HELP!!! Fox issues...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chubbydog811, May 19, 2010.

  1. chubbydog811

    chubbydog811 Songster

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    We have at least one fox that keeps taking out our chickens...
    He has killed 6 chickens in the last 3 weeks (this isnt including the 10 or so of the next door neighbor's, and 6 or so across the street). He even took our favorite barn chicken, who NEVER leaves her stall! Also took a chicken OUT OF HER ENCLOSURE! He is brave enough to go right in the barn...He even teases us by sitting out there while we are working...Within 40 feet of us!!!!

    We have had enough of it. He needs to be gone!! We have tried shooting him and trapping with no luck!

    How have you guys gotten rid of a fox before? If it is too smart for us to shoot, and doesnt go near the trap, what do you do??? [​IMG]

    Is there anything specific I can bait him with to either trap or give me a second to shoot?
    I can't stand leaving my chickens locked up, especially where it is getting hotter...And our coops were designed to hold heat (with very good ventilation), and increase light (very green house-like)

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. gettinaclue

    gettinaclue Songster

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    I am very interested to hear some responses. I have just put my girls in the newly finished coop and we have a fox den in the back of our property.

    We are still constructing our run. We will be burying our fensing 8" down and 6" out - in the shape of an "L".

    I'm very sorry about your chickens. We have only seen ours once in our yard in the day light and never at night...but it would be silly to think they are never here and wouldn't take the opportunity of an easy meal if it was presented.
     
  3. chubbydog811

    chubbydog811 Songster

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    [​IMG] Thanks...Sounds aweful, but I'm glad he only took the sexlinks, and not my leghorns!...course I'm still not over the fact that he took our favorite barn chicken!! She was one of those that would run up to you every time you went down there, and would beg if you had anything that looked tasty!

    I hope someone can answer to!

    Our fox is making himself a regular resident...He is here at least 2ce a day, scoping out which chicken he would like to take...Luckily, my free range flock (who has been locked up for the past 3 days since I've been busy) has learned that when the head rooster or guinea alert, they all run to the barn and hide on top of something...Usually in the form of a stack of hay, the loft, or ontop of the milking stand. They also stay incredibly quiet until the rooster says otherwise...If only the sexlinks that he took were that smart!!

    Anyway....Hopefully I'll wake up to some good advice? I have the day off tomorrow, so that means all day to kill (technically and literally!)(hehe, I almost made a funny)
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  4. mmwb

    mmwb Songster

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    Contrary to popular myth, foxes are not exceptionally intelligent. They do tend to be skittish. There are a lot of different approaches to trapping it. You didn't indicate how you have tried to trap it. Is it a red fox or gray? Adult reds tend to avoid cage traps. Snares or footholds (properly set) will likely be more effective. Calling and shooting may be a possibility as well. I don't know what state you are in, but see if you can track down a trapping association. If you have a local sporting goods store, they may be able to link you up with some one.
     
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    chubbydog811 wrote: He is brave enough to go right in the barn...He even teases us by sitting out there while we are working...Within 40 feet of us!!!!

    Is there anything specific I can bait him with to either trap or give me a second to shoot?

    Do you have to go back inside to get the gun, or does he take off when you aim? Without a secure run/coop and armed, supervised, free ranging, it's a foxes version of lope-through KFC.

    You might try placing a dead chook at the location he does his spying from, and make sure your weapon is zeroed and at hand. They are as smart as they need to be. However, once they get a taste they tend to go blood simple, i.e., it makes a kill and is shot at and will take off, but almost always returns within the hour. Or, comes running right into the chooks with a human standing within kicking distance and attempts, or makes the grab. We are in the middle of the woods. I brush cut along the verges of the clearing around the house, but leave a few `noses' of multifloral rose and gooseberry sticking out. If the chooks go to ground in the base of one of the big lilacs and start to growl, I just reach for the rifle and eyeball the thorny protusions. Have shot several foxes waiting to make the charge from what they expected was good hiding.

    Have shot more than I've trapped (snares better than sets), but the chooks and turks have secure runs and never range without supervision.

    Some links on trapping and a bit on behavior:

    http://backyardchickens.yuku.com/topic/3887/t/prepping-and-using-steel-traps-a-tutorial.html
    http://backyardchickens.yuku.com/to...tep-by-step-for-easy-fox-trapping.html?page=1
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=31544&p=1
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  6. chubbydog811

    chubbydog811 Songster

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    He/she is a red fox...I almost want to say there are 2 because one is tiny, the other is huge...(ugh)
    We tried a have-a-heart trap...Would have gone all out with the real traps, but my dog is allowed to run the property, and we have neighbor and stray cats that are out there all the time.

    A few times, we had to go back in to get the gun...But he came back within 10 minutes. Other times he will run when aiming.
    We have sat out there for hours with the chickens free ranging as bait. My dad almost shot him the other day...just to find that his gun wasnt sighted in [​IMG] I've been trying to find someone with an awesome shot or trapping skills, but no such luck...I'll have to look into the trapping assoc. if there are any around here.

    I've had many clear shots, but he comes up by surprise, and runs as soon as you pick the gun up...

    We have come to the point of carrying the gun at all times out there just in case he comes back.

    That is an awesome idea with the bushes...only problem is we are on 50 semi open acres, so it might be kind of hard to do that...

    Thanks for the advice though!
     
  7. aprophet

    aprophet Songster

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    Quote:A havahart can catch a red but the trap needs to be huge think 12" wide 15-18 tall 36-42 deep that said it is a lot harder to catch a red with a havahart then a foot hold trap several companies make a padded trap, the jaws are wrapped with rubber pads you do not need a large trap to hold a red fox a number 1 1/2 is plenty big that is almost all I use for fox reds and greys google dirt hole or flat set that and trapping fox they are not very smart or hard to catch just takes a day or 2 good luck
     
  8. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

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    Poison. Lock up the dog, put out some irresistable food lace with antifreeze. It is tasteless and odorless. This is actually more human than shooting. He/she will just die as opposed to maybe being only injured and dying a slow death.
     
  9. J3172

    J3172 Songster

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    Reds do tend to avoid cage traps, but if you make a cage on the back of the trap and put what he wants "a chicken" in the cage, that might be enough to lure it in. Good luck I had a 13 pound male red fox coming around but I keep my dogs in and the next day I caught him in a 1 1/2 coil spring useing red fox urine as a lure, but as it was winter I could see the path he used and that made it so much easier, do you know how he's getting into your back yard?
     
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Antifreeze is probably the least humane way to kill anything. If you have ever seen anything die from kidney failure induced by antifreeze, you would never recommend its use. There is nothing quick about the painful death from antifreeze. Cats also love anti freeze and die painfully once it is ingested. Place a live chicken in a secure cage somewhere near wher the fox waits. When the fox arrives, shoot it.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2010

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