Fox Trouble....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by WillGriffin03, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    11
    54
    Nov 5, 2016
    Macedon Ranges
    Well it's this time of year again in Australia, the time that Foxes become an even bigger problem. I just lost one of my Phoenix to one of these foxes and I'm afraid for all the rest.

    I don't know if we're allowed a gun licence here but if we are, do you recommend shooting them any way? They're a real pest down this way. What do I do before the rest are at the hands of a fox? I tried as hard as I could to predator proof the enclosure but Mr. Foxy Loxy got her while free ranging. In my experience the Fox kills the whole flock, but what happened was she disappeared and we searched for two hours around the pen and found no trace of her, do chickens normally do that? Then in the morning I found feathers everywhere, exactly where we were standing the night before. What was she doing out there?

    Hope you can help

    William
     
  2. Table4Six

    Table4Six Chillin' With My Peeps

    599
    135
    171
    May 22, 2012
    I don't recommend shooting the fox. Do you have a coop that they stay in at night? Are the foxes only getting them while they are free ranging or are the foxes getting into the enclosure? If the foxes are getting in the enclosure, do you now how and where they are getting in?
     
  3. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    11
    54
    Nov 5, 2016
    Macedon Ranges
    Yes I have a coop and outside area that's secluded with an overhead netting and wire under the ground and a pest wire around the enclosure. The fox only has got one while free ranging. But she was hiding and brooding, I looked around for 2 hours and didn't find her. But then in the morning I found her feathers.
     
  4. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    554
    216
    126
    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    Welcome to BYC, @WillGriffin03 and I hope you enjoy the site! [​IMG]

    We get a grey fox here nearly every single night. The neighbors started feeding it, and then decided not to, and were astonished that the fox kept coming expecting food. They are really smart and once they have found an easy food source they will keep coming back to see if there is more food there. You can't really blame them. Life in the wild is hard.

    Although you might be able to shoot this one fox, there are about a million more out there looking for new territory. In fact, shooting all the predators of chickens would be close to impossible. You could spend your whole life shooting 24/7 and not even come close to getting them all. It's far better to put your energy into making your coop and run safe, a saner and more obtainable goal.

    Since this did not happen in your coop or run, and you say they are very secure, I will believe you and say, keep your chickens confined for a while. Give the fox time to get really hungry and move on to better hunting areas. Then, be really aware that there are foxes and other predators out there, and don't let a chicken not come in at night, even if they are broody. Make sure all are accounted for. In the end all you can do is your best. There are SO many animals out there that love a chicken dinner just as much as we do.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,733
    6,856
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!

    Curious, what kind of fox are you dealing with there?
    Do you have a Department of Natural Resources that regulates hunting and trapping there?
    They might be able to offer some advice...especially if they are truly considered a pest animal.

    Putting your regional location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.

    Looks like there is a fairly active AU chat thread here on BYC,
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/598568/australia-six-states-and-that-funny-little-island
    Might want to check that out.
     
  6. Eps32

    Eps32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    597
    118
    116
    Dec 22, 2015
    North Carolina
    I know this sounds harsh but I've trapped them and inevitably ended up having to shoot them I have half my flock the free ranges without supervision there cover is great and avoid Hawks easily foxes though I shoot no questions asked they will kill and I mean in a bad way your whole flock hawks you just have to give cover I use fishing line also cause they are illegal to shoot I've found seeing a hawk shooting in the ground will scare them off
     
  7. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    890
    177
    121
    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I was going to suggest the same thing. I've trapped gazillions of them when I lived back east and found that's the easiest way to thin them out. WillGriffin03, I don't know if you are allowed to trap foxes using foot-hold traps there, or even if you're familiar with how to do it, but if you are allowed that is what I would do. Foxes around here are mostly nocturnal but traps are on duty 24 hours a day and if you make your set correctly they will work most every time.
     
  8. Table4Six

    Table4Six Chillin' With My Peeps

    599
    135
    171
    May 22, 2012
    I'd say keep them in their enclosure for a little while until the fox decides there are no food options there anymore.
     
  9. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    11
    54
    Nov 5, 2016
    Macedon Ranges

    Hi aart,

    I'm dealing with the infamous red fox and I know there's at least 20 of them around but until a couple days ago no trouble what so ever.

    I'm not to sure about the trapping regulation and after trying to find something on my area, nothing came up. Thanks for helping me out!

    If I do catch one do you recommend culling it?
     
  10. WillGriffin03

    WillGriffin03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    166
    11
    54
    Nov 5, 2016
    Macedon Ranges

    Hi ejcrist,

    No I'm not too familiar with for trapping but just a couple of questions on the subject. If I was to accidentally step in one, what would happen to my leg? In my area it's 'rubber jaws only on all traps' what does that mean? And finally if I was to catch a fox how long would it take to die?

    I really want to get rid of these pests as if one of them got in my cage, I'd be ruined!

    Thanks for all the replies,

    William
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by