Fox hunting habits

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gavada, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. gavada

    gavada Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Gainesville, Virginia
    So we just had a horrific murder in our coop last night (before we could lock it up for the evening). All but one of our chickens gone from a fox. Needless to say the one remaining chicken is quite traumatized and sits in a corner of the coop in fear jumping at the slightest disturbance (she used to be so social). I kept her locked up today, not that she seems to mind. This is our first encounter with a fox and I'm just wondering if these are typically night time killings or its something we need to be concerned about during the day too? I'm trying to figure out if she can be unsupervised during the day until we can get her a more secure location or if i should keep her completely locked up. She's been going 2 years now fairly free ranged so I hate to keep her on lock down but it's better then the alternative. It's really annoying that the stupid fox didn't even eat everything he killed. Somehow it seems better when I picture him being hungry and just trying to feed himself. :)
     
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    I'm sorry to hear of this, and I hope that you can rebuild your flock.

    The fox will be back. Now that they know for sure that food can be had, they'll be a little less shy about hunting only at dusk or dawn. I think that this is the time of year when there are kits in the dens. So, the female will kill several birds, then spend some time taking them for storage in a cache. Sounds like you interrupted that process.
     
  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I, I guess I should say my chickens, have had a couple of run ins with the fox.They will attack at ANY time, NOT just at night, I learned that the hard way. And they won't just take one either, they will wipe you out. I used to free range my flock all day. I got away with no problems for almost a year. Then it happened, I lost 9 out of 11 birds in one April afternoon. The attack happened between 11:00AM and 2:00PM. That's when it happened because my wife left for the store and all was well. My daughter got home from school, and usually the birds would run up to greet her. Not on this day. She called me at work and told me how there was piles of feathers all around the yard, some right up by the front door of the house. We found the rooster and one hen hiding in one of the nest boxes, terrified. So we started a modified free range for them. Somebody had to be home to watch out for them when they were out. We got 20 new chicks and more or less started over.
    Things went well for awhile, the new birds grew up and just started laying eggs. Then one day, they were out and we had to leave the house for just a short time. Again, it was my daughter who came home and interrupted this attack, at 5:30PM. This time, we lost 6, she saw the fox running off with one. Well that burned me. I bought one of those big box traps. Never caught a fox, but I "Relocated" a few racoons. I had a shot at him early one morning, but I was too bleary eyed from just waking up (Old fart that I am) and could not properly focus on the sights and missed him, but I sprayed lead after him all the way to the woods. I ended up buying an electric poultry fence from Premier. I ran electric down to the coop, needed to do that anyways. I didn't want to play around with a solar charger, I wanted good old reliable AC voltage for the fence. The fence, according to my voltage tester, is cranking out 7000V. I'd LOVE to see that fox nose up to that. The fence has only been up about a month, but I feel a lot more comfortable. The fence is 4ft high, but the birds stay in it and they get to come out early in the morning and spend all day outside. I have an area 50X100ft fenced off for them. I'm thinking I'm going to get another 100ft section to add on. We call it the playpen. Good luck with getting that fox, next to a stray dog, I think they are the worst predator you can have.
    Jack
     
  4. Amy S

    Amy S Chillin' With My Peeps

    They will hunt in the day as well. Saw this a few weeks ago...relentless stalking right in front of a dog and human!
     
  5. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sound more like a coon not eating everything K-9's will normally grab 1 bird then leave coon or possum will kill everything then start eating get full come back and eat some more later a cat will drag it off a short distance eat part of it kina half bury it an come back later as well

    you may have had multiple predators and you just saw the fox we have quiet a few mink and weasel here in Va too
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  6. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Marshfield, Ma.
    I think it is safe to say with spring fast emerging that we all be on guard for all types of predators. With offspring soon to be born and or hatched these denizens will be looking for easy meals. Attacks can occur from all sizes and from land or air.
     
  7. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2010
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    I take no pleasure in killing. The fox was here thousands of years before me, and will be here thousands of years after me. He eats his weight in rats and mice, and keeps coons and possum away. I welcome them on my land. Kill one and another will appear. He can live near my pheasants and patrol in my yard, play tag with with my big dumb lab, but once he crosses the line, and takes a bird, or tries to, he dies. I hate to do it, but I can't allow him to take food from my family's mouths. I don't get a kick out of it, afterward I feel guilty, but if you keep poultry you will have to kill.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  8. Ashburnham

    Ashburnham Chillin' With My Peeps

    Foxes are introduced vermin here that have debvastated our local wildlife. We always try to kill all we see.
    In my experience only elderly or sick foxes will attack chickens in the daytime, but you can never be sure!
     
  9. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    don't feel nothing here but recoil :) sorry it is just a pest I feel the same about rats it just don't register
     
  10. gavada

    gavada Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2011
    Gainesville, Virginia
    Well we saw the little guy later that same night but by the time my husband got outside he was gone. So he camped out the next night for awhile trying to call him in but the little thing keeps avoiding us. Perhaps he's moved down the street to one of the many other flocks on our street. Perhaps now I can convince my husband to get a LGD :)

    In the mean time my lone chicken has decided she'd rather live with the turkeys. Mad a mad dash (after refusing to move for two days) from her coop to their coop the other day. She seems so pathetic and traumatized right now that our otherwise fierce let-no-one-near-me-or-my-nest turkey hen who's sitting on a stockpile of eggs allowed her to share her nest without protest. And our guinea who used to refuse to go into the coop at all now saunters right in with out question. :)
     

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