Foxes and Freedom Rangers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by moonsynth, Jul 3, 2011.

  1. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    This morning I was looking out the window into my backyard, when I saw 3 grey fox cubs (look to be almost adult size) playing on the grass near my 2 sheds. They were running under one side of a shed and coming out the other side, chasing each other around. Looks like they live under one of them. Cute I thought. Then the realization came that I have 51 twelve day old freedom ranger chicks in my basement, starting to outgrow their brooder. I'm going to be using 42" tall electric poultry netting and a moveable shelter to house the chickens, starting at two weeks, or so I thought. I plan on surrounding the chicks with 3' tall chicken wire until they can no longer fit through the larger holes in the poultry netting, a fence within a fence. The area I need to use for the chickens is very close to these sheds. 20 feet away or so. I'm going to be shifting the shelter and fencing all over this side of my yard.

    I have never raised a chicken until now. I know that the fence is good at keeping away predators, but with the foxes living so close, and being so tempted I'm not so sure it will work. Even if if does keep the foxes out, I'm pretty sure the chickens won't do well with the drooling canines sitting outside their enclosure all the time. I'm assuming they will cower in their shelter, not eating and drinking properly.

    I'm new to the country life and gardening/raising animals, but it seems to me the it's either the foxes or the chickens. Dose anyone have experience scaring foxes off? Beneath the shed is pretty open around much of the perimeter, as the shed sits on a slope. There are cinder blocks and rocks from the lase owner surrounding a lot of the base. It's probably rather secure feeling under there. I'm thinking of removing the rocks and weeds and putting a shop light under there for a couple days. Do you think that might scare them off? Is there much danger that they could try to bite me? I'll try to scare them off before I go sticking my hand down there. Then I will try to block them out with wood, etc

    What are the rules in NY about shooting animals that pose a threat to your livestock? Or do they have to actually get one?

    Any suggestions or thoughts? I kind of need to get the chickens outside soon. They are getting big quickly!
     
  2. MobyQuail

    MobyQuail c. giganticus

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    Quailtropolis
    I have a friend with a similar issue, she traps them with have a hart traps and send them to wildlife rehab center., even if you scare them from under the shed, won't they still be in the neighborhood?
    any chance of obtaining some lucky chicken loving dog from the shelter? that would love to stay in a shed and guard chickens?

    where in NY? I grew up on the border of dutchess and columbia county.
     
  3. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm up in western Saratoga county, close to Great Sacandaga Lake. My wife grew up in Ulster county, closer to where you're from.

    Yes your right they probably wouldn't get very far before they got settled down again. I thought about trapping them but wondered what to do with them. Maybe I should call my extension office. Maybe they have some ideas about what to do with a trapped fox.
     
  4. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey! Welcome to BYC [​IMG]

    I live in NJ and am having similar questions about raccoons. I caught one last night and just found out it's illegal to release them elsewhere. I had brought this one to a large state forest/park. Who knew? I'm going to be calling my local animal control when they are open again and asking for advice. I've never killed something like a raccoon, so I couldn't imagine how to do it - but we need to know these things to protect our chickens!!

    Good luck to you!
     
  5. MobyQuail

    MobyQuail c. giganticus

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    sure, my sister lives in kingston...

    yes, good idea with the ext. office, although I know down here they are overrun at this time of year. my buddy volunteered in his area and is getting called left and right for fawns, foxes, hawks, squirrels.

    on one hand its great to see wildilfe surviving, on the other your hardwork and chickens are not for fox supper.

    wishin ya luck with the relocate.
     
  6. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    Well as of yesterday afternoon there are no weeds or cinder blocks closing off the bottom of the sheds. They are both open up around 1/2 of their perimeter, where ever the bottom doesn't touch the ground. I made lots of noise, banging on the floor of the sheds to scare them out. Then I stuck a shop light under each shed and have been blasting a radio inside the shed I suspect they are actually living under. I think the cubs were just playing under the smaller shed. They are only 12' apart or so. Found lots of feathers under and surrounding the sheds that I hadn't noticed before. Also noticed where the grass was matted down, or gone where they entered/exited. I think they must have taken up under there recently, because I would have noticed the wear on the grass right near the ramp leading inside. I read that it is not uncommon for foxes to change dens 3 or 4 times each spring, so I don't feed to bad scaring them off. There is a good chance they will move close by, but I'm figuring at least they won't be staring at the chickens constantly. If I trapped them and moved them, It just seems like there would be other predators that would move into their territory anyway. I'm in a very wooded area, with lots of wildlife. We'll see what happens. If I see them back I will resort to trapping or worse if I have to.
     
  7. chickenjoe

    chickenjoe Out Of The Brooder

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    I believe in NY it legal to shoot predatory animals, out of season, if they are killing live stock. The better option is to call coop ext. and see if they have some that can capture them for you.
     
  8. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Check with MFHA.com. There will be a fox hunting club in your state and most likely somebody will be willing to trap and move the kits for you. Fox hunters are very good about taking care of land, livestock and foxes/coyote, so that the wonderful sport can continue to be enjoyed.
    They don't kill their prey but they do understand when it needs to be moved for the sake of farmers or city people.
     
  9. moonsynth

    moonsynth Out Of The Brooder

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    Yesterday at dusk I saw the mom fox lurking around the house and across the street hunting. Then I saw her and one cub near the sheds, checking them out. I guess the music and lights that are still on are not deterring them any more. They are probably getting used to the noise and having trouble passing up such good shelter. I think I'll follow all the advice to contact some trappers for relocation. Thanks everyone for the advice!
     

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