FOX!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by 914pete, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. 914pete

    914pete New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2015
    Hi, new to the site. I have two duck hens, a Rouen and a Runner I hatched. Both almost two years old. I have an open pen, 5' high fence and then a completely closed in area which includes a completely closed in coop. A fox hopped the fence the other night while the ducks were still in the open pen. Our dog sits inside on a chair overlooking the duck pen keeping watch. She started going ballistic and I knew there was trouble. I looked out the window and a fox hopped the fence and was going after my ducks. By the time I got outside the fox looked like he was still chasing the ducks so I chased him back over the fence. He hopped over a 5' fence like it wasn't even there. I scooped up both ducks and put them in the enclosed area. They were both still running around frantic but didn't seem injured. I was in my PJs, barefoot (foot of snow on the ground) so I went back in the house threw on some boots and went back out. By this time the ducks were in their coop. I looked in on them with a flash light and they didn't seem injured. I looked for blood and didn't see any. Next morning I did find a handful of feathers from the Rouen which looked like about the size of a fox mouthful. Long feathers and short. Again, no blood. I can't even tell from where on the Rouens body they came from. Possibly tail feathers. I opened up the coop, they didn't come running down the ramp like they usually do so I had to coax them a little. Both ducks came down the ramp, physically looked ok, just maybe a little shell shocked. This was Sunday night.

    Ever since, the Runner is acting normal however, the Rouen who is usually very friendly and hungry ALL the time has not been eating much and basically hiding most of the time. I even bought some night crawlers from a local bait store knowing they LOVE worms. The Runner takes them as usual, but the Rouen seems to have trouble eating them. Normally she jumps right for them and inhales them...one right after another. Now she seems to have to force them down if at all. Very unusual for her.

    Should I be overly concerned?
     
  2. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well she was obviously scared by the experience , could it be possible that the fox has become to come back and leaves in the very early morning which could cause more stress, you probably should put chicken wire over the top of the enclosure for safe measure that way a fox won't be able to get in.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Please take buff goose guys advise and put a cover and secure it down so nothing can climb inside might not get out there in time next time. and be sure to examine your ducks all over under their feathers to make sure there isn't a wound you might have missed. they can hide alot under those feathers. A nice warm tub bath with water to float in might be one way to check them out and see how they are actually doing since attack. Just make sure they are fully dry if you take them back outside in the cold.
     
  4. 914pete

    914pete New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2015
    As I mentioned, I do have a completely enclosed area they are staying in right now. I'm sure the fox is around. We've had a lot of snow and ice and I'm sure their food supply is low. I lock them in their coop at night and cover their screened door.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Sorry I guess I miss read your post. Yep This time of year with most of the predators natural food sources under ground they will be looking at our flocks I hope your girls are okay and recover from the fright they must have experienced.
    And Welcome to BYC.
     
  6. 914pete

    914pete New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2015
    Def possible the fox is coming back throughout the night. That's why I thought to cover their screened coop door. Must still be stressful hearing it out there though.
     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Welcome to BYC. Yes you should be concerned as the fox will visit as long as prey is available. My Critter-cams are always photographing foxes who visit every night. Trapping them is difficult and right now it's a bit cold to be waiting on the perfect shot.

    Keep your birds locked up tight and good luck.
     
  8. 914pete

    914pete New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2015
    Yes, Ive tried trapping the fox (I have a large have-a-heart) and relocating. Yet I've had no luck.
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I would bring both birds in overnight for at least one night, and really take some time to observe both the Runner and the Rouen. Predators may grab a duck by the tail and leave puncture wounds around the vent that you might not see if you don't look for them. Look under the wings. Puncture wounds introduce bacteria, causing systemic infection that can be fatal.
     
  10. 914pete

    914pete New Egg

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    Feb 4, 2015
    Happy to say the Rouen is acting more like herself today. She was the first one out of the coop and honking up a storm for food. I did find the location where she lost her feather, side tail area. It looked like there could have been a puncture wound but seems to be healing. No sign of infection and the fact that she is eating and acting normally again I have to assume she's on the mend. Thanks for all the advice and support!
     

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