Probable Red Fox Den Very Close to My Barn

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by centrarchid, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    22,294
    9,710
    666
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    It appears that a pair of Red Fox have made a den very close to my barn on the neighbors property. It is roughly 60 feet feet from my barn. Despite close proximity, the foxes have made only two incursions on my property that are impactful. Two nights ago a fox came in took a hen roosting too low and attempted to take a broody hen the night before she committed to brooding. Broody hen will be OK, other hen a loss. Fence was total dead out at time and fixed yesterday evening. A game camera was re-positioned to record fox probing fence on side opposite where dogs approach from. Dogs helped line out very accurately where fox comes in and out of property. Spots would be ideal for snare, but neighbors have small dogs out making snare not good option. My dogs cannot beat fox when it has such a short run to safety on other side of fence. My male dog and I crossed fences to get to den site where he exchanged growls with something in the den area. Opening is too small for him and he can not dig in because it is mostly concrete slabs. My female dogs might be more effective although whole me be too tight for them as well.

    This will be first time I have had to live with foxes denning almost in my underwear. Game camera will be moved around a lot to observe. If I can keep them out, then we will watch kits for a while watching them grow on rabbits and neighbors chickens.
     
  2. Roo5

    Roo5 Songster

    302
    341
    121
    Feb 17, 2019
    Dealing with the same issue.However we have no idea if it’s one or two and where their laying at.Have had plenty of encounters escpecially when we had hens roaming the yard.Just ran into it last weekend and dog ran after it,but all chased usually wound up with fox getting away,very disappointing.
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    22,294
    9,710
    666
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Typically, dogs do not have to catch fox to have desired effect. They just need to scare it good. More than once my dogs have forced fox to drop a chicken and then fox stays away from a few weeks or more. This situation is a bit different as we are in core of the foxes' territory. I am not too keen on going out to barn to see half dozen kits playing every day. A Red Fox family had den right next to fuel pump at work and the kits had no problems playing while people fueled vehicles. That does not bode with for free-ranging the chickens.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    22,294
    9,710
    666
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Fox family now has a problem. One dog knows where den site is located and wind is blowing fox scent directly to dogs. Dogs are working fence line hard where fox comes and goes. They may even have run a fox off just before I went outside a bit ago. It may be just a bit of time before pack works around fence and reaches den site. Can the female dogs get in?
     
    MROO and Willowspirit like this.
  5. The Dapper Duck

    The Dapper Duck Songster

    222
    436
    116
    Apr 9, 2019
    Coastal Humboldt, CA
    It depends on your dogs. My little dog would probably try to get inside or dig it out at least, but she doesn’t have the temperament to do more than chase so she probably wouldn’t know what to do if she was successful.

    You mentioned snares but foxes can be trapped in larger box/cage traps too, if that’s the route you want/need to go. Post some pics of the kits if you don’t end up evicting the family!
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    22,294
    9,710
    666
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I think the vixen would fight your dog if dog able to get in. She would have to fight mine and most likely die in process. The den site is not one a dog can dig into owing to the concrete. The relative loose material is course cobble with rebar mixed in.
     
    MROO likes this.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    22,294
    9,710
    666
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Somehow a hen, last one left out overnight because roosting site presumed safe, was taken from top of dog pen used for female dog in heat. Bait will be put out as reward for repeating effort. Foot trap will be reward for putting foot in correct spot. I can see how I would get chicken if I were a fox, but do not know if that is what is going on. We also have pair of GHO moving up from south, possible with fledglings in tow. They might also be involved as their calling was in exact direction of feather trail. In past Red Fox has followed GHO, maybe it can go other way as well.

    Dispatching fox will enable getting better handle of possible role of GHO's. Normally I do not see multiple adult owls, multiple juveniles have been the rule.
     
    Sequel, MROO and Trish1974 like this.
  8. Saaniya

    Saaniya Crowing

    1,952
    6,560
    417
    Aug 31, 2017
    New Delhi India

    I don't know about your country rules but can u file a complaint in ur forest office so maybe they will rescue all these fox and leave them in a jungle

    Here (in India) when people encountered with any wild animal e.g leopard or cheetha people call the forest department


    Or sometimes when wild animal harm any of human or their flock animals they will shoot them dead
     
    MROO and BirdsBeesTrees like this.
  9. The Dapper Duck

    The Dapper Duck Songster

    222
    436
    116
    Apr 9, 2019
    Coastal Humboldt, CA
    Interesting, I recently spoke with someone from a fishing cat conservation group in India and he told me the same thing, and that the government will pay you for your livestock if a fishing cat (or other rare species) killed it. Is that true? He was very confused when I was telling him how we deal with livestock and mountain lion conflicts.

    It's a little different here with these types of encounters (foxes, raccoons, mink, weasels, etc.). They are very abundant in North America, so when there is a "conflict" with livestock or pets, it is easier and cheaper to kill that animal than catch it and relocate it. That one fox family being killed doesn't affect the total population at all really, so it's just removing the problem animal. That's most of the scenarios.

    Sometimes there are animals that kill livestock but you are not allowed to kill them yourself (hawks, bears, fisher, ravens, etc.), and then we would call our natural resources management office. Depending on the classification of the animal, they would either give you permission to kill it yourself, go kill it for you, or do what you said and relocate the animal.

    That's a really simplified version, but you probably get the point.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    22,294
    9,710
    666
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    This is Missouri in the USA. I doubt there would be any consideration of compensation for losses. Foxes are abundant and free-range chickens in such a small flock have little value to the state. I am going to trap it and be done until next fax comes to be a problem.

    We may have already caused fox family to move by disturbing them, but they are still hunting us.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: