more fox trouble

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kleonaptra, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hello my dear duck friends. Since the dog is no more, the fox has been getting closer and closer. The other day my partner saw it in the pen. I was being extra careful and having issues with my favourite call, Leelu who is a wanderer. Just about every day I was crying thinking she was a goner then she would appear, squeaking away at me.
    Yesterday I was sick, I have a tooth and sinus infection, my partner was out and my favourite call drake disappeared. So today I went fox hunting. I followed his trail but by the time I found the den it was too late (I'm supposed to work tonight) and I figured he'd keep another day.
    When I returned he was in the pen just randomly and mindlessly slaughtering everyone. Old chook Gertrude put up a hell of a fight. Beautiful big Syanne was dead. Mother and daughter, Leelu and Stormy, injured. Big girl Varia injured, my beautiful Muscovy, injured. We rushed them to the vet and my precious, unbelievably beautiful Leelu died on the way. Stormy looks to only have an injured leg, she is very tiny. Varia is a big pekin cross she has multiple puncture wounds and an injured leg, Regina, my scovy, can walk but was grabbed around the neck. My laundry is packed now, 8 ducklings and 3 in sick bay. I wanted to go straight up and smash the den in but my partner wants me to leave it quiet so we can set a trap. I'm so devastated over the loss of my Leelu. I went around all her hiding spots and found all the teeny tiny eggs I could I have no idea if they are live but I've set them in the incubator.
  2. Arwenelfmaiden

    Arwenelfmaiden Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. Arwenelfmaiden

    Arwenelfmaiden Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm sorry that happened to your beloved one. Will you kill the fox once you catch it or relocate it?
  4. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think killing it is kindest. They are considered feral pests in this country, as land holders we are required to cull them or hire someone to do it. We are looking into trapping options. Our rural area is quickly becoming developed suburbia, so they have limited territory now.
  5. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Now I have people telling me everywhere that foxes do this, that is common for them to kill blindly in a frenzy, that they kill for fun, that they leave a mess. I tell you in ten years of bird keeping I have never seen this or heard this. Foxes sneak in, grab a meal and sneak out. I've had domestic dogs do this for play, pups or bored hunting dogs, never foxes. This thing was skinny too, it literally blew my mind he did not even try to take one with him. I've heard stories of them having this cunning, that because I was at his den he hit the house knowing I was not there, I have just never experienced it, and certainly never seen a hungry wild thing kill with no thought for food.
  6. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2014
    I am sorry to hear that.
    The best thing is to make it impossible for the fox to get to your chickens. killing is a short term solution. I would trap the fox and kill it but that is not enough.
  7. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007

    The Red Fox, here in U.S. Midwest, (Vulpes vulpes fulvus), in this area, will kill individual fowl and cache them (during the winter). During breeding season they will often hunt in pairs and will kill as many fowl as possible and then move the dead to a cache site where the fowl can be stripped and the meat taken to kits in den. So, what would appear to be a "pointless" massacre if interrupted - would simply appear to be an empty pen/run with a few feathers & dried blood if discovered after the fact.

    Our closest neighbor lost 13 Silver Laced Wyandotte pullets in about 15 min. to a pair of Red Fox (caught a glimpse of one headed off). Only a few feathers in the yard to mark their passing. I found the cache site in our tree line adjacent to one of their pastures about two hundred yards from the kill site - nothing but mounds of feathers. I then block searched our woods until I found the den.
    We've had good luck with snares in the winter (the Fox like to follow fence lines), destroying all dens found, etc.. However, Reds are nothing if not brazen (if they're scared off - they'll almost always return within the hour to get those fowl killed - but abandoned in the rush to escape) and the majority of the Reds have been shot (and easy shots at that). Our neighbor's problem occurred in 2007. Between the neighbors and I we retired 18 fox. After that it has been a matter of rubbing out individuals looking to "move in" (2014 - 3 fox).

    It goes without saying that all "free range" time, here, is armed, supervised free range. Retire as many of the vermin as possible. Yes, more will show up to fill the "niche" but, in general, one's overall "frequency" of predation will decrease dramatically.

    Good luck and look to your passive defense (electric fencing, etc.).
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  8. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I just lost 6 Silver Laced Wyandottes to a fox. I came home and found one body that had been eaten and the possum had another in the bushes. So I was confused as to what did it, til the next day it got inside a small hole in my barn and dragged out my guinea. You'd think it would've been full from the 4 chickens from the day before.

    Sorry about your other babies and Leelu. It's heartbreaking I know. I am still not over it.
  9. Kleonaptra

    Kleonaptra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for your replies everyone. Yes, we are dealing with red fox. This one was raised here I think, we have dealt with others that I believe are its parents, they never came into our yard. This one is much more bold.
    Oh I took the bodies. He will get sweet f all from me. If I had a gun I would be all too happy to shoot it but not everyone is able to get guns here. We have to be careful because even though it is a feral pest and we are required to control it, we must also obey animal protection laws. Mind boggling I know.
    The land around us is being developed and I think getting rid of this family will make a huge difference, there simply isn't land, they are being pushed into the suburbs.
    My patients are all doing well, still sore and sorry but being very good girls. Dear Ephinny who lost her sister yesterday and was all alone as injured Varia is also her sister, had to go into hospital for visiting hours, poor girl was very upset. I've locked the flock out of the pen as that's where the fox is gaining access,and keeping them near the house.
  10. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    My 3 survivors are still locked up too.
    I finally picked up my most injured chicken, who finally seems to be recovering, and I was amazed because she was split open all the way around except for the breast. It was much deeper than I imagined. She is a miracle. None of mine have any desire to leave their safe stall. :( They loved to be outside in the sun in the grass. It's such a shame. I really wish there was a better way.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by