Fox in Broad Daylight

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Gofygure, May 19, 2012.

  1. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

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    So the chickens were out, as usual, and the boy and I went out to run a quick errand. We came home half an hour later and as the car pulled up to the house I saw this HUGE, bright red fox streaking down the fence line and out to the safety of the field. Boy ran for the rifle and actually had the thing in his sights, but the idiot didn't pop the magazine in all the way and there was nothing in the barrel. So, the fox got away and I was left trying to assess the damage.

    I immediately found all five of the Comets and four of the Sussex. Unfortunately, I found a body and poofs of feathers shortly after. At this point I'm panicking a bit, but when I came back down there was another Sussex waiting for me, with five still missing. About an hour later an injured girl came limping up to the group. She had some bad punctures on her back and ribs, so I took her inside, washed her off, and daubed on some antibiotics before isolating her. We searched again and found nothing. I eventually gave up on the other four.

    Then, several hours later a sad little boy came hobbling up, still feisty enough to run away from me. His leg is one giant bruise, but his injuries seem to be less severe than the pullet's. He's now cuddled up next to her in the brooder with his own antibiotics. I went back out to look as it got dark and found the body of a boy who apparently died while trying to get back to the coop. There's still one girl missing.

    I mostly just needed to share this as I'm stressed out and sad and not sure what to do now. Is it possible the pullet is still out there, or is it more likely that the fox ate her? It didn't have anything in its mouth when it made a run for it. Should I be doing anything else for the injured pair? I was actually just a few weeks away from putting up a run for them. Looks like I'll be expediting it.
     
  2. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

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    Yes quite possible she is hiding and will come back in the morning. What time did this happen? Real unusual for a fox to be out in the daylight, twilight yeah, either real hungry or rabid. A similar thing happened to me, but really at dusk, now the chickens come in early. The roo had lost most of his tail and could barely walk, let alone perch..he,s finally getting his rump covered again. Be on the lookout for that fox to come back in a couple of days.
     
  3. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

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    Yep, broad daylight, about 1 in the afternoon. We've caught it on a game cam hanging out in the woods across the field at noon, too. It's gigantic and seemingly well-fed.

    And, frankly, I'm hoping it comes back. I'll be waiting for it. I told the boy we should trap it when we had the chance, and now the chickens have paid the price.
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

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    Oh yes, Fox are out at 10 am, 1 pm, you name it. We have one with a den in our back yard for a few years now. We know it's the same one because he has discoloration on upper thigh were he must have had an injury. We live in a suburb of Chicago and wildlife just loves suburbs. I walk alot and have often seen foxes and coyotes out in broad daylight and occasionally raccoons. They aren't rabid or sick because I usually see them in the same area for months, doing what they do. There are so many opportunities for them to catch a snack - people leave pets off leash, have rabbits in flimsy cages, feed their cats outside, etc. Plus idiots who intentionally feed the wildlife.

    Nowadays its like a buffet table open 24/7 . Easy pickings and the wild life adapts quickly.
     
  5. akashia26

    akashia26 Songster

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    many fox have kits this time of year. the fact that so many of your chickens were injured but alive would support this. momma fox gimps them up and brings them home for jr. fox 1,2, and 3 to finish off and learn to deal with live prey. first step in hunting school.
     
  6. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

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    Well, I'm happy to report that the two injured chicks are walking, eating, and drinking this morning. They're spending most of their time huddled up together, but I guess that's to be expected. I'm hoping they'll both make a full recovery, if I can keep the infections at bay.
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Crowing

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    Believe me, there isn't anything unusual about a fox attacking in broad daylight. I used to think I only had to worry about the night. I got away with it, for almost a full year. Used to let them out, first thing in the morning, and they were out all day freeranging till the sun went down. But I've had two daylight fox attacks. One of them was between 11:00AM and 2:00PM in Apr. April being the time they are raising their young, I thought after the spring I would be kind of safe, WRONG. The other happened right around right around 5:00PM in Aug. Both times multiple birds were taken. You were lucky, you come home right at the start of the attack. The fox will kill and main as many as he can, then gather them all up and take them away. They will wipe you out if they have time. We HAD to be out there watching them all the time they were out. So we bought 300ft of electrified poultry netting and surrounded a big area around the coop. That seems to have taken care of the fox problem. Although if I get a clean shot at him/her, they're finished. Good luck getting that fox.
    Jack
     
  8. Gofygure

    Gofygure Songster

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    Yeah, it just kills me that we've known about the fox for a good six months and kept dragging our feet on taking it out. I consider myself lucky to have lost only three, although one of my best pullets was a victim and the very best now has lacerations down her back. My favorite roo escaped unharmed, thank goodness.

    It's getting to be about the time that this fox seems to get hungry, so I'm going to head outside and see if I can spot a certain nuisance animal slinking around one of the dead birds.
     
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

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    Good luck at eliminating the problem.
     
  10. Hangtown Farms

    Hangtown Farms Crowing

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    I saw a fox about 3 days ago. it had gotten my young Lavender Ameraucana . left the black and blue ones alone though. Maybe it was to liight a color
     

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