Fox Sighting

Lisa-Lu

Songster
Feb 14, 2019
241
893
136
Southwest Virginia
The last two evenings we have seen two foxes casually walking through our back field and back into the woods. They havent come close to the coops from what we can tell. My concern is what do I need to be watching for? What is their main way of access/attack? Our flocks are safe in their runs, buried hardware cloth, roof, etc. We aren't letting them free range unless we are there and out with them. Is there anything I can do to scare the foxes off?
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
10,216
66,584
1,302
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
The last two evenings we have seen two foxes casually walking through our back field and back into the woods. They havent come close to the coops from what we can tell. My concern is what do I need to be watching for? What is their main way of access/attack? Our flocks are safe in their runs, buried hardware cloth, roof, etc. We aren't letting them free range unless we are there and out with them. Is there anything I can do to scare the foxes off?
An electric fence or a dog are the only realistic options.
 

Trish1974

Araucana enthusiast
Mar 16, 2016
2,834
6,331
522
North Central IN
My Coop
My Coop
Fox are the WORST! I agree electric fence is your best option. I wouldn't even trust a dog to keep them away as fox are bold and sneaky. I've read stories where a pair of foxes worked a dog away from the flock...one led the dog off while the other grabbed a chicken. I had a similar situation a few summers ago. I shot at a fox creeping on my chicken run. I missed and he ran off to the woods. Came back about 15 minutes later (a different, smaller fox), led me to the front of my property, I heard chickens going off and as I ran back to the chicken runs I saw the fox I originally shot at running away.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
10 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,178
12,295
707
Southeast Louisiana
I'm not aware of anything better for protection against a fox (or other predators) than good barriers. You say you have dig protection and a roof. As long as everything is firmly attached there's not much more you can do. Foxes can dig under and climb over fences so you need 100% enclosure. If your run had an open top electricity could be a real good idea. Even with an enclosed run locking them in the coop at night adds another layer of protection. Foxes are very smart and can exploit any weaknesses in your defenses. At night with no human activity they have time to try.

Foxes are primarily ambush predators. They will creep up unseen and jump out to take a chicken. There are stories on the forum where a fox has snatched a chicken within 15 feet of a human. Your being out there with them adds a huge layer of protection but it's not perfect. Stay alert. (I typed this before I saw the above post.)

A dog adds another big layer of protection as long as the dog is out there and in a good spot. A dog sleeping on your front porch doesn't do much good if the chickens are in the back. If the dog sleeps in the house instead of being outside its not helping. A trained dog managed correctly can be a huge benefit but like any tool it needs to be used properly.

I'm all in favor of permanently removing certain predators that are hunting my area. I've been known to shoot or trap and permanently dispose of certain critters in certain locations. That reduces hunting pressure on my coop and garden. Foxes are hard, by the way. But it is not a permanent solution. If you have one there are more. Even if you get one you haven't gotten them all. There are new ones being born, raised, and weaned to go off and find food on their own. So while removing them relieves pressure, barriers are your best long-term solution.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
71,430
73,210
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Oh and all the chickens are locked up in the coops like Fort Knox every night, never left out in the run. They are in the caged/protected run all day.
Then you have nothing to worry about.
Have had a couple fox and a coyote literally bounce off my run during the day.
Only the coyote tried it twice.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Premium member
Mar 11, 2017
7,035
17,561
612
South Park, Colorado, USA
Keeping your chickens secure is the best you can do. They will be back. Maybe when you are home, maybe when you are not. We had a fox visit this summer, it returned almost every day for two weeks. I'm sure it stopped by on other occasions. If the dogs were not outside to scare it off it would pace back and forth along the chicken fence trying to figure out how to get in (I assume). We'd most often see it early morning and early evening, but I don't doubt it came by at other times. Hopefully they will move on for easier food (once they realize your chickens aren't actually easy food).
 

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