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jomaxsmith

Fox attacks - a list of what happened?

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I wonder if this could be a sticky or FAQ?

 

It would be useful to have an 'experience register' type list of how/when/why people have lost hens to foxes.

 

It is often difficult to guage the situation from emotional postings about losing much loved hens and responders are often shy of asking how the fox gained access. So many postings say things like 'I left the door open' without really explaining if it was the coop/eglu/cube/eglu run/cube run/home made run/run with no roof etc.

 

Without being morbid, it would be useful to help everyone get a better idea of the risks of fox attack if people could respond to this message with information such as the following:

 

 

hens taken:

  • day or night?
    eglu, cube or wooden house
    freeranging (supervised, unsupervised) or in their run (what type - eglu/cube or homemade)
    if in a run, what defences were there (type of wire, height of walls, roof?)
    if freeranging what sort of fences do you have, do you have a Foxwatch, had you employed other deterrents (male urine etc)

 

I think such a list would be helpful to help everyone weigh up the risks we take with our hens and think about where we could improve things.

 

Thanks

Jo

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fair enough - I'll start

 

I think it was a fox anyway.. seems to fit the pattern. Bit of a different situation to most eglu owners I suppose.

 

Mine came during the day 11am ish

Girls free ranging unsupervised

We live on a very rural smallholding with a biggish forest

No fencing really - barbed wire & bramble perimeter and a farm gate

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I have only seen foxes during the day, but that is because I don't go out at night looking for them. I expect they do their first recce then. I always lock the Eglu and Cube at night.

 

Urban foxes come to my garden at all hours during the day from first light to bedtime. There is no set time, and they are quite indifferent whether there is someone in the garden or not.

 

Once the fox crept up behind me when I was talking to my neighbour over the fence and nearly got my hens when they were out in their net pen. When I shouted it moved a few feet back and lay down in the sun.

 

I have only lost one hen, and that was at about 8am in the morning when my four hens were shut inside the Eglu run. This was a particularly annoying fox which used to lie on top of the run, but at that time everyone on the forum was saying it was impossible for a hen to be killed through the run and so I didn't worry enough about it. The hens were so used to this fox that it didn't worry them either.

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I had two hens taken at about 6 in the evening (still very light though). They were both actually taken out of the garden (i'm assuming to feed their young) .The were free ranging at the time and although i wasn't in the garden at the time, I was in and out of the garden and had been all evening.

 

It's supervised only free-ranging for our girls now.

 

EDIT - we don't have a foxwatch but my partner had "scented" the garden, but we do have a very large garden, so I guess it might have need a bit more scent!

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The moderators have been asked if this topic could be moved back into the Chickens section (from FAQs) so that more people could add factual comments about any fox problem they may have encountered as such comments could be useful to others.

 

Perhaps others who have had fox problems to deal with would like to add the facts as the original poster asked?

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Thanks Lesley,

 

The post was moved rather swiftly into the FAQs section so there wasn't much chance for responses. Hopefully we'll get a few more now!

 

Jo

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fox took Mercedes at about 10am on a Sunday morning - I was out walking the dog. girls were all freeranging as per normal. no sign of feathers or corpse, but a neighbour came round to say she'd heard a kerfuffle and seen the fox. no sight nor sound of her ever since; can only surmise she was dinner. this was in April/May this year.

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A couple of weeks ago 2 of ours were taken at around 6.30pm. they were free ranging unsupervised and I heard lots of clucking and saw three of them wondering round unphased so didn't think anything of it they cluck if they seperate from the pack sometimes, then about 10 minutes later clucking again, went outside and saw Fighter running down the garden towards me and what I thought was a ginger cat when I suddenly focused on it and saw the pointy face and knew it was a fox and she grabbed fighter and ran off. Was all very quick garden was full of Not-Ninja's feathers and the other three were up in the cube.

 

We have an open garden with a dell and backs onto a field which since the attack I've seen the fox in in the early mornings. We have a foxwatch although it wasn't outside on that day as we were recharging the batteries and my husband regularly 'scents' the area.

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My parents have had some ducks taken by a fox on 3 occasions. The first was when they were free ranging unsupervised around dusk (stupid I know) There is no fox proof fencing around the garden and it''s surrounded by open fields. The other 2 times they were in a run with fencing about 1 metre high - not fox proof at all. At least one of these was in broad daylight. The area is out of sight/hearing of the house.

We also saw a fox several times sniffing around our rabbits run. That was a homemade wooden ark type thing. The fox didn't get in though.

A local farmer 'took care' of the fox after it was mentioned in passing and not had any problems since. Not so easy in urban areas to go out and trap or shoot them though!

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I lost a hen to a fox just over a year ago. It was just before dusk and the girls were free ranging. I was in the kitchen, with the door open, heard a commotion and a fox was in garden. It killed one hen and injured the other before I could chase it off.

 

Now my girls only free range when I am there in the garden with them. Otherwise they are in their (hopefully) fox-proof walk in run.

 

Since that first time, foxes come into my garden every night and quite a few times have been seen in the broad daylight too. Once they know there are hens they will keep trying!

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I have lost a few hens to foxes, they started off coming an hour after dark or at first light and jumped through my electric fencing, lately one has been coming in the daytime too. He is really persistent and if we chase him off, he hides in the woods and comes back 10 minutes after we go indoors.

 

His latest trick was to break into my Eglu run one night last week, he must have jumped on it as lots of the clips were broken. Luckily the Eglu door was shut but one of the chickens was dead, from stress I guess. I have now reinforced the run with lots of cable clips.

 

He came back again on Saturday afternoon, about 1pm, even though we had been in the garden not long before. So he seems pretty determined.

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I started off with an eglu but replaced it with an arc (couldn't afford a cube)

Fox came after midnight mid May

My mother was looking after three chooks and as it was warm she left the pophole open but didn't manage to properly close that difficult up and down slidey door this type of arc has.

One chook found buried in neighbours' asparagus bed others disappeared.

 

I've replaced the arc with a more robust coop and run with bolts on the doors to make sure that all the doors are closed.

 

See foxes occasionally in the fields when walking dogs very early and sometimes hear them at night.

 

Have a Foxwatch in place now as well.

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Foxwatch is an ultrasonic pest deterrent.

 

It works on a a movement sensor and according to the advert that is better as it is set off by the fox rather than him/her getting used to the constant ultrasonic shriek that other ultrasound devices use ... ie they are on all the time.

The Foxwatch is supposed to affect dogs but mine have been OK with it.

 

Mine is battery powered and I just switch it on at night to protect the run when I put chooks to bed.

 

Take a look here

 

http://www.conceptresearch.co.uk/fox.htm

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Free ranging unsupervised

 

About 1pm

 

Feathers all over the garden (she had been moulting anyway though)

 

Chicken in the middle of the garden that looked like one you buy from the supermarket - bald and legless and wingless.

 

No fox deterents :oops: next door had a dog that always had control over scaring away foxes, and live behind a farm so foxes found it easier to visit the farm :(

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Our garden is open at the back to a river and a hill and foxes live in a woodpile two house down. I have seen a fox in the day right up by the back door. We regularly find fox pooh around the area of the garden where the Eglu Cube is. We have seen no signs of the foxes trying to dig under the run or scratch into the Cube. We take no risks and have free ranging every day but ONLY under supervision. the hens are too precious to risk. We have a Cube extension so that they have plenty of room and try and let them stay out for a good length of time every day. I also try and shut them into the coop as soon as possible after they have chosen to pop on up - just so that they are completely out of sight and less tempting for any prowlers.

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We live in a semi rural area, near a wood and I have lost three sets of chickens to foxes. I used to let my chickens free range all day and lost one set when I came home a little later than usual. Next set I lost when I forgot to shut up the eglu door at night and the final set I lost when I had opened the egg port to let some fresh air in and forgot to close it.

 

I was so upset that I didn't have chickens again for a year. Now my ex batts live in Eglu Colditz and only free range when I am in the garden. A shame, but I have a Cube with an extension. There are only three of them and they seem very happy.

 

I am sure that there are more foxes around than there used to be. I saw one in my drive at 10 am yesterday. I haven't seen one in the garden during the day yet but I have two dogs who seem to be good deterrents. Mind you, I do have a neighbour who feeds foxes!!!!

 

Next summer I might fence off part of the garden with electric fencing to give the girls a bigger run.

 

GNR

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Oh!!!! I've just realised that I can add Similies........

GNR Violet

GNR Lavender All three are ex Batts who arrived here in August :D:D:D

GNR Bluebell

(cube green) Their house.

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hens taken:

day or night? 0630 in the morning in Summer

eglu, cube or wooden house Wooden house

freeranging (supervised, unsupervised) or in their run (what type - eglu/cube or homemade) freerange semi-supervised

if in a run, what defences were there (type of wire, height of walls, roof?) n/a

if freeranging what sort of fences do you have, do you have a Foxwatch, had you employed other deterrents (male urine etc) 6 foot high wooden fences, now with a single thick wire running around about 3 inches above the fence to deter foxes ....seems to be working

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Before we got the eglu cube and chickens we saw a fox in the garden, it backs onto a wood. The fox could jump a 6 foot fence easily. Now when free ranging the chooks have Jackson the BC who keeps an eye on them. He has left a wee trail all around the garden but we would not leave the chooks too long with no supervision but luckily we now have an extension on the cube so have plenty of room when they have to be locked away in the day.

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One of my chickens was taken while they were have a supervised free range.

 

My dog, Oliver, was lying on the lawn with them (as in the photo below) but as soon as he went into the house the fox attacked. I think he/she must have been watching from the bushes and waited till Oliver went inside.

 

This was during May at about 7.30pm but still very light. The fox was not at all bothered by my presence.

 

My dog gave chase and the fox dropped the chicken. Luckily she was unhurt.

 

Chickens are now in a 50m electric fence enclosure and have been like that since June with no incidences. They now free range all day unsupervised.

 

There is still plenty of evidence of foxes both during the day and night and I have even seen them eyeing up the girls from a distance but taking no action.

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Had a fox attack yesterday morning - luckily Hilda escaped unhurt, after much screaming and crying (from me!) :roll: They were just in their little enclosure outside the eglu! Poo!! :wall:

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Screaming like a Banshee does help on 2 counts:-

 

1. It makes you feel as though you are doing something positive and

 

2. scares the bejesus out of the the fox. :shock::D

 

which hopefully will achieve the release of much loved chicken.

 

So glad Hilda escaped unhurt. :D My Veronica, who also escaped unhurt, now lays the biggest eggs on a daily basis. :D

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Had a fox attack yesterday morning - luckily Hilda escaped unhurt, after much screaming and crying (from me!) :roll: They were just in their little enclosure outside the eglu! Poo!! :wall:

May I ask you to give some detail about their little enclosure please. Did you mean the Eglu run as I thought thois was pretty Fox safe!

Glad girls were ok... very scarey!!!

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