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Fox!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chester Hen, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Chester Hen

    Chester Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Yorktown, Virginia
    My girls just spent their first night outdoors in their coop. There are six of them, 5 weeks old. Of course I was worried about them, though I did wonder if I was just being paranoid. I know we have raccoons wandering about at night and I've seen hawks during the day, but now all of a sudden my husband sees a fox on his way out this morning. I'd asked him to open the lower hatch of the coop so the girls could go out into their run when he left for work at 6am. It was daylight when he left and as he was pulling out he saw a fox run into the woods. He'd been not 30 feet from our tractor, in my front yard. [​IMG] I guess he'd been stalking my girls. [​IMG] My set-up is a tractor with an enclosed coop. The run part is fully covered with chicken wire, including the bottom. The three doors to the coop are latched with two simple barrel bolts each and the lower hatch that swings up to let them go down the ramp into the run latches closed with a simple hook and eye closure. I feel (felt [​IMG] ) like they were safe out in their run during the day and the coop at night. Now I'm wondering and worried. I have just come in from installing my son's retired video baby monitor to the inside of the coop so I can watch watch and listen to them. Is there any way that fox can get into my coop or run? And, isn't it unusual that the fox would have been out during the daylight? We live in a mainly residential area...there is a subdivision bordering two sides of our lot. I'm even wondering if my dogs are safe out in the yard. Not happy right now. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In this one you can see the lower hatch (in the back of the coop) that leads to the ramp for the run. The door is latched to the wall when it's open and closes with a simple hook and eye latch.
    [​IMG]

    Another view of the hatch.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Looks like your birds are very safe if you have good hardware cloth and the run is skirted (the skirt will move with the coop and take care of the diggers as well as cover most uneven spots in the yard) and that fox will figure it out. Meanwhile be vigilant if you let the out of the run to range even when your there.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
  3. Turkenlover

    Turkenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2010
    Colorado
    I feel for you. I live smack dab in the middle of the city and we have foxes visit us all the time. I just my new babies out yesterday and this morning our friendly neighborhood fox stopped by--three times. I let my dogs chase him off twice before I made my own introduction - with my BB gun. (Don't worry, I have terrible aim - I was just sooooo mad). Don't mess with Mama Hen!! [​IMG]

    He hasn't been back since. Just in case, I have finally decided to put a hot wire on the top of our fence. It will mean no more charming visits from the neighborhood cats, but hey, leave my babies alone!!

    Good luck with your fox, and always keep your eyes open. I never let my girls out of their coop unless I am literally in the backyard with them. I have had them disappear when I am home, but inside. In broad daylight. No kidding. It is that bad here. Heck, we have coyotes running around in broad daylight here too. [​IMG]

    I think your coop looks secure. I just hate the ruckus my girls make when the fox is running alongside (or is on top of the coop--it's latest trick). They can be persistent. Just be careful, never leave your hens out at dusk, dawn, night, and don't let them out of the coop when you are not in the yard. I probably wouldn't let your little dog out alone at those hours either if I were you. I have big dogs, so I don't worry about them. Make sure you never leave any food out ever. Get really strong garbage cans. Part of our problem is that our yard backs up to an alley, and everyone just throws their trashbags out there, so the foxes, racoons, and coyotes eat hearty. SIGH.

    Keep me updated on your fox and I'll keep you updated on mine. I have a permanant watchpost from my bathroom window now....

    Grrrr......[​IMG]
     
  4. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    Chicken wire (hex shaped) will not stop anything from getting into the run day or night. Field fence or hardware cloth is a better option. Raccoons can open most basic hook and eye, and basic latches that a 2/3 year child could use. None of this is meant to scare you, justbto warn.
     
  5. Turkenlover

    Turkenlover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 14, 2010
    Colorado
    Good Point FLchickens! One of my coops is hardwire cloth and the other is fieldwire with chicken wire over it. You have to have both because fieldwire has too large of spaces and chickens will stick their heads through and get them eaten! [​IMG]

    Hardware cloth is the most expensive, but keeps everything out... [​IMG]
     
  6. Chester Hen

    Chester Hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2011
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Thanks for all of the advice! I will check out the field fence and hardware cloth...probably will replace all of the wire around the run so I can sleep better. Last night I slept with the baby monitor by my head. [​IMG]

    Turkenlover, that's crazy that you have all of those predators right in the middle of the city! I don't blame you for packing heat with the BB gun. I'd pop a BB in a fox in a minute if I thought he was going to get one of my girls. I really appreciate all of the advice. I am new to this and a bit of a worry wart.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    You don't have to take the chicken wire off - just put the hardware cloth over it. Save yourself some time that way, and you can work on it with your chickens right there.
     

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