Foxes and chicken behaviour

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Fourblackhens, Jun 15, 2018.

  1. Fourblackhens

    Fourblackhens In the Brooder

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm brand new to BYC but not so much to owning chickens. I recently moved to country NSW (Aus) and had 4 lovely Black Australorp/New Hampshire pullets which free ranged in our garden during the day and were put in their run/coop every afternoon and padlocked in. A few nights ago I forgot to lock the padlock and a fox managed to remove it and then open the latch to the coop door, needless to say, it wasn't the best way to start the day the next morning.

    We brought home our 4 new pullets (same x breed) 2 days ago and so far they've stayed in the coop - venturing out into their run in the evening to have something to eat and some water. They are extremely skittish around us. I'm putting that down to a sudden change in environment, getting used to their new home, new people and the fact that we've had gale force winds the last 2 days.

    My cat (believe it or not) woke me up at 6am this morning to the sound of foxes on the property next to ours, calling to each other. I checked the coop and the run, it's completely untouched so I know that the only weak spot was the fact that the fox figured out the locks (!??!!)

    I'm wondering though, if perhaps they've also picked up on there being a fox in the area? Could that perhaps account for how wary they are? I'd love to get rid of the foxes as they are such an enormous pest in Australia but i'm in what's considered a residential area so guns and bait aren't an option.

    Any suggestions for soothing chooks would also be greatly appreciated! For the moment we're leaving them in peace and going out a few times a day with scratch and meal worms. We got 2 eggs yesterday so I can't imagine they are all that stressed.
     
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Making Coffee

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    A new home and environment is extremely stressful. Imagine being picked up one day and relocated to a new spot with no explanation. It will take them a while to become comfortable.

    The sound of predators calling will add extra stress, especially initially. As time goes on it will become part of their environment and won't cause extra stress unless something bad comes of it. You could try running some strands of electric fencing around your coop to deter predators.
     
    aart and puffypoo22 like this.
  3. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

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    Get a dog,and if ou can’t spray wolf urine around your property.

    A new environment is stressful as well as the addd predators.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Really?!? I didn't think fox were that dexterous?

    Agrees with OHLD that it's mostly 'new place' stress.
     
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  5. RNPAULIE69

    RNPAULIE69 Songster

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    Sounds more like raccoon
     

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