Fox!

mscallisto

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2012
103
88
171
I was just outside with my 2 girls (I never let them free range when I'm not there) and turned around to see a fox clear the 6 foot fence. The girls scrambled and a screeched, I wasn't expecting a fox, and it jumped back over the fence. I scooped up the girls and put them back in the coop, where they voiced their displeasure and then went upstairs to the nests.

What do I do to ensure their safety? We're in a neighborhood setting, but have had foxes because of the parks in the neighborhood. Is there a deterrent for foxes? So far I think they're safe in the coop, but a determined animal could get in I'm sure.
 

Africanchild

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
53
2
31
Louisville, KY
I lost my first flock (five total) to a fox. I live in the city and the last predator I was expecting was a fox. Lucky for you, its been spotted and you can prepare. Unfortunately, if your state is like mine you can't kill the thing especially in a city or residential area. I would start first with your coop. Chicken wire only keeps chickens in other predators can make quick work of chicken wire. I use hardware cloth (second time around) but am planning on upgrading to metal weld fencing now that my chickens are too big to fit through it. Make sure the fox can't burrow under your coop and get in that way.

If you're sure your coop is fox proof I would proof your yard. You can get fox repellant and put around your property. You should be able to find this at your local garden center or feed store. Most fox repellants are not harmful to other animals. I have two dogs so I started taking them out and letting them potty around the coop and yard the chickens are in to further dissuade the fox from entering my yard. I never tried this but heard you can put out some items of clothing that you've worn around the coop and that smelling human scents acts like a repellant but I never tested that theory. Make sure you don't have any other food sources in your yard (besides your chickens) like cat food. I don't know about your state but my state prohibits the trapping of live animals and you have to get pest conrol professionals to do that but if your state does not have any laws about it you can try to trap it and relocate but I didn't have to resort to that. After about a month of the above it moved on. However, I'm always on the lookout that it might come back for another meal so always be on the lookout for it. Good luck! Hope this was helpful.
 

Africanchild

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
53
2
31
Louisville, KY
That's rough! I was so mad when I lost my five. I can't imagine losing 14. It took me awhile to know what had done it some told me raccoon or fox. No-one could believe it was a fox because I'm in the city. I got my second flock and around 11pm one night my dogs (inside) started barking. I went to the window and what did I see?! A red fox circling my new coop. I grabbed a bat and flew out the door waving my arms and screeching like a banshee. I never saw it again after that. I knew then it was a fox that got my first batch. I still get nervous from time to time but I'm always on the look-out for it.

Good luck with your sting operation. Let us know how it goes.
 

chickortreat

Songster
10 Years
May 26, 2009
562
104
161
Greys are easy to call up with a rabbit-in-distress call. I called one up one night sitting on my front steps. I had a red lens on my light taht I was wearing on my head. I would sweep it back and forth looking while I called. Once I saw eyes, I would have my daughter hit it with the big spotlight to be sure I wasn't shooting one of our cats. As soon as the light hit him, he bolted and I missed. I kept calling, and in five minutes, he was back. They're much easier to call than reds.
 

mscallisto

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2012
103
88
171
Thanks for the advice. So far he hasn't come back, there's no footprints around the coop besides mine. But it must have really scared my girls because they were my shadows when I let them out today, and they didn't argue a bit when it was time to go back in the coop. I've got some extra paving stones that I'm going to put around the coop so he can't dig, and check all my wire and make sure it's all tight. The good news is they can escape to where the nest is and the fox can't open the hatch. Here's hoping he gets bored and leaves.
 

Africanchild

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
53
2
31
Louisville, KY
fl.gif
fingers crossed for you.
 

Omtatsat

In the Brooder
7 Years
Nov 14, 2012
6
0
10
Sorry to hear that its frustrating and heart acheing .I got a large humane animal trap as I was noticing attempts to get int the hen house ..Sofar Ive trapped six very large raccoons only at night ... I set the trap up open the door throw in some chicken jerky and the next morning I have a very sleppy and upset raccoon try a humane trap
 

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