How to get rid of fox?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by littlekit, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. littlekit

    littlekit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 23, 2009
    Northern Virginia
    We could use some help. We have a fox, at least one, and it has taken out our hens repeatedly. We also have coons, but they only come out at night- and our coop is secure, with electric netting around it. Problem is some of our hens and chicks can get through the fence, or fly over it, making them vulnerable. We lost a mama hen yesterday leaving 10 orphans. The fox comes to visit in the morning, between 8am and noon. I've gotten 30 feet from it and it just stares at me. I yell and throw things and it goes away... slowly.

    We are generally anti-gun, but would consider a bee bee gun or other weapon if it would kill the animal, and not just mame it. We want no suffering.
    A trap with cat food or chicken in it would trap one of our own barn cats, so that is not an option.

    I would appreciate any suggestions.

    K and L
    Oakton, VA
     
  2. High Roost Ranch

    High Roost Ranch The Chicken Whisperer

    As long as you don't take means to stop it, it will keep returning for that easy meal. I keep a 22 on hand, and I've had to use it before. I hate doing it. We not only have fox, but feral packs of dogs around here. You could invest in a fox sized appropriate live trap with a live animal insert cage (expensive), and then you have to have a fox willing to go for the bait. I personally think they are too crafty to fall for a live trap. Buckshot to the butt may be enough to deter it from returning, if you catch it on every attempt repeatedly until it finally figures that chicken dinner isn't worth the sore butt after a while.
     
  3. Gold Griffin Chicken Mom

    Gold Griffin Chicken Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Suffolk, Virginia
    Lead. That's the only "cure" for a fox with a taste for chicken.

    People at work advised my husband to mix cat food with a human laxative (like ExLax or some such). Theory is the predator (fox, coon, possum, whatever) will eat the "tainted" food and realize food from your house is bad. However, you have barn cats and I doubt you want to risk their health.

    A fox or family of foxes took out 22 of my one and two month old babies on June 15. The next night at 9:30, a fox came trotting up the driveway. It knew my schedule. By that time of night I'm usually in the house for the night. Mr.Fox failed to notice my husband had moved the truck into a new position... with a clear shot at the chicken yard. Hubby brought it down with the 12 gauge then finished it off with his handgun. That's more mercy than my chicks got. We are trying to keep eyes open and chickens shut up because we know it's only a matter of time before the rest of the fox family comes for dinner. I carry a handgun with me while I'm doing chores just in case I see another fox skulking around.

    A BB gun will not faze a fox. I would seriously advise buying a handgun or rifle, then take it to a range and SHOOT IT. Learn how to keep it clean and keep it ready. If you have children, teach them to respect the gun and leave it alone. If they are old enough, take the children to the range for practice also.

    Sorry for preaching at you, but a sign at my local gun shop says it best: "When SECONDS count, the police are just MINUTES away." I'd add Animal Control is most likely hours away and busy dealing with domestic animals and not interested in your fox. Be ready to defend your flock yourself or be ready to have them all killed.

    If it makes you feel any better, we have hawks here. There is a nest overlooking my chicken run and bird netting over the run as a result! I purchased bottle rockets (fireworks) to shoot at the hawks. I might not be allowed to kill a hawk (federally protected?), but I can sure make it unpleasant to hang around. So far, the bottle rockets annoy the groundhogs quite well.
     
  4. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    Find a friend with a gun and hire him to take out your fox. Once they have found an easy yummy meal they WILL NOT give up. I don't like foxes around the neighborhood anyway since they find rabid ones every year in our state.
     
  5. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    The idea that you are anti gun tells me you have never had to defend yourself or your property. Everyone that keeps chickens needs a trap and a gun. I keep a live trap set 24/7 and baited with whole eggs. It catches everything except cats and the bait doesn`t have to be replenished daily. I have one of those traps that High Roost suggested with the seperate bait compartment and it has proven to be worth it`s weight in gold. With the right bait, traps work most of the time, the exception being trap smart predators like some coons and foxes. The problem is, someone without a gun can`t dispose of the animal in the trap. Relocating IS NOT an option as it is illegal in most areas and animals will return . Most folks don`t appriciate you dumping your problems on them also. I have a solution, so if the trap or gun doesn`t work, PM me and I`ll give it to you..........Pop
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    littlekit wrote: Problem is some of our hens and chicks can get through the fence, or fly over it, making them vulnerable. We lost a mama hen yesterday leaving 10 orphans. The fox comes to visit in the morning, between 8am and noon. I've gotten 30 feet from it and it just stares at me. I yell and throw things and it goes away... slowly.

    First, look to your fencing. All weak points need to be reinforced, if it is four foot fencing then it isn't much of a leap for Red Fox (had one that would have cleared 5ft. panel fence gate if it hadn't had a big rabbit in its mouth). Yes they are, in human terms, pretty brazen (makes them very easy targets with a .22). If they are interrupted during an attack and retreat into the woods, they will nearly always be back within the half-hour. A large live trap will sometimes work for adults. Standard havaharts work for kits:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If one of your cats happens to spend some quality time in the `box', it will be the only time (learning curve is steep and brief).

    We've had some luck with sets, more with snares, but have shot more than will ever be trapped. A cheap, semi .22 loaded with hyper-velocity rounds serves as a nice `slow motion' shotgun and will serve you well. We only allow free range when one of us is out with one of the rifles handy (18 foxes retired in 2007, alone).

    If you want to trap with standard sets, check out these links:

    http://backyardchickens.yuku.com/topic/3887/t/prepping-and-using-steel-traps-a-tutorial.html
    http://backyardchickens.yuku.com/topic/3962/t/The-HAY-SET-step-by-step-for-easy-fox-trapping.html
     
  7. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gosh Ivan, that`s a lot of foxes in a year. Worst fox scenario in my yard was 3 in one year. Coons were my pred of choice. Caught over 200 one year. Here`s a couple pics of my trap. Don`t have any fox pics as they all got deleted. This trap was $200 and I had to drive 60 miles, one way, to get it. Worth every penny.........Pop

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  8. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    Is it a red fox or a grey?
     
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    BOCOMO
    Lollipop wrote: Gosh Ivan, that`s a lot of foxes in a year. Worst fox scenario in my yard was 3 in one year. Coons were my pred of choice. Caught over 200 one year. Here`s a couple pics of my trap. Don`t have any fox pics as they all got deleted. This trap was $200 and I had to drive 60 miles, one way, to get it. Worth every penny.........Pop

    Nice trap. Another thread has a shot of an adult fox in a large trap. I'll take 50 foxes over one Bobcat, thank you very much [​IMG]

    We run about 30 coons a year (since `97). The foxes haven't `flushed' again, since `07 (two kits/three adults this year, so far). The old-timers around here used to make it a social occasion to burn out dens yearly (lots of folks had sheep/goats on the side and lamb slaughter was unacceptable), but they started taking heat from certain `groups' and the fox population rocketed. Got so overloaded, here, that one morning we were heading out at 06:00, walked out on the front deck, and a big adult Red jumped down out of the plastic doghouse (our outdoor cat's home) next to the door and stood there looking at us, before hopping down to the lawn and starting to saunter away - he didn't go far.​
     
  10. milestoog

    milestoog Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2009
    Raleigh, NC
    The fox comes to visit in the morning, between 8am and noon. I've gotten 30 feet from it and it just stares at me. I yell and throw things and it goes away... slowly.

    This is the part that worries me, Fox tend to be people shy. Either it has lost some fear, or is sick... They are famous for having rabies. Either way I would invest in a 410 shotgun, or a .22 caliber rifle. I know you don't care for firearms, but I can guarantee you they are easier to learn to live with than a series of rabies shots. Not to mention fox love cat meat !!​
     

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