should I kill this fox?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by thechickenshepheard, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. thechickenshepheard

    thechickenshepheard Out Of The Brooder

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    (I'm new and I think I posted this in the wrong thread earlier?) I have been wanting to join B.Y.C for a while, I've learned so much from just reading everyone's post and everything, and tonight I decided to go on and join. I have bad news however. We have a large flock of many different breeds, and out top rooster, (American Game mutt of some kind) Paul was killed by a fox. [​IMG] I was really attached to the lil guy. The previous owner said he was trying to kill all of his roosters and wanted to get rid of him, but as soon as I laid my eyes on him, I connected with him. He had mites, scaly mites, bumble foot, and many other ailments, but once we got him back into working order, he was so kind to the roosters! He fathered all the younger ones, looking out for them and saved them the fox twice! but sadly Sunday morning, Paul was eaten by that evil fox. I loved foxes before I loved chickens, so no hating one is new to me. Paul was a tough old bird who survived two attacks and I was hoping he would just show back up, but than I found most of his feathers yesterday in the woods behind our property, I just cried, even though I got him for dinner, he had become my dear friend. I would post a pic, but I have not figured that out yet well anyways, I just wanted to share that story, I know many of you have gone through this same ordeal of losing a pet, and even if he had gotten one of our layers or unnamed guys, I would still be upset for the money and time, but this was a good rooster.
    Here is the problem. We have now lost three birds. I fear this might be a mama, with babies. I would rather not leave the babies out to starve to death, any advice would be appreciated! Also, we have very secure chicken pins, and only the roosters, ducks, and a few turkeys free range, but we have not yet put up the fence around our property, but will soon. I don't know how much a fence will stop a fox though?
     
  2. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can hold out for a few weeks the babies will be old enough to fend for themselves if you've got a female. Game lost by hunters and the increased roadkill in the fall season will give them a boost. Your fox has found it's meal ticket and WILL return.
     
  3. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    An adult Red Fox can clear a 5ft. panel fence with a good sized rabbit in its mouth (shot one as it stopped to rearrange jaws around rabbit). They can also do a bit of climbing (haven't had any clear the 6ft. welded wire around our runs). Unsupervised, unarmed, free range is, essentially, being willing to serve up one's birds, alive and screaming from the lope-through window of `KFC'. Some folks are o.k. with this. If you're going to continue to free range then it is a good idea to hone up on trapping/shooting skills (can't keep more preds from coming but one can sure decrease the overall frequency of predation by being preemptive).

    Red Fox, in the lower 48, are invasive, imported, ornamentals (like Snakeheads).

    Put as much effort into the defenses as you did into the rehab of your roo (sorry for your loss, sounds like you went the extra mile for the guy), his offspring will appreciate the gesture.

    Good luck retiring the vermin.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Fox kits are more than 3/4 grown now and are hunting on their own. You have two choices. You can eliminate the fox or you can pen up your chickens in a predator proof coop/enclosure. The fox will not leave your place as long as food (your chickens) is available. Sorry for the loss of your favorite rooster.
     
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Well here is my opinion....Kill it. If it is a mom well that is sad. If the babies starve they are merely eliminated future problems. I faced this same situation with a coyote. I killed her on her second attempt here. She killed a cochin and came back where my roo faced off with her...I shot her and I tried for over a week to find her young ones....and it was not to save them I assure you. Sadly between the two attacks, she moved her den after I found it but could not get to her to take her out.

    Sometimes you have to choose....Kumbaya with the predators or your birds. Good luck with this dilemma.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  6. thechickenshepheard

    thechickenshepheard Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you all, I kinda knew it had to die, if I get a shot on it, it's gonna have to. I was hoping that a fence or maybe my dogs would keep them away.
     
  7. little_grey_bantam

    little_grey_bantam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The best way to protect your flock is to build a Fort knox an probably get a good livestock guardian dog (which may cause trouble too, if you pick up a dog and do not know how to train it properly - also remember taking in a dog should be a lifelong commitment as well).

    I try to not blame wild animals, lol you're chickens are like a free Mcdonald's in your backyard; they can't help it and will follow the path of "easiest" resistance.

    When I lived in town, I found that shooting them (we were in a legal area to shoot them) was a pain since we had a body to dispose of... but if we trapped and release (we knew people who didn't mind the wildlife there) it was easier to dispose of the animals and they don't rot or stink.

    If you lived closer, I'd let you release them on our property - we have Fort knox and I only let them out when I'm watching. However, our game birds roam and once in a blue, something gets one.

    Sorry for your lovely bird <3 I have a special spot for broken ones and old roosters too <3
     
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I'd get rid of the fox. By killing it - not by relocating it. In many states, relocation is illegal. You could be spreading rabies or other diseases. It can also be cruel to the animal that's been released. Reestablshing territory, not knowing where to find food or water... A fence might deter a fox if you can put a few strands of electric around it, too.
     
  9. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Out here, everything eats chicken. Good Luck.
     
  10. kareninthesun

    kareninthesun Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have nasty grey foxes. They are mean, I've seen them climb the big tree in my front yard and be attacked off by mockingbirds because it couldn't keep ahold of branches and balance itself at the same time. Because it has longer legs, it can jump from tree to my balcony, or scurry across the six foot fence. But the dogs are the only thing that keeps it/them away (the dogs will not tolerate them around their property) they cannot get close. I have a coop, separate pen area for the youngsters, and otherwise free range the pullets. Even the hawks are given warnings by the dogs.
     

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