Life after a fox attack

Aug 17, 2020
4
2
8
I lost all four of my girls yesterday to a fox attack while free ranging. I thought one would make it and put her back in the coop. The fox kept lurking so I brought her inside but she didn’t make it through the night. I want to get more but want to make sure I’m doing what is needed to further secure the coop. These are my current plans:
  • Put up motion lights
  • Electrify a netted fence
  • Surround netted fence with a sort of rope fence with bells attached
  • Bury hardware cloth around the bottom of the coop (it has a run underneath)
  • Secure the door inside the coop that leads to the run underneath with a barrel bolt
I do plan on building a larger covered run with buried hardware cloth or cement under it, but these are the solutions I came up with before I could get that done. My coop also has two two step latches on the door and the bottom run is secured with hardware cloth, poultry staples, and screws. I understand that foxes come back. Is it possible she will have stopped stalking after knowing they were all gone and not having any out there for a few days? Will these added measures help deter further attacks? Any other suggestions?

(I have dogs but living in the city people aren’t keen on dogs living outside so a guardian animal isn’t in the cards)
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
31,519
35,392
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
So sorry for your loss. That is the risk you take when free ranging. I have free ranged in the past but now the birds have nice large pens. I have had fox issues in the past. I have eliminated a couple of killers. I have electric wires around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates and good heavy duty netting covering the pens all due to losses from predators in the past. Lessons learned the hard way. For people who insist on free ranging, this may help. It doesn't work against aerial predators but will for most land predators. This could work on a smaller scale too. Good luck...
http://www.plamondon.com/wp/faq-simple-electric-fences-chickens/
 
Aug 17, 2020
4
2
8
So sorry for your loss. That is the risk you take when free ranging. I have free ranged in the past but now the birds have nice large pens. I have had fox issues in the past. I have eliminated a couple of killers. I have electric wires around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates and good heavy duty netting covering the pens all due to losses from predators in the past. Lessons learned the hard way. For people who insist on free ranging, this may help. It doesn't work against aerial predators but will for most land predators. This could work on a smaller scale too. Good luck...
http://www.plamondon.com/wp/faq-simple-electric-fences-chickens/
Thank you. I don’t plan on free ranging again. Just seems too risky. Just hopeful my plans before getting a larger covered run built will help prevent entry in the coop. I realize the fox will likely return. Just want to do as much as possible to make her return unsuccessful and unpleasant.
 

Allsfairinloveandbugs

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Feb 10, 2020
1,453
5,115
531
Far north texas
Very sorry you lost your girls. Is your coop prefab? If so those are usually pretty flimsy. If coop is prefab & not too large, u can wrap the entire structure, wood and all, in 1/2" hardware cloth. (I took this step and wrapped a plastic shed that served as a coop extension for nestboxes. It had some gaps i wasnt comfortable with, so i just wrapped the entire structure. Now nothing can squeeze or chew through.) Hardware cloth along with electric netting surrounding the coop/run should ensure that NOthing ever again gets your girls. Premier makes electric netting that is portable, so u can use the netting as a type of tractor, giving the chickens a variety of places to scratch for bugs, sunbathe, dustbathe, etc. (U would of course still need to be concerned about aerial predators.) Glad u are not giving up. Chickens are worth having, AND protecting.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
31,519
35,392
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Thank you. I don’t plan on free ranging again. Just seems too risky. Just hopeful my plans before getting a larger covered run built will help prevent entry in the coop. I realize the fox will likely return. Just want to do as much as possible to make her return unsuccessful and unpleasant.
Electric wires around your coop and pen should do it. I have had no intrusions since I put up my wires. I have seen where something has attempted to dig under the fence but must have gotten zapped and aborted the attempts. I believe once they've gotten zapped they don't try it again. Good luck...
 

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