Fox issue

Mar 22, 2019
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We have free ranging chickens and a Fox has moved into our area. We first noticed them when my dad heard the chickens going crazy around 1-2 pm and all of them went missing in the woods and around half of them (8) found their way back but the others didn’t sadly. Ever since then we’ve been seeing the fox during the day and chasing him out of our yard. We were gonna leave them in the coop but then somehow we think a fox found his way in so the chickens started roosting around the yard. Now we only have a few hens that have survived so far (got the rooster the other day which angered all of us). I would love to get a livestock guardian dog like a Great Pyrenees but we have a lab who doesn’t like other dogs (he actually has chased away predators before but he’s kinda old and crippled now). Our only other option is to shoot it and kill it (which my dad and boyfriend are ready for). Lmk if y’all have any other options. We also do have cats that go outside and goats and a Shih Tzu that we gotta watch out for now too.
 

Allsfairinloveandbugs

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 10, 2020
1,021
3,233
481
Far north texas
The fox will soon get All of your remaining free-range chickens unless you build them a very secure coop and run & keep them confined 24/7, Or kill the fox. Killing the fox will take care of your immediate problem, but other predators will soon move in, especially with winter coming and wild prey growing scarce. Guard dogs can be a great deterrent. But since you dont have a good lgd candidate right now, your only feasible solution is very secure living quarters. And it needs to be Very secure, with hardware cloth, a sturdy covered top, & a wire apron to deter digging. The fox will try very hard to get through your predator-proofing defenses, as will raccoons and other predators.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,346
29,457
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I agree. The fox will lurk until it has killed all of your birds. Free ranging is a risk you take. Lessons learned the hard way. I did eliminate a couple of killer fox but have seen other fox since. Now I have secure coops and pens for my birds. I know people like to watch their birds roam around their yards but there are ways to entertain them when they are in their pens. I have nice large covered pens for aerial predators and electric wires around my coops and pens and concrete under the gates. Nothing has penetrated and my birds are safe. If you decide to catch the fox, I set out traps and baited them for a few days and let the fox take the baits then set the trap and caught them. I did eliminate them. If you aren't able to eliminate you can catch and usually there is a wildlife rescue that will come and get it. They have designated release areas. Don't catch and release and give someone else a headache. Good luck...
http://www.poultrydvm.com/featured-infographic/tips-for-protecting-poultry-from-predators
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,617
18,609
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have messed with Red Foxes using a variety of approaches, including those discussed so far. Most of my birds are currently penned, but I have about 20 mostly juvenile chickens that are totally free-range 24/7. Most of the time they are protected by free-ranging mature female English Shepherd around the clock that is backed up by younger female at night.

Another effective approach using a single less capable dog employed a fence (orange construction netting or 3 strands of hotwire) that encompassed an area providing chickens with forage, cover and water. The birds could get passed fence if they wanted to, but spent most if not all their time within that area. The fox could beat the fences, but the fence combined with presence of dog kept fox from trying to get in.

Electrified poultry netting was also good at keeping the foxes away, but it was rather costly when trying to protect an area large enough to provide actual forage for the chickens.

The dogs were most expensive part.

Another approach has been having the chickens free-range only during the latter part of the day and penning them in a coop / run with hotwire around perimeter that zaps probing fox making so it cannot dig in. I generally stayed outside while birds outside and often had dog with me. If fox comes in, then do not be a granny, get off your duff and chase it off or get out a shotgun.
 

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