Cowart's Common Room
Mr Fox strikes again

I was helping with some gardening this morning and had the horrible task of clearing a chicken run, after it was ravaged in the night.

Needless to say, mindless violence, no survivors, including two guinea fowl, only bought home that day.

Apart from purchasing a Lama, or hiring a battalion of Gurhkas, does anyone have any ideas for fox proofing a run?

Mr. W.

Posted at 8th May 2010 - 03:59PM   Posted by Mr. Woozle   Mr Fox strikes again Comments: 12

Arosebyanyothername's Avatar We used to shut our chickens up at night in the shed. Despite this we had a visit from Mr Fox during the day but I was there to shoo him away and we only lost two chickens.
I always felt that it was our job to prevent the foxes getting the chickens as best we could as although the destruction seems pointless and cruel it is Mother Nature . . .

Posted by: Arosebyanyothername on 8th May 2010 at 04:12PM

Westerwitch's Avatar A fox in the wild would find a nest and kill everything take what it could carry and bury the rest so that it could come back later. Foxes are not mindless killers - it is more they can't count and we humans keep creatures in large numbers that you wouldn't find in the wild. A fox is programmed to kill everything in a nest, or a burrow - but this does not take into account domestic animals kept in large numbers - this confuses the fox.

Mr Fox eventually got all my chickens. They were shut up and safe at night, but when food was scare in the winter the fox would brave coming out in the day and steal my chickens who were free range.

A lama would work brilliantly - but not really a good solution for domestic pets - ideal for fields full of sheep and lambs though.

To stop a fox getting in you would need really sturdy wire and have to wire underneath as well so that the fox couldn't dig in and over the top as foxes can climb - and even then a determined fox can get to most things.

So sorry though it is miserable losing your hens. I gave up with mine.

Posted by: Westerwitch on 8th May 2010 at 04:23PM

Sorry to hear of your troubles!

I would suggest barbed wire plus explosives with a trip wire. However, explosives can be a bit tricky. Rolling Eyes And are probably outlawed.

Llama would probably be good. Or donkey. Or electric wire fence.

Do hope you have better luck Exclamation Exclamation

Posted by: Rob-bear on 8th May 2010 at 04:24PM

Withy Brook's Avatar You don't seem to have got much advice there Mr W, except to wire round, under and over and strong wire at that. As you were cleaning out the remains Mr Fox had clearly gained access to the sleeping quarters, so all that about keeping them in at night was not much use Rolling Eyes

Posted by: Withy Brook on 8th May 2010 at 04:35PM

Withy Brook's Avatar P.S. I like Rob's suggestion re explosive - but do take care not to blow up the hens as well Blink

Posted by: Withy Brook on 8th May 2010 at 04:36PM

Preseli Mags's Avatar I've lost many hens to the fox - the last one a few weeks ago in broad daylight. We haven't lost any at night in recent years, despite a very rickety hen house.

One thing we do is to make our male dog pee around the pen, this apparently puts foxes off. If no male dog, a male human will do just as well (as long as the chicken house is not overlooked by neighbours - unless you know them really well! Shocked).

Try shiny things like hung up CDs, the flashes or reflections might put a fox off. We didn't lose any while we had the cockerel either (until the cockerel started murdering the hens...)

It's not easy keeping chickens.

Posted by: Preseli Mags on 8th May 2010 at 05:39PM

Snailbeachshepherdess's Avatar Oh no - dont tell me the Buff's have gone!Sad

Posted by: Snailbeachshepherdess on 8th May 2010 at 07:05PM

Faith's Avatar If the fox is anything like the sparrowhawk after the doves, then you have little chanceSad

I should think as far as a hungry fox is concerned - where there's a will, there's a way!

I would love to have chickens, but couldnt face the almost inevitable losses.

Posted by: Faith on 8th May 2010 at 07:29PM

Cait's Avatar We have lost chicken in the day too may times when they were loose and much as I would like to I am not having any more as like Faith I hate it when they die. However I agree with WW in that I don't hate the fox who is only acting on his natural instincts.

We have a neighbour who has very high wire netting fence, about 8 feet..... and he never loses hens so that might be an answer.

Posted by: Cait on 8th May 2010 at 08:02PM

Dancing Dog's Avatar So sorry to hear about your poor chickens. When we first moved to the country we had 4 chickens and a fox got them all. So we decided we had to make a preditor-proof coop. We used the last stall of the horse barn as their indoor nesting area, we then made an outside run for them by putting up a wooden framework, then digging a trench 18" deep, and embedding the bottom of the chicken wire fence in concrete so nothing is able to dig under the fence. The chicken wire goes up to the roof, so nothing can get in. It's quite a big area probably about 8ft x 30ft, my husband made perches so they can roost. When we are home and working around the barn, we let them out and they run around the yard. So far so good and it's been 6 years.

Posted by: Dancing Dog on 8th May 2010 at 09:04PM

Mountainear's Avatar I dug deep and bought electric fencing for my hens - not cheap but judging by the reaction of our dogs when they have touched it with their wet noses, an effective deterrent. I did calculate how many eggs each hen would have to lay and I'd have to sell to make it a worthwhile investment but my brain very quickly got tired.

Posted by: Mountainear on 8th May 2010 at 11:07PM

Mr. Woozle's Avatar No It's not my hen's , but somewhere where I was helping today.

Fear not SBS, the Buffs are fine! As are the Assylum seekers (Battery Rescues). But down to two Burfords now, after one got out, and got herself runover on a quiet country lane. (No jokes please about "Why did the chicken cross the road")

Thanks for the advice. I'll apply for an explosives licence on Monday.

Posted by: Mr. Woozle on 9th May 2010 at 12:06AM

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