Fox :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jackiehershfeld, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. jackiehershfeld

    jackiehershfeld Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2013
    Maryland
    I figured I could post this here, but I came home today to find a fox had got into my chicken run. I am so sad. We had one laying hen, whom I had grown really close to, and she was killed. Only one hen survived, and I am honestly not sure if she will make it or not. Her rump feathers got bitten off, but she is walking around, eating, drinking. . . so I don't know, we will see, I am trying to not get my hopes up, and just trying to make her as comfortable as possible.
    About two weeks ago, we had a hawk get one of our hens, and my husband built a run (they were free ranging prior to this). We've had a ton of snow and prior to this weekend our coop was safe in a blanket of snow. Ugh. Live and learn, RIP chickens.
    Our local feed store has chicks coming in starting tomorrow, and I am doubting whether I should start my flock over again.
    Any tips for better protecting my flock from future predators would be appreciated. I am thinking we should have a chicken tractor for them for the summer to move around a bit, but now Im not sure with the predators about how safe they would be.
    Sorry for laying it all out, it just made me so sad today.
     
  2. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Wisconsin
    I'm so sorry to read this. It's so hard to keep those darn things out. [​IMG]

    What kind of fencing do you have? Did it just crash through?
     
  3. jackiehershfeld

    jackiehershfeld Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2013
    Maryland
    Thank you <3
    The space beneath my coop is less than 6" (its settled into the ground) and the fox crawled underneath and got in the little door from the coop to the run. I just never thought the darn fox would crawl through the mud in such a small space like that. We have chicken wire attached to a very sturdy wooden frame, but I am thinking I now need to reenforce it in some way. Just not sure how.
    And especially since Ive now read that a fox will keep coming back I am really worried. Live and learn I guess.
     
  4. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The darn things will dig under if they have to. We buried the wire down a foot, then put cement blocks down all around. I had two birds taken from the yard last year from a fox, since then no birds are allowed out of my direct sight when they aren't in their coops/runs.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    I've had my problems with the fox. Lost a bunch of birds to them. The fix for me was electrified poultry netting from Premier. I bought and surrounded my coop with 300' of it. It worked so well, I bought 300' more, and expanded the range. It is very easy to install. It can be powered by household electric, or solar powered. You can get everything you need from Premier. The fox are still around, and going on 3yrs, I haven't had any problems(Knocking on wood right now) from them. We've had some snow this winter. I found I could clear the fence with a broom, if we get a powder type of snow. But then, we got some wet stuff, and it froze. Had to turn the fence off for a couple of weeks. The birds didn't want to come out for over a week, even though I opened the popdoor for them, they prefered to stay in. When they did come out, the fence was still off, because of the 2-3" of snow/ice covering the bottom of it. But, I had no problems. I think the fox, after getting zapped with in excess of 7000Vs to the face a few times, didn't even want to test the fence for a chicken dinner. After another week, the with the bottom of the fence clear, it was turned back on. Below is a pic from sunnier days.



    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. jackiehershfeld

    jackiehershfeld Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2013
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    JackE - you have a beautiful run and coop and thank you so much for the advice on the electrified poultry netting. I am going to have to look into that. It seems like it would be a great solution to really protect my hens. How do you protect from hawks/other birds of prey?
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Thanks. As far as airborne threats go, And we have plenty, the chickens have the coop, as well as that big brushy area behind the coop to hide under if they have to. I don't have a rooster with my flock(That's another story in itself), but the birds have learned on their own. They see, or hear a hawk, they go for cover. We also have some crows that hang around the area, and they run hawks off. Also, the crows make a certain call, when hawks are around, and I've seen the chickens respond and act, when they hear those calls. I've found as long as they aren't exposed in a wide open space, and have cover, they do OK.
     

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