It's a FOX - Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by [email protected] acres farm, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    Yesterday, around 4p.m. I was out checking on my chickens and geese. I heard something scurry away next to the creek in some long grass. I also saw the grass moving...as the critter was running away down a bank. I just couldn't see what it was.

    This afternoon, once again, around 4, I was working outside and my guineas started going crazy. I had just put my geese in their pen, the layer chickens in their run and the peafowl in theirs for the night. I had baby silkies and a few baby bantam cochins in another dog run. I looked over when the guineas started their chatter and I saw an Orange blurr and I thougt it was my Orange Cat, Cracker in front of the silkie run. She's has never bothered chickens and I was concerned so I started running over to the run to see what was up. It was a fox running around the run trying to get at the Silkies. Once it spotted me - it darted off into the tall grass - in exactly the same spot where I heard something scurry away yesterday afternoon.

    Last month one of my geese disappeard, I thought I lost it to a stray neighborhood dog. I never did find the body...just a trail of feathers. Now I know she was taken by a fox. I lost two chickens about 3 weeks before that during the day...but thought it was a hawk. I'm not letting them free range during the day unless I'm outside.

    We have not had a problem with fox for the last 6 years. They have had mange here in this area and many have died out. This one looks very large, healthy and alert.

    What is the best way to trap a fox? I bet they are difficult to catch. My son is 15 - he as a leg trap and a live trap he uses for coons. We've trapped several this year alone.

    Any suggestions would be welcome. All my birds are locked up in coops every night or are secured in our barn as are our barn cats. I have three great horned owls...that go after everything - we have no bunnies or squirrels here at all and we live right next to a grove of walnut trees. You would think it would be squirrel central.

    I've managed to wage a battle against the coons, owls, hawks and now I need advice about this Fox.

    What do I need to do to get rid of this thing? Please advise...
     
  2. lotzahenz

    lotzahenz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    I think you may need to set the leg trap near a fence row if possible. You can try a big live-trap, but then you'd need to shoot the fox and NOT relocate it, though on the box it recommends you do that. If you do use the live trap, bait it with something tied closely to the top with some string and place the trap between bales of hay or straw and your coop. We took an old feed sack and tied it around most of the trap, so it looked more like a little "cave" and hid it with other stuff, hay and a board. It took a week to catch a coon in our loft, but tonight after 5 minutes, the coon took the bait of a wheel of old summer sausage. Just poked a hole in the center and ran string thru it. Foxes are hard to catch. Good luck. Oh, and I think you are lucky to have the owl, even if it does get a chicken once in a while. I'd buy and feed chickens to the owls if I had some. The one owl I did have was a tiny screech owl and she roosted with the chickens in the barn. I bet she tried to eat some, but they seemed to accept her roosting with them. Now, all peeps go into a tight coop, as they are those expensive eggs. BUT, later, when we have culls, I would love to be able to feed an owl. Owls do so much more good than bad, eating the rodents. Just my thoughts. HenZ
     
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    If it were a coon, I would dispatch it without another thought. Foxes though seem rare to me.

    I would probably catch it in a live trap and then drive it to the nearest wild life sanctuary or refuge area.... unless you live next to one... then I'd drive further out away from where folks live. Might be a day trip for you on a weekend.
     
  4. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lompoc, CA
    I tried forever to catch a fox in a Havahart trap, I used all kinds of stuff as bait with no luck. Untill someone suggested live bait. I know this sounds mean but, I bought a feeder rat from the petstore, I tied his rear legs to the wires on the bottom of the trap and then set the trap out about 2 hours after sunset. In the morning, I had a fox.

    Edited to add: Here it is illegal to relocate a trapped animal. If I dispatch it, I am legal, if I transport it live, I am in violation of the law. I was told this by the California Dept of Fish and Game.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  5. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    I wasn't planning on re-location. I do have a call into the Game and Parks Commission. Does anyone have any experience with using "scent" on the traps on in the general area?

    G Wiz...I don't think I could do the "rat thing" not because I feel sorry for the rats...only because, rats and mice scare the heck out of me...give me snakes, spiders, bugs of any kind...just don't show me a mouse or rat...YIKES! How and the heck could I ever tie that thing in? Double YIKES!!
     
  6. antlers

    antlers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 20, 2008
    East Cent Minnesota
    Trapping fox can be tough. Very smart. If you have the time you might have better luck on a stake out with a gun. Seems to be there about the same time every day so.... Otherwise for live bait if a mouse gets to ya, how about a barn pigeon?
     
  7. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    If I would have had a gun yesterday...I would have had a really good opportunity. I work until at least 5p.m. each day. That's what has me so worried...it seems it shows up at 4 and I don't get back here until 5:30. It also seems to strike when things are really calm and relaxed. Goats & the majority of poultry back in their pens everything all settled in. I'll just have to wait for it on weekends. I know they are tough to catch - I was on pins and needles all day today wondering if it was going to come back this afternoon. We have dogs - but I don't let them wander outside when I'm not home. I'm worried about the fox digging under my goose pen. It's a very large pen and I don't have wire "skirts" burried around the outside of the pen. I was sort of surprised that it was out during the day. I thought they were nocturnal - I must be mistaken. I am so careful to lock eveything up at night - I didn't anticipate a fox problem during the day. I'm also a little concerned about two little barn cats that we have that are about 10 weeks old...I'm sure if a fox goes after squirrels - it would also take a kitten if they had the opportunity.
     
  8. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    If you are planning to use steel or padded read these (best info I know of):

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

    We always have a rifle handy when we free range (two attacks, both happened when we were out ranging chooks and turks, one of those occurred when I was standing no more than 15yds. from the chook). Greatest activity seems to be between 4-6 in the evening and between midnight and three. Although we've seen them at all hours.

    We shot 18 in 2007 (only one in leg hold/2 in snares). Red Foxes are invasive ornamentals that were imported in the 1600's. Kind of like multifloral rose.

    We've taken one kit in a havahart, but we didn't use live bait. They are brazen and will stand their ground (why so many were shot).

    Place some used 4ft. chicken wire around pens (two feet on ground and two ft. up the outside of fence and attach with UV resistant cable ties on fence and peg to ground -quick/cheap digging fix).
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  9. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    Thanks Ivan3!

    That sure is a lot of information. I don't know if I have an area on my property to set the trap. He comes up an enbankment out of a creek - that's the same place he scoots down into as well and runs across a fallen tree into the woods. There is a clearing there and some rolling hills we only own land up to the middle of the creek. The water in the creek bed is only about 6-10 inches deep. The ravine is very steep/deep like 65 feet. The ravine is also fairly wide...I love it because it creates a natural barrier between property/neighbors...it's really private around us on three of the four sides of our acreage.The land across the way has changed hands recently and I'm not sure who the owner is at the moment. They lease it out to be farmed.

    I'm tempted to take off early on Friday and wait for him with my gun. I still haven't heard from the game and parks commision. I may never hear back from them. I've been letting out several of my weanling goats. I raise registered Fainters. They spend time in the same general area and I'm hoping a high activity level will keep him away while I'm at work.

    I called a local sporting goods store this morning...they do have the fox "lure" so if I go that route - they have what I need. The person on the line also thought they had the correct size in traps. I think, the trap my son currently uses for coons is a little too small. It works well - he caught two coons in it this Spring and several in our box/live trap. I'll ned to keep my dogs and cats away from it...that will prove to be a challenge.

    I'm laying down the chicken wire around my goose pen just as soon as I can. I already have a length of it finished...just ran out of chicken wire and the landscape staples to hold it down to the ground. I'm also adding it around both chicken runs to be safe. I noticed that in one of the far corners of my layer run - somthing dug under in one of the corners. I fixed the hole this morning before coming into work. Once I've added a wire "skirt" around the run will that problem will be taken care of for a while too.

    Thanks again for all of the information...I really do appreciate it!
     
  10. jojo@rolling acres farm

    [email protected] acres farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Nebraska
    I just rec'd a call from the Game and Parks Commission. He said to shoot it or trap it. I'm totally within my rights because the Fox is destroying my livestock. I told him that it seems like it's almost impossible to trap them...they're so dang sly. The commissioner told me that their numbers are way up - due to the fact that so many coyotes are still suffering from mange. Coyotes are the # 1 killer of Fox. He said 1000's of fox are trapped here in Nebraska every year. I think Fox season starts Nov. 1.

    I just need to get rid of him/her as soon as I can. Hopefully this weekend...
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009

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