Red fox here....how do I get rid of it?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rojochicks, May 23, 2017.

  1. rojochicks

    rojochicks Out Of The Brooder

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    So I posted on Friday and Saturday about my chickens and babies being under attack. Lost 5 babies and their mama and was suspicious of a fox. We have kept the girls locked up tighter since then. Secure run unless we are home and in the vicinity, otherwise contained in a larger run, but not actually secure against predators but keeps them contained for our monitoring etc.

    This morning after running errands I let them into the larger run and opened my window so I could hear of any issues while I made lunch for the human kids and I. Not 5 minutes later I heard chickens squawking and all the other songbirds going absolutely crazy. I raced outside and there it was....A RED FOX...in my backyard, just looking back at me. It was coming back I'm sure. We noticed that the neighborhood guinea hens have dwindled from 8 to 4, then my flock, and now a neighborhood cat hasn't been seen for a few days and he always sleeps in my neighbors garage.

    So now what to do about a red fox???? I have seen on other posts that they are difficult to trap. Can we just shoot it? We have a pulled wire fence on 3 sides, but our back fence is the really super large gauge cattle fencing with barb wire across the top bc we back up to a pasture where cows graze and it's what the farmer had up as a barrier. I'm sure they can climb even if we put something else on our side, right? I'm saddened bc my flock loves to free range and they are used to having 1.5 acres to thmeselves. Now I won't even let them have the extra space of our insecure run unless I'm working in the yard out back. How long until the fox leaves us alone? What would I need to do to secure the larger run? Still devastated after our losses on Friday and when I saw it today I just felt so worried about them all over again, and was so glad I have been more careful.

    Thank goodness my 3.5 year old daughter was able to help me. The baby chicks are 6 weeks old today and haven't really learned to come when called yet or to let us catch them easily (our larger run has some decent foliage that I can't get through easily. I had her stand at the "hatch" door to the secure run and open and close so we could get the babies in, the grown hens aren't a problem for me to get, it was just getting them to all stay in as I corralled everyone. I ended up grabbing a small rake to get the babies out from under the foliage and toward the right direction so my daughter could open the door and let me shooo them in. I felt bad but at least I know my feathers are safe now.

    This is the first predator issue we have had after 2.5 years of having chickens.
     
    KDOGG331 and biophiliac like this.
  2. itsasmallfarm

    itsasmallfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry about your loss.
    this is what i know of foxes and laws.

    not sure where you live, but where i live foxes are classified as a fur bearing animal meaning you need a fur license to just shoot one (in season of course) but also you have the right to defend your live stock (in most places), next as a trapper they are supposed to be one of the hardest to trap (never caught anything yet in my trapping years or 1 year so far) i would try a havahart if your going for the trapping route (but that is just me i dislike foot/leg hold traps), but those can be expensive (here in Canada a havahart for a fox goes for around 150+)

    next shooting it. going on somewhat of a rant here sorry the inner hunter in me.

    okay if you can shoot it, i would suggest that method, just make sure you use the right round, yes people shoot them with air guns, (am not a fan of them) some use .22lr or others use center fire rounds, what ever you decide just make sure it has the power to drop a fox in one hit with the right shot placement, just really make sure you can kill it humanly, even though its a predator its just doing what nature intended it to do.

    but best of luck to you with your fox problem :)
     
    deepbluesea, JRNash and rachelsflock like this.
  3. JRNash

    JRNash Overrun With Chickens

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    Fox can climb like a cat. They decide your place is on menu Its BAD. I have trapped fox with steel traps. The wayI did it is as follows
    I made a box/den out of deadwood. Just limbs laying around, about 2ft deep and 12" high make the opening around 16" I made mine narrow (16") at the front and wide at the back .You want to "funnel" the fox into the box. I set the trap about 6inches into the open end ,recessed (diga hole) the trap so that its at ground level and throw a few oak leaves over it.
    The bait I used
    Rabbit innards in a jar with honey
    That I let sit in a closed jar for a couple days in the sun.
    Just pull the lid off and set the jar inside at the back of your artificial den.
    You could probably use chicken parts instead of the rabbit.
    This will also catch every possum in the vicinity. If you use a steel trap you need to put it on a drag pole. If a fox can't move it will chew the ft off to escape.
     
  4. JRNash

    JRNash Overrun With Chickens

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    Sometimes a fox with kits will have training exercises. If this happens you'll lose every bird in one night.
    I lost 33 CX that weighed over 8lbs each in one attack.
     
  5. JRNash

    JRNash Overrun With Chickens

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    They are very smart, the bait and presentation are the key. The artificial den SMELLS like its supposed to the bait is a combination of things in its environment. Any time they take live game its a risk,carrion is normally the safer route
     
  6. JRNash

    JRNash Overrun With Chickens

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    And I agree with the gun method.
    Quicker is better. You won't get but one shot. Make it count
     
  7. JRNash

    JRNash Overrun With Chickens

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    Leg hold steel traps is what I used.They are brutal and effective.
    If not placed correctly you can catch family pets.
     
  8. rojochicks

    rojochicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the tips. Leaves me feeling overwhelmed. I don't know a thing about trapping. I have only shot a gun in a range, I'm hoping my husband can take it out for us. He is leaning toward training exercises.

    Anyone have any tips on securing the chickens in a run? Will I need a roof over it to keep them safe?
     
  9. JRNash

    JRNash Overrun With Chickens

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    Ultimately the answer is yes. Its a matter of how secure you want your birds.
     
  10. JRNash

    JRNash Overrun With Chickens

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    I actually had an owl go Into the hen house and get birds off the roost. No matter how well you build a hungry predator will always find a way
     

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