My Fox Problem

Prairie Divide

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 21, 2014
7
1
7
Colorado
We unfortunately recently been dealing with a young fox this august. He/she has managed to take out my gorgeous Appenzeller cockerel who bravely saved one of my Easter Egger's life (we didn't witness it, but were able to piece it together). I came into the barn to feed the horses and was wondering why all the girls including our two white Pekin ducks were in the main barn. I called everyone into the coop and did my counting. I was missing a very flashy white and black spotted cockerel and one of my Easter Eggers! I came out of the chicken run to do my search for laggers and my daughter was coming with the hen. I was relieved but concerned where the cockerel was. Where the AZ pullet and the Jersey pullet are he is always there, but they were in the coop when I arrived. Then I saw white and black feathers at one spot. I looked further and found also patches of other feathers scattered here and there. They were not his. We then thought to check on the lagger. She was not happy. In fact down right depressed and in shock. I further checked her out and she had blood and two puncture wounds on her neck. That was when we figured it out. The fox first grabbed her and the cockerel popped out from under a truck they like to hang out under and attacked the unsuspecting young fox. Surprised, the fox dropped the hen but then eventually turned onto his/her attacker and took off with him instead. I felt horrible. I used to complain how "stupid" and awkward he was but he was absolutely gorgeous and heroic. As young as he was he did do his duty as a rooster does.

Two days later the fox took out another one of my hens. We are now in Lock-Down. I have bought a radio, I was given coyote pee AND I have bought a live fox trap. And it does work. Unfortuneatly not with our fox. We set up the trap with sardines (I googled how to trap a fox) and walked away not five minutes and the fox walked right in, had the fish and walked right back out. We hadn't evidently set the trap on "sensitive mode". We brought out more sardines (this is starting to get expensive and I really hate fish and their smell and who eats those things really?). This time it worked. For my Dalmatian. At least we now know the fox should be able fit in it. We moved the trap at a different location. Set it on sensitive and caught my dog two more times. He has figured out, OF COURSE we are going to free him AND he gets a snack to boot. My dog is now on Lock-In. He can only go out with the leash. My chickens and ducks and myself are grumpy and frustrated. Of course I know this fox has been watching everything. There has been no spotting and no signs of dead pigeon feathers (the fox's other victims). Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe tonight's the night. I am determined and I sort of have patients.
 

TwoCrows

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Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Mar 21, 2011
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So sorry for your losses to this fox. I have never had to deal with this particular predator so I am not sure exactly how to rid your area of him. However I can tell you that trapping this one will only open the door to more of them. There is always another predator waiting to take anothers territory if they should disappear. I used to have horrible troubles with raccoons here many years ago. One day one moved into this territory after the one that was here was scared off. This new coon was really dumb. He was not as agile or as smart as the last one. But the last thing I wanted to do was kill or run him off because the next one to move in might be smarter than either of these coons. So I let him be. My coops and aviaries were plenty predator proof to keep him out, so I was not all that concerned.

But the moral of the story is, you can't remove one without another moving in right afterwards. And the new fox might be 10 times worse that this one.

Build your coops and runs like fort knox. Build, rebuild and over build. Don't let them get in. And if it is unsafe to free range, then don't. I can't let my birds out at all without supervision. It is just too dangerous to let them out alone.

We do have a section in our learning center on predators. Here is our fox section...https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/red-fox-chicken-predators-how-to-protect-your-chickens-from-foxes

Good luck and I hope you can get this solved soon.
 

Prairie Divide

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 21, 2014
7
1
7
Colorado
My coop and run is fortuneatly Fort Knox. We have in our area Mountain Lions, Black Bears, Bobcats, Coyotes, Foxes, Raccoons, Martens and Weasels, many Hawks, owls and Falcons. Outside a hungry determined bear I planned for a 'predator proof' coop and run. We live on a horse farm of 80 acres. And I DO love wildllfe and try to live with them. I like to turn out my chickens and ducks late morning and bring them back in early evening (way before dark). They hang out in front of our horse barn and indoor arena with lots of human activity. For three years we have been lucky. I had read from an English chicken lover that young foxes that have left the den in the fall have a tendency to be a little "stupid" fearless of humans. I am hoping this fox is learning more and more about us scary humans, and has moved on from my stable area.
 

Mountain Peeps

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
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677
Colorado
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drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,821
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Out to pasture
Fox can dig, jump. climb and are very determined. The only good thing about them is if they mark their territory around your coop,, it keeps the mice away.
 

Prairie Divide

Hatching
5 Years
Jun 21, 2014
7
1
7
Colorado
So far the only thing we are attracting is flies....No fox. I've been starting to see the rabbits are hanging around out in the open again. I can only hope he's wizened up to be scared of humans and not out waiting to return to it's McChickens. I'm thinking of letting them out tomorrow and sit with them all the time, with my eagle eyes:yiipchick
 

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