Foxes & Opossums

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by twin2ty, Jan 25, 2014.

  1. twin2ty

    twin2ty Out Of The Brooder

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    I had a flock of chickens that we free ranged during the day in a 1 acre fenced in yard (chain link), and were cooped up at night. I started loosing one here and there, then one day 7 went missing in one day. Neighbors reported a red fox leaving the scene. After we started cooping up the remaining two full time, opossums got my last two. My question is, why didn't the opossums bother the chickens while they were free ranged during the day, but only after I stopped letting them out. Opossums got both at night, so that opportunity was always there. While chickens were free ranging, I used to throw out kitchen scraps in a sort of compost pile, but stopped doing that once I stopped letting my last two free range? I'd like to get more chickens, but not really sure how to completely protect them. A dog against the foxes? Go back to "feeding" the opossums with kitchen scraps? Any ideas?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Could be that the possums didn't show up until the fox started striking....or they were eating compost so didn't bother chickens.

    Free ranging is always a risk.....bullet proof coop for night time should always be a priority.
    Properly training a dog to protect property with livestock can take up to 2 years.

    Hot wire around your fence would help with daytime ranging...at least against most ground traveling predators.
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Red Foxes, even if one is conducting ARMED, supervised free ranging is not 100% protection. Over the past 9 yrs, between our closest neighbors and ourselves, we have simply preemptively removed the foxes. We'll see one, now and again, but they aren't here early every evening anymore.

    Go with the electric fencing and ft. knox coop if possible. Preemptive trapping (etc) removal of vermin won't keep others from coming, but it sure cuts down on the overall frequency of predation.
     

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