Lost chickens to a fox :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jebelious, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. jebelious

    jebelious Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2010
    UK - Midlands
    Hi all

    i am new here and it is quite a sad post but we have just today lost 2 of our 3 chickens to a fox ... we had let them out as usual in the back garden to roam around and had been out for about 20 mins, when arriving back we noticed that 2 of the chickens had been killed [​IMG].

    I really have 2 questions regarding this:

    1. How will the third chicken really react to this? i have been told that they tend to not take it well "my mother certainly hasnt"
    2. Are there any good ways of preventing a fox from getting into your garden?

    thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Solitary chickens just don't seem to thrive as well. I think they need company to do well. Unfortunately there really isn't a fool proof way to protect birds that you allow to free range. A fox is quite capable of climbing a fence so you would need to electrify it to prevent they from climbing over it.
     
  3. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keeping them penned or electric fencing is about your best bet. I've lost two to a fox (out of what was then 30 chickens) and it's just part of free ranging unfortunately. Keep them out only when you can keep an eye on them or get a good dog.....
     
  4. jebelious

    jebelious Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2010
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    i think we are going to get at least another 2 chickens again, do you think the older chicken will be ok with having new companions?
     
  5. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Howell Michigan
    As long as the new birds are approximately the same size you shouldn't have any problem, although you may have some pecking until a flock order is established.
     
  6. chickenmamalp

    chickenmamalp Chillin' With My Peeps

    yes, I put mine in a seperate cage in the coop for a couple of days then let them out together.
     
  7. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Opa and Dichotomymom nailed it. Free-ranging always results in flock losses. Price of participation. Pens lessen that, but require more money up front to start with. Over time, the pen/run should pay for itself if constructed properly. Electrifying the top of your yard fence is a step in the right direction. Still foxes are great at tunneling in too. And you can bet he will find a soft place to dig because he now has your place on his list of favorites for a tasty easy meal. That is why a run is best for prevention of flock losses. And yes, chickens are flock animals and desire the company of others. I have personally seen a 3 day old chick cry when separated from her flockmates until another was put in with her and her keening and crying stopped immediately.

    Foxes are the devil to trap, but can be gotten using leg traps. Spread chook manure around to mask human scent and do traps only at night when pets are put away. Be sure to trip trap early in AM so no ones pets get hurt.. [​IMG]
     
  8. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I've read on here that people lose a lot of free range chickens. that's a big reason why I have penned my flock. I've had chickens now for over a year, done a little predator proofing on the pen, and haven't had any issues with predators.
     
  9. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Are you sure it was a fox? They don't usually just leave their kill behind. Unlike dogs that will just go through killing and killing for the enjoyment..usually the fox will take his kill away to his family or for himself.
     
  10. jebelious

    jebelious Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 12, 2010
    UK - Midlands
    With being next to a big town in the UK our house is situated off a main road, the garden is quite large and the chickens have free range in the garden and there is no way in for any other animals. We have seen Foxes in the garden before the chicks have lasted over 18 months, we were out for around 30 mins when we checked to see if they were ok before we left which they were. Upon returning we think we disturbed the fox, we are getting a trap set to capture the fox and then getting the fox taken away as we have been told it may return.

    I believe our next step is to: Create a sectioned off area for the chickens to go in when no one is home and then let them into the garden when everyone is in, i will try to upload some pictures later to show you the layout of the garden.
     

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