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jomaxsmith

Fox attacks - a list of what happened?

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I'm so sorry Sara. We've only just got our hens but I'd be devastated if anything happened to them, so I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Nature can be cruel at times. Gentle hugs.

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I am so sorry, I went through the same horrendous experience.

 

I have decided not to have any further chickens. What will you do?

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I am so sorry, I went through the same horrendous experience.

 

I have decided not to have any further chickens. What will you do?

 

We are going to wait until March and get some ex-battery hens I think. We've had them for three years and been so, so careful with locking them away but it only has to happen once! I think an auto door closer will make us feel as if there is a fail-safe in case of human error!

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We were going to reinforce and get more but the fox just came back night after night and day after day until finally we had it despatched. If I only had chickens then it wouldn’t have been so bad but I was terrified for my guinea pigs and tortoise so I was just glad to see the back of him and am too scared to encourage another one

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After eleven years of keeping chickens, the fox finally outwitted me on Sunday. There is always a fox around here, and after a particularly bold/fearless one last year, I have been very vigilant about letting the hens out. I have an Aviaries4U run, made of mesh panels in wooden frames, and was satisfied that it was secure.

 

The run must be seven or eight years old, I can't recall when I got it, and it has served its purpose admirably, but I noticed some months ago that two screws had either sheared off or broken, and so there was a slight gap - less than an inch - where the panels joined to form the corner. I knew this gap was there, I've been meaning to fix it but it didn't seem urgent, and I was sure that it was too small to be a problem.

 

On Sunday morning I saw feathers scattered around this corner. A quick count revealed all six hens still there, but then I discovered one with a bleeding foot. It seems that the fox must have been waiting till they got up and managed to get a paw or possibly its nose through. Given the size of the run and this being right in the corner, I am amazed they went anywhere near it - it suggests to me that the fox is such a regular visitor that they were not alarmed by its presence.

 

Thankfully the hen is recovering well, but if anyone else has a similar run, do check the panels are still closely screwed together and don't underestimate the temptation to a hungry, cold fox of a chicken dinner. (It took me less than fifteen minutes to put some new screws in on Sunday morning :roll: )

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Thankfully the hen is recovering well, but if anyone else has a similar run, do check the panels are still closely screwed together and don't underestimate the temptation to a hungry, cold fox of a chicken dinner. (It took me less than fifteen minutes to put some new screws in on Sunday morning :roll: )

 

I'm glad she is doing well :D

 

I have a similar run to yours - mine is 6 years old.

I have noticed one bit of wood frame sticks out more than the others so will have a check when it stops snowing.

 

Like you say, we all need to be vigilant, especially with this really cold spell and hungry, cold foxes about.

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Well, we're not exactly sure what time it happened, but it was after we went to bed (around 11:30pm) and before we woke (around 8am). We think what must have happened is that our girl decided to sleep on one of the roosting bars in the walk in run, and a fox snuck up on her, managed to pull her head through one of the larger wire gaps without her having a chance to react, and then bit the poor girl's head off!

After that I took some defensive steps and upped the security in that part of the run by getting some weld mesh with smaller gaps than the run and securing them to the outside so there's physically no way for it to get its paws or teeth through the bars again!

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I have been lucky in 9 to 10 years of hen keeping not lost to fox. Got 2 new girls on Thursday. Sectioned off part of wir and put cat box there for the 2 of them. The run has wire recommended  by a poultry magazine. It seem I think that Flossie new girl roosted on feeder next to wire. I think fox got it's snout thro and ripped at her throat. I thought at first one of the others had pecked her . Got my purple spray ready but noticed a flap and when I peeled it back could see gullet. Frankly I think I had attempted to dispatch I would have caused more trauma. Took to emergency vet, the nurse said she could see her artery so glad I spent the money on having her pts.  OH and I stapled chicken wire over wire round perimeter so hopefully won't get his snout in again. I have a strong stomach but shocked me I can tell you. I think I will get another so line girl has a mate and original 2 less likely to pick on line hen. 

 

 

 

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I am sorry Alis Girls - I have just gone through the same thing this afternoon.   We have had a fox going about for a while - thanks to the neighbours way across the road feeding the blooming thing.   We have scared it away so often and have been lucky till this afternoon - We chased it and I caught the chicken, thankfully it did not take her away, but she had such a bad tear that she had to be put to sleep - I phoned the vets and they came to the surgery.  ( I work there!).   This is our last chicken and won't be getting more - people should realise these foxes are vermin and not feed them.   I felt so sorry for the chook and am glad she is at peace too.   Like you 10 years of chicken keeping and never had a problem till now.

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So sorry Blackrocksrock. Sorry you are giving up. Frankly if I lost mine I would probably do the same. We took her to the vets hospital. The nurses there were lovely cooing over her. I have only dispatched one and shudder to think the pain she was in. At least she was put down humanely.  I have felt tearful all day. Silly I know. Hugs to you. Xx

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So sorry for both of you.  I lost all my girls to a fox last year.  He found a way in through small part that was chicken wire and not galvanised steel, in the gap between our fence and next doors and behind the compost heap.  Must have spent ages working out how to get in.  He killed them all but didnt take any.  He came back night after night, and I was terrified for my guinea pigs and tortoise.  I made the decision not to have more because of my other pets.

 

 

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Thanks Millie -Annie.  Hate hate hate foxes. I know it's nature but feel I should have put new girls in with old and let them get on with it . A few pecks is nothing to having your throat ripped apart or worse. Hard to comfort an animal. OH held her whilst we debated action . She sat calmly cuddled up to him on his knee. Anyway tonight will check where Penny is sleeping. The oldest girls go in Eglu. Anyway will probably get a mate for Penny. To say I am nervous is an understatement. Andyroo a headless  bird would have finished me off I think. Onwards and upwards. Xxxxl

 

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I think it's incredibly sad to have list chickens and equally sad that people hate fixes so badly .they probably have more right to live where they do than our domestic pets. 

I feel it  is my duty to protect my chickens they never free-range with out a watcher. 

There is so so much information out there that it saddens me and infuriates at the same time . 

If 1/4 inch weldmesh is used a fox cannot bite through it. Omlett has made a business of selling fox proof housing and runs . I do wish they'd add external bolts though to all the poo trays.. 

Please don't blame the fox. I for I welcome other people feeding them . A Fed fox is not as desperate as a hungry fox. Find time the fix welfare sites they have lots of information.. 

Foxes are living Amongst us. It is we that have to learn and keep up our defences

 

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My hens were in fox proof run but despite having a nesting box she preferred to roost where she did next to the wire netting and paid with her life. I have never found hens which don't roost where their human has provided shelter for them but I know people on forum have hens who roost in odd places. 

Got a replacement mate today who was happily sitting in the nest box. I know it's nature but I don't have to like it. 

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A human friendly, fed fox is a menace.  I could post a link to my thread that details what we went through with that bloody fox, but I wont because I dont want to upset you, but believe me a fox with no fear of humans is the worst kind.  

Yes I could keep my chickens safe, I could keep my guinea pigs safe, but what was I supposed to do about my tortoise?  I very nearly rehomed him, and I am so glad I didnt.

 

 

 

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In the interest of safety to all of us with girls . Could you possibly post a photo of where this happened, as I am not understanding.. you say they are in a fox proof run .yet a fox still got your girl. 

It will help thus not happen to someone else . 

Thanks 

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I agree that a human fed fox is the worst - they do lose their fear and it is hard to chase them away -  if people did not feed them and protected their rubbish bins then they would go away - I am in the country and so its not urban foxes we have and the neighbours quite a way away are feeding the thing.   Unfortunately it has also scared off their squirrels from the nut feeders and it went for our hedgehog in the garden and we chased the fox away - the poor hedgehog was dead on the road in the morning so that was also scared away.   They really are vermin and if not fed will happily go elsewhere and hunt for themselves.   We have had 10 and a half years of free ranging in our garden no problems till now.

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Oh that is so sad - I love the hedgehogs so much and they are in such decline.   I was feeding ours the left over cat food each day until that b fox came along

 

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It's fox proof in that he couldn't get in. Flossie was roosting on feeder against the mesh . I can only think he grabbed her thro mesh and she pulled away causing catastrophic injuries. I am no good at adding photos. It was a freak accident that only a predator could inflict. A few weeks ago I heard a dog fox outside on main road . I want to move on. Tonight my 2 older girls are in the Eglu. Flossie 2nd (purchased today)  is in cat box and Penny is roosting on top of devider which is inside and all enclosed. I hope they will all be safe. 

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Putting food out for foxes does not make them fearless of humans . There is a virus that they can get that makes the fearless of anything. But they are also weak and die . Mostly they are oportinist feeders and will go for an easy meal . Not unlike humans that opt for take aways

Domestic cats kill birds all the time yet people don't hate them and call them vermin..

Yes they can be a bloody nuisance and once the have found their easy meal they WILL return . Just as we return to the supermarket to restock. 

There are many many pages where you can learn the facts which may  help you better understand our native wild life.

Understanding is important

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