Fox Rant

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Southwind, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. Southwind

    Southwind Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Watched a fox run off with one of my adult Buff Orpington layers this AM. There were two field fences between me and the fox, and the gun was in the house. By the time I got through both gates, the fox was down the gully back of our house. Looks like the hen was dead by then, I think it broke her neck when it grabbed her.
    After getting back from Mass, my dh and I took one of our dogs and went fox hunting. He had done a chicken count and found we were actually missing one of our Delawares as well as the Buff. We found a lot of fox tracks, a lot of mud, and a lot of briars.
    Oh yeah, we found a pile of white feathers too.(The Delaware)

    We found out that we both need some mud boots and coveralls. So this poses a bit of a problem for us. We actually live in a rural subdivision, where everyone has a mobile on one or two acre lots. Lots of trees and critters, but lots of homes around too.

    We have a fairly large pen, but the chickens routinely fly out of it, and it is 6' fencing.
    I am thinking, in the short term, maybe electric wire around the top to keep them in.

    arrrggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    End of rant. I am beyond angry.
     
  2. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glasgow, KY
    I'm sorry that fox has grabbed a couple of your chickens.

    I hope you find him!

    My neighbor across the street just got a new dog from his sister. The sister gave him the dog because it kept killing her chickens!

    The dog killed one of my Silkies and the owner came by to apologize and inform us that we could shoot his dog if we wanted to.

    When we saw the dog come back onto our property, we shot at the ground near him and he ran home. He does not come onto our property any more.

    HOWEVER, we have a huge fallow field behind our property, and I think the dog is hanging out there because he got another one of my barnyard mix pullets.

    The barnyard mix chickens like to hang out in the field near our fenceline.

    Anyway, the dog needs to go now.
     
  3. Patapsco Mike

    Patapsco Mike New Egg

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    A fox got two of my three hens today as well. I saw it in the run, and nearly cornered it. Time to get serious about my fencing I guess...
     
  4. Southwind

    Southwind Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Well, saw another fox today, this was not the same one, different coloring. My guess is I have met Mr. and Mrs Fox. Last night I heard a ruckus over by my neighbors -their birds were all upset about something, and I can bet I know what.
    DH took one of our huskies(trained to track) and followed the trail through the gully and into a pipe that goes under a street. I think we will do a little exploring tomorrow.
    So far no more hens lost, but we haven't been letting them out to free range either. Not that they want to go, they all seem like they want to stick close to the coops.

    Sorry about your losses Mike and Alienchick. I am not sure which is worse, a wild critter or a neighbor's dog. We did lose a gamebird pullett to a neighbor's terrier a few months back, but we convinced the woman to keep her dog on a chain, and she has ever since.
     
  5. Old Fossil

    Old Fossil Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2010
    south Mississippi
    One fine morning two weeks ago I was enjoying my fourth or fifth cup of coffee around 8 a.m. when I heard my dogs raising a ruckus. I looked out the back window in time to see one of our neighbourhood red foxes making off with one my white crested black Polish hens, headed towards the woods. To make a long story short, the fox had killed 8 of my 19 chickens, including our Barred Rock rooster, whose body the fox left headless at the back of the chicken yard, and two of our three Dominique hens. That left 11 birds in our flock.

    The fox had found a spot on the 5' high fence where there was slack along the top. (The fence bottom is staked and buried in the ground, with a layer of bricks to boot.) He managed to get on top of the fence, which bowed under his weight, allowing him to fall in the yard. I'd gotten into the habit of not shutting up the coop at night, since in 1 1/2 years I've not had any issues with predators. He managed to carry off 6 of the hens before I noticed that morning, leaving the rooster and the body of 1 hen.

    I found the den, deep in a bamboo thicket at the back of my next-door neighbor's property.

    I've since secured the fence, and have gone back to shutting the birds up at night. I am not going to go after the fox(es). I value their role in keeping down the local rodent/snake population.

    Lesson learned re: foxes.
     
  6. Southwind

    Southwind Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2011
    I am looking for a Border Collie as a means of solving predation problems. I can't keep mine penned, I need them to free range or I will have to cull the flock myself. And so I need to get a guard dog or get rid of the foxes. I also fear for my cats. They will kill cats, not to eat like a Coyote will, but they see them as competitors.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Southwind,

    I manage red foxes in a manner similar to what you are planning. Vigilant free-ranging dog with speed makes a huge difference. Dog must be able to get to fox otherwise predator disreguards dog and continues after chickens. A couple things help as well on side of how chickens protect themselves. First is experience, they know fox is a threat and the birds sometimes will seek sanctuary in a tree or on building when fox visits. Not all breeds equal on this. Games are excellent, dominiques get the deer in headlights look going on. Second is having enough sanctuaries chickens can get to with limited flying abilities. A good 6 feet is enough despite fox being able to jump that high with ease. Seems like when chicken does up like that fox has to look around to see who is watching before going up and the fox usually prefers to target another bird still on ground. Just buying a couple more seconds makes it so dog can deny the snatch and grab your birds suffered. Also effort to keep free-ranging chickens in the dogs line of sight so dog can potentially react before fox actually gets into chase.
     
  8. Ted n Ms

    Ted n Ms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A fox is fairly easy to call into shotgun range with a predator call . Just make sure the wind is not blowing into where you think the fox will come from.

    I have called a lots of them. [​IMG]
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Shooting predator can be labor intensive if your time is required to wait for it, even when calling it in. Plus you do not know to start effort until fox kills a couple birds first. Such a measure is reactionary rather then proactive.
     
  10. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Traps! Go to: http://www.nwtrappers.com/ buy and learn how to use traps. I have trapped fox, coyotes and bob cat that were killing my birds.
     

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