc Out Of The Brooder

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    I have lost 2 hens in 2 weeks....We are pretty sure it is a fox. What is the best way to deter a fox?
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good fences.
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Good fences, as well as good marksmanship, and good outdoorsman skills.

    Fox kit rearing season is fast approaching. A fox family can literally beat a path to your coop when their kits start maturing. If you can find and destroy the den and it's contents now, you'll have better luck raising chickens this Spring and Summer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Short-term response is to confine birds and beef up perimeter of pen to deny fox change to dig in. Make certain to close door also. Longer term the fencing I use is electrified poultry netting and I suggest the taller (48") variety. A fox can learn to jump it but that does not happen often. Chickens need to stay in the confinement area. Better yet is to to include dog on outside of netting that runs fox off when it explores way to get past netting. Something interesting I noted about Red Fox getting a chicken inside a poultry net is the fox would not jump fence with its booty resulting in carcass being left behind.

    With respect to anti-fox measures cost increases from pen modification to the netting plus dog with biggest jump from netting only to dog plus netting. Shooting fox for me is a pain because fox typically has a predictable time for visiting and I am not free to use gun at that time unless taking off work or missing valuable sleep. Killing fox is a temporary / reactionary fix while improving your perimeters can work even with foxes working area.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  5. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with the advice already given. A strong pen that is as fox proof as possible is a necessity. Electric poultry netting gives more peace of mind. We keep the 22 rifle by the kitchen window just in case we see something. It's also a good idea to let the neighbors know there is a fox in the area, especially neighbors who think of fox as practice targets.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Until 2002, when it came to the attention of a certain group on MU campus, whose acronym rhymes with rita, that County residents who bred and raised sheep had made a social occasion of hunting out Red Fox dens and burning them out - lambs being tender meat for the vermins' kits. The "cultural practice" evaporated and, three years later when we started with chooks and turks, the population of Reds had exploded.

    In 2007, between our closest neighbor & ourselves, 14 Red Fox were "retired". The count has dropped every year thereafter. The Reds are nothing, if not brazen (easy targets - they just have to come back if they've had a "taste" and failed to carry off the chook). Also, if one brush cuts out underbrush/high grass around "yard" - leave a few "noses" of foliage extending into clearing. When conducted the usual "armed & supervised" free range time, here - and the chooks are observed to be ganged up & hunkered down between the "trunks" of the big Lilac - softly growling and looking towards woods - all I have to do is check for a Red on its belly - thinking it is well hidden for ambush of chooks - in one of the noses consisiting of Amur Honeysuckle & Gooseberry canes, pretty much reduced to an aiming point.

    When no human is around to conduct "free range"? As was noted, above, in other members' posts - good fencing means live poultry.

    I just retire Fox, humanely. In the adjacent County they "exercise" them: http://archive.columbiatribune.com/1997/oct/19971012feat03.htm
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Most people or communities with free-range poultry are not going to be able shoot the fox for a variety of reasons. I am not shooting or trapping yet losses to foxes is relatively light.
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    The fewer the chooks, the greater the loss. Back in `05, had to put five stitches in the flank of a Gold Sex Link pullet, grabbed up by Red - we were less than twenty feet away when it happened - so Fox dropped "limp" pullet, got itself munged up in a big Multi Floral Rose as it was looking for a way into drainage to make escape - easy shot with Nylon 66. No injuries since, and certainly no losses.

    Preemptive removal of poultry eating vermin will not keep others from arriving, but it does result in a marked drop in overall frequency of attempts at predation (Wild Turkey hen/poult survival has also benefited).

    We were, at one time, so Fox heavy that as I stepped out of front door, one morning around sunrise, from the plastic dog house (used for outdoor cat) next to door, hopped a big vixen which then loped off front deck, and just stood there in the Iris bed. It was still "hanging out" when I stepped back out with the rifle. As a Turkey Vulture preservationist, it's nice not to have to wait for folks in cars to do the killing, in order to stock the feeding station. Snaring is the pref. method during winters when there's good snow cover (this hasn't been one of them).
     
  9. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With us losses depend on the year. Some years we lose none. Another year the foxes took 8 hens and left me with 2 that were too upset to lay. That was the year the foxes had a den just outside our property in the state park. Last spring neighbors shot 2 foxes and I didn't have a bit of trouble. We built a new coop, new run, and added electric poultry netting which is the reason we didn't have problems. In Oct a new fox moved into the area. It took one of my wild pullets that wouldn't stay inside the electric poultry netting. After that the other 4 of the wild bunch decided to stay where it was safe inside the netting and I haven't lost another.

    My neighbor across the street loses the most chickens. Her barn is at least 80 years old and her runs have seen better days. Critters are getting in and she can't even figure out where the holes are at. It's just too big and too old and too full of straw. The guy next door lost one hen last summer just after noon on a hot summer day. Happened so fast his son saw it happen but couldn't stop it.
     
  10. sonyaglisson

    sonyaglisson New Egg

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    The best way to keep the fox away are fences or you can call a pest professional for wildlife removal Fairfield County ct. The pest control professionals know how to deal with the wild animals.
     

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