Nearly 9 mo. pregnant and now dealing with a fox problem!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by annmarie, May 17, 2010.

  1. annmarie

    annmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So now that I'm incredibly pregnant and unable to deal with much of anything, I've experienced my first chicken loss due most likely to internal laying a few weeks ago, and last night I was awaken by the sound of some kind of bird being tortured to death. When I went out to look I saw a fox scurry across my front lawn, not far from the coop. Fortunately all my girls were fine so some other poor bird must have fallen victim to this fox, but of course now I'm freaking out that my girls will be next. The problem is, being "in my condition" I can no longer do what I would normally do, go out and dig trenches and bury more wire around the coop and basically do everything possible to reinforce my coop. So I'm looking for any simple suggestions that I could try to help deter the fox. Fortunately I did have the girls locked into their coop last night because it was going to be chilly. I'll keep doing this now obviously (often this time of year at night I'll leave the pop door open to the run but not anymore!) I also won't allow them to free range like I normally do when I come home from work in the afternoons. Anything else I can do? Have DH pee around the coop? Have my dog pee around the coop (he's small and couldn't fight off a fox but maybe the fox wouldn't know that based on urine)? Any other deterrents? This is so darn stressful. I haven't had a single problem with illness or predators in my first three years of chicken keeping and now that I can't do much, I'm getting struck by everything that can go wrong!
     
  2. chickensista

    chickensista Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi,
    Congrats on the little one! Exciting!

    As far as the fox goes, dogs wont help unless you have them out guarding 24/7. I have 2 out back all the time peeing/pooping and my fox doesn't care. He's been around every day for the last few weeks. We are on his route now, I guess. (Excepts last couple - fingers crossed he's moved on!) Amazing jumpers/climbers, and will dig. Ours are bold. I can yell out the door and it'll just turn and look. I have to actually start walking and yelling toward the coop to scare him off. I do not have a fort knox run and like to free range my girls as well. So last week I ordered an electric fence. Have you seen the ones by Premier? Just google premier electric fencing. Light weight and mobile. The are $$$.


    Good luck. You don't need the extra stress right now!
    Terry
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    If you need more digging protection, you can just lay the wire on top of the ground, too. You don't need to dig it into the ground. Wire aprons have worked for a lot of people. Maybe your husband would do that for you, if it doesn't involve any trenching and digging. It wouldn't take a lot of time to do. Having them locked in the coop should keep them safe from night time attacks, though.
     
  4. annmarie

    annmarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 20, 2007
    Thank you everyone, and thank you for the wire apron tip. I hadn't thought about that option. I do have wire buried underground but I'll be the first to admit it's not the greatest wire. Better than chicken wire but not nearly as good as hardware cloth, and not very long, so it only gives me minimal comfort knowing it's there. I do have some left over so I'll go ahead (or rather DH will go ahead) and staple an apron around the perimeter with the rest of it. It'll do a lot more good there than sitting rolled up in the storage shed! Ugh, why now?!?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2010
  5. bakerjw

    bakerjw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could put up a temporary electric fence. They make push in poles
    [​IMG] < borrowed from tractorsupply.com
    that are easy to install and you can get a $20.00 charger at a lot of places. For maybe $50.00 you could get the perimeter covered with a couple of electrified wires. That would deter a fox pretty well.
     
  6. tigerkitten45

    tigerkitten45 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2010
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    My sympathies on the fox problem, but congrats on the new addition coming. My entire family lives here with me with the exception of my elderly mother, my daughter is also 9 months pregnant due at any day, and she has a major duck project going on. We have had issues with, i am assuming a younger bear, as he has so far only gone after the feed barrels. You did not mention whether your birds are locked in their coop for the night?? For daytime, the hardware cloth around the base of your run sounds good, i remember reading somewhere on here that predators do not like mothballs.......maybe someone could send you that thread for more information? We have decided to go with an electric fence here. Good luck, hope you have no more problems.
     
  7. Penturner

    Penturner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on the expected addition to the family. As for the fox. Don't loose track of the fact your prevention measures as they are did in fact keep the fox away from your birds. I know it is nerve wracking that there may still be a weakness. A great argument to build strong to start with. I don't think I would jump out there and start building more. all that has really changed is that now you no longer wonder if a predator will try to get to your chickens. you know it is trying. If you built your coop and run as if you expected it. You should also not have to be overly worried that it can break through a well built coop. Do inspect to see if it came close or has revealed any weak points. but so far consider this a free test of your design and a free pass on being able to identify any weak points.
     
  8. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    According to our game camera, I've had a fox come around almost every night for the past 18 months. He's never tried to climb the 6' chain link fence or dig into the coop. I just make sure everyone is locked up for the night - if I have a chicken or rabbit that escapes, I have to make sure they're found and locked up or the fox will get them that night.

    I heard they're too wily for live traps, I don't want to use leg-hold traps and I've never shot a gun, so I just co-exsist with the fox. [​IMG]
     
  9. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:you can catch K-9's in live traps the trap needs to be really large most folks don,t want to pay for the trap that it takes to do the job fox are not that bad coyotes can be caught but it is almost impossible with a live trap that is why foothold traps are used so much. I just caught a fox for a lady the other day . Right across the street from starbuck's @ the mall [​IMG]
     
  10. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:exactly what i would do especially since when the little one is here your nor the DH will have time initially to fight a fox you can have the DH set this up in 3 hrs max!!!!
     

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