Fox

Disheygirl

Songster
Mar 21, 2021
213
341
131
Indianapolis, IN
I work from home and my office overlooks my girls’ coop. We’ve lived in this house for about ten months and had the girls since March. Had never seen a fox until today and it was casually lifting its leg on a bush about five feet from my coop.

We have guns but I am not open to killing it (that may change if it takes any of my girls out)…still, it’s a wild animal looking for food so I’d rather do one of two immediate things: relocate it, and/or ensure my coop is secure.

For the latter, right now we have a coop with a secure hardware cloth-surround tunnel that runs to a sand yard. The yard is wire fence with 2 feet of hardware cloth along the bottom, and goes a foot into the ground. Even if a fox got under it at night, they wouldn’t make it into the coop, which has an Omlet door and all windows are covered in hardware cloth. Haven’t seen any attempts at digging either. We are up with the chickens in the AM but I may delay the door just to make doubly sure that a fox isn’t waiting for them / that we’re down there first.

The top is zip tied (with the ties that have the metal clasps) avian predator netting. Foxes can climb, though…and I’m assuming possibly chew through netting?

We were planning on having a true predator proof coop run built in the spring which doesn’t help me now. Any tips? If I trap it and drive it a few miles away, will it find its way back? Anything else I can do to keep it away? We have two big dogs that roam the yard and woods (and who weren’t out when I saw it)…this thing was just chilling and lifting its leg, so obviously not concerned with any dog or people smell. The chicken yard is maybe five feet from the house. 🙄 Edit: we have electric rope fencing that we didn’t put up because we hadn’t seen a single chicken-eater until today. What’s the best way to put it against the fence? If it’s too low I assume they can jump over it.
 

swamphiker

Crowing
Feb 24, 2020
799
2,714
251
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I would focus on predator-proofing your setup rather than relocating or otherwise getting rid of the predator. If that individual fox disappears (either from being relocated or killed), another one will take its place. Eventually, one of them is likely to get to your chickens before you have the chance to trap or kill it if you don't have a predator-proof setup. I don't have foxes in my immediate area, but there are lots of good articles about protecting your flock from foxes.

Also, if you do decide to relocate wildlife, make sure you are following your local wildlife laws. From what I can tell from Indiana DNR (https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/living-with-wildlife/), you are legally allowed to relocate foxes and other listed wildlife as long as you relocate them to land within the same county, hold the animal for no more than 24 hours before release or euthanasia, and you must have permission from the landowner where you release the fox.

Best of luck to you!
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,066
32,226
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
In most areas it is illegal to relocate unless you have the property owners permission to relocate to which is rarely done. Most just catch and release somewhere where they think is a good location. We are rural on a dead end road and have been the recipients of others relocations, drop offs. If you catch it be prepared to eliminate it. It will keep coming back lurking for an opportunity. I have lost some birds to fox in the past. I did eliminate the ones that killed my birds. There are wildlife rescues around and they will sometimes take your catch and relocate it to release areas they use. I do have electric wires around my coops and pens and it has kept the predators away. A couple of days ago some thing went through the top half of a gate in one of the pens. All of the birds (10) are gone. I did put welded wire up on the gate yesterday along with most of the other pen gates. If it came back it didn't show up on camera but it has been quite foggy here lately and one of my cameras did go off but I wasn't able to see anything in the picture because of the fog. I suspect either a fox or coyote. This was my first loss in quite a long time. Today I'm also going to add some more electric wire. I use the poly rope wire. Good luck...
http://www.poultrydvm.com/featured-infographic/tips-for-protecting-poultry-from-predators
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/a-treatise-on-electric-fencing.1117877/
20210115_095548.jpg
20210113_164201.jpg
 

Disheygirl

Songster
Mar 21, 2021
213
341
131
Indianapolis, IN
Oh, ya - no free ranging. They have two pens with hardware cloth around the bottom two feet - the second one is fully caged, but it’s the first one that has the avian topper that I’m worried about. Putting the electric ropes around that pen tonight!
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,605
2,743
286
West Virginia
I would focus on predator-proofing your setup rather than relocating or otherwise getting rid of the predator. If that individual fox disappears (either from being relocated or killed), another one will take its place. Eventually, one of them is likely to get to your chickens before you have the chance to trap or kill it if you don't have a predator-proof setup. I don't have foxes in my immediate area, but there are lots of good articles about protecting your flock from foxes.

Also, if you do decide to relocate wildlife, make sure you are following your local wildlife laws. From what I can tell from Indiana DNR (https://www.in.gov/dnr/fish-and-wildlife/wildlife-resources/living-with-wildlife/), you are legally allowed to relocate foxes and other listed wildlife as long as you relocate them to land within the same county, hold the animal for no more than 24 hours before release or euthanasia, and you must have permission from the landowner where you release the fox.

Best of luck to you!
I agree the focus should be on the set up not the fox. Foxes will hunt in a 20 miles radius in search of food if its scarce .They can have multiple dens scattered thru out this whole area. And this years kits have been hunting since they were 4 months old and are now on their own.If one of them knows where the chickens are all of them know..
 

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