1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

From the UK...wanting info on preventing badger and fox attacks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by saltdean norm, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. saltdean norm

    saltdean norm In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2009
    Sussex, UK
    hi all

    i'm just renovating an old coop at the moment and will be getting 5 chickens in the new year.

    we have a lot of foxes and badgers in our area (saltdean, sussex) so was hoping to get some more info on preventing an attack.

    our coop is very solid and will be sat in an 18 x 12 x 6 fulling enclosed run. the birds will be locked in every night (hopefully) . the base of the run will be 12" railway sleepers sunk down into the ground and i'll be digging a weld mesh skirt into the ground outside. the chickens will only be let out into the garden when we are home and during the day.

    i've read somewhere that human urine scares foxes off so i may start peeing into a bottle each night to sprinkle round the run base. is this just a myth?

    any thoughts or advice to help protect our birds will gratefully received



  2. Hi Norm- consider using 1/2" gauge hardware cloth (aka mason's wire) for the run. You seem prepared, and you're right about the confinement of the birds before dusk, and don't let them out until after dawn. That said, foxes will somtimes hunt in the day especially if they have kits so roofing the run could be the answer...[​IMG]

    The urine will caution the fox, be sure to place it higher than a male can lift his leg...but really, they learn about us and how to circumnavigate everything we do.

    My run is listed in the link below, with pics..
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  3. Rangely

    Rangely In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2009
    Fort Collins
    Norm, I have lost over a dozen hens to foxes over the past year and have learned a ton.

    1. I peed all over the bloody yard, to no avail.
    2. I had the chicken wire buried 6" deep and tent staked @6" intervals. They tunneled under it.
    3. I surrounded the coop/run with railroad ties. They tunneled under it.
    4. I surrounded everything with 5" river rock. They tunneled under it.

    The vast majority of the advice I received on this forum, revolved around electric fencing. This would prevent any digging predator from getting through. I've seen foxes dig a hole big enough to drag my Labrador through, let alone some hens. Badgers are known diggers. I can't imagine what havoc they would wreak. I think either electrification, or a solid concrete foundation are your only options.

    -2 cents.
  4. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Electric fence is a definate.

    Badgers can be pretty formidable when it comes to fencing and whatnot. Buy a fence charger and some good wire and wrap it around your coop. It seems a hassle, but really electric fencing is pretty unparallelled when it comes to predator deterence. Because an electric fence isn't just a physical barrier but more of a mental, it works off of pain and fear. All the animals know is they are getting hurt when they get too close to your chickens.

    Bears will tear down almost anything and while you aren't asking about them, if an electric fence will deter them, they'll deter about anything. [​IMG]
  5. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

    Jul 14, 2007
    Milton, Florida
    BIG GUN!! [​IMG]

    Oh, thats right, ya'll gave up your guns in favor of a nanny state. Sorry. [​IMG]

    You'll just have to throw rocks.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2009
  6. TarzantheChickenMan

    TarzantheChickenMan Songster

    Oct 1, 2009
    Guthrie, MN
    Getta terrier you have plenty of quality terriers available to you in england i would love to get one from there, My dads JRT is from Ireland off the plain for about 18 hours beforr he picked it up
  7. saltdean norm

    saltdean norm In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2009
    Sussex, UK
    Thanks all, I'm not sure about electric fencing. I have a young daughter and would rather she didn't get zapped, I know I could just turn the fence on at night then off again in the morning but I'm bound to forget at some point.

    A concrete base isn't an option either, I just don't have the funds and the site would be hard to access with a mixer or wheel barrow loads. How about a wooden skirt under the soil, say a 2 foot wide piece of treated marine ply at a 45 dgree angle from the bottom of the run? it won't last forever but would stop a determined digger.

    I think foxes can be shot legally in the UK but you certainly can't shoot badgers, they are protected and treated like royalty over here. Either way, I don't have a gun and live in a residential area so its not an option.

  8. Wolf-Kim

    Wolf-Kim Songster

    Jan 25, 2008
    Quote:While an electric fence can be pretty scary, it only takes one time to learn not to touch it. Kind of like learning that the stove it hot(without the burns and pain). I know plenty of people who have young children and simply teach the children not to touch the wires, just as you teach them not to touch a stove or not to shovel hot food in their mouth. While electric fences may seem harmful, they really aren't, they work mainly off of fear and misunderstanding. There are varying levels of electric fence as well, you have the smaller fence charger which is designed for pets, such as dogs and small yards and then you have the electric fences that keep in 1500lb bulls in miles of fenceline. All you would really need is the dog-sized charger.

    When we living in a subdivision, we had a dog fence charger and we would actually PLAY with the fence and try to shock each other, it was so mild. We would lead unwary friends to the fence and show them that more often than not, rubber soled shoes insulated you from the ground and prevented people from getting shocked. One day, while my brother was showing someone how he could touch the fence and not be shock, I snuck up behind him, put on hand on him and my other hand on the ground. We both got shocked, but it was worth it. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by