Fox - tell me about their "hunting" style please

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by pbjmaker, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Overrun With Chickens

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    Got up today to let the dogs out and lo' and behold there was a fox looking at my chicken coop/run. I didn't see him real well but as he ran off the run, body size and tail were unmistakable.

    I live in the city and in 14 years at this house have NEVER seen or heard anyone talk about a fox in my neighborhood.

    So what can anyone tell me about how they hunt/kill? Are they fence climbers? Would electric be a good deterrence? Do they hunt during the predawn hours, daytime, only night? How far do they range?

    My chickens go in a coop at night that gets locked down like Fort Knox. It is in a welded wire fenced run, but the holes on the fence run are fairly large. The coop is fairly coon proof. My concern is for the 11 muscovy ducklings in the run that sleep under the coop and not in it. I may have to force them in the coop at night now.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Foxes can climb fences with ease and are great diggers, too. Their preferred method of hunting is the snatch and grab. They are very sly and quick, so there may be little or no evidence left behind from their abduction sites. They can be seen about almost any time of the day, but they prefer to be out earlier in the day or just after dark. Their range is dependent on whether they have an established home range or whether they are nomadic. There can be 1 or up to 8 foxes sharing the same territory. They sometimes form familial packs.

    An electric fence is a great deterrent. I think the ducklings might also need some night time housing until you can be sure your electric fence is working as it should be.

    Good luck.
  3. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2009
    A long time ago, before my husband built the chicken run, I let my pullets out around 7 am to range. I heard a commotion and I saw a flash of tawny bushy tail with a black tip and I noticed it had one of my chickens (the roo but he still was young and looked like the girls) I grabbed a stick and screaming ran after him, launched my walking stick at him like a javelin and he was in the woods standing on my roo ripping out feathers by that time. He looked up at me and ran off and my roo ran the other way, I also found feathers all over the yard and another chicken was stuck in some vines near the fence. I live in Florida.

    When I saw that tail, I wasn't sure at first what it was because I thought foxes were more red but that tail tip is kind of unmistakable. I was told that the fox will grab but it cannot bite into the chicken - it has to first rip out the feathers - It also removed Razz's tail feathers so they must chase, snatch and grab

    We now have a run but some of my girls jump right out of it and wander the woods. Especially since they ate every blessed growing thing in the run and even though I have food in the run, water, etc they wander the property. So, they are at risk and I accept those risks. I would hate to lose them but until I can run some more taller fencing they are bent on getting out daily.

  4. revolution rooster

    revolution rooster Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Try buying a large live trap make a hole in your run and insert the trap door flush with the outside of your run. Most likely while the fox paces around the run he will think that its a way in. Then you can guess what to do next...
  5. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Fox seem to prefer to race thru the yard in broad daylight and grab a bird and continue to run so they are not exposed very long but I've watched them trot the entire perimeter of the field to find a hole or dig spot any time of day. They will jump up on things but reds don't usually climb fencing. (a grey fox will climb like a squirrel though) I've had great sucess with electric fence and since I completed my skirted 6' double wire fence, I'm nearly bulletproof except for birds. Of course killing 3 fox last year helped too. Now that that's done and my neighbor shoots instead of shoos the fox away it's even better.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  6. countryway1422

    countryway1422 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 3, 2011
    electric fence should help...i had a foxe take out 2 of my chickens just before dusk wasnnt interested in feeding just killing...foxes are sly creatures n alot of them live in the city cause of easy access 2 food...the fox u seen prob has a den close by...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by