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DanielSELondon

New chickens - fox digging under Eglu (beneath egg port)

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Hello,

 

First I wanted to thank all of you for all this fantastic information on these forums - it has helped us a lot in planning for and getting our three new chickens.

 

Our chickens arrived on Tuesday and started laying the day that they arrived and they seem very content. However I have a question about foxes in our garden! When the Eglu arrived I pegged down the skirt with strong tent pegs and it feels very secure and is flat against the earth. This morning on looking out of our bedroom window I saw our local fox (often sunbathes at the bottom of our garden until scared off!) trying to dig beneath the Eglu itself. On inspection it looks like he has also tried to get beneath the tray too. Luckily this morning I caught him (was up very early!)

 

We are very keen to get it as secure as possible as this weekend we are having to make a trip out of London and a friend will be collecting the eggs and checking on them. We won't be able to lock them in the Eglu and let them out as we have been doing this week and will have to leave the Eglu door open - which isn't ideal I realise.

 

I have read elsewhere about putting the Eglu on slabs - won't this make more a gap that the fox can exploit as there will be different levels?

 

I am more keen on putting down mesh beneath and around the Eglu itself and attaching it to the skirt and pegging it down around the edges. Has anyone else done this? Do you think it will stop the fox bothering the hens? How did you do it?

 

I am going to work on uploading photos soon.

 

Thanks,

 

Daniel

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Hi Daniel, welcome to the forum :) . I used to have my eglu on slabs (not that I had a fox problem though - :pray::anxious: ) and I don't think anything could have dug underneath. I would definitely recommend doing that.

 

You might want to invest in a Foxwatch if you have a regularly visiting fox - he will just bide his time and take his chances :? .

 

I would also think about covering your run - there has been a case of a fox swiping at the hens through the run (hens are so daft they don't think to stay away from the edges :roll: ). Corrugated plastic sheets (about £6 each from B&Q and the like) would offer some protection and would also keep your run dry.

 

Good luck!

 

This was my old setup - it was great having a path down the side & round the back, no soggy feet in the early mornings!

 

2142464266_3a38120b4d_m.jpg

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Hi Daniel

 

Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens and hens.

 

I have only had my girls for 12 days and spent the 1st week wide awake as I was worried Mr Fox would get the girls. There are foxes in the area although I have never seen them in my garden.

 

I read around this forum and Googled for additional information. Last weekend I got My DH to 'water' round the area that a fox could approach my run and coop and also the low (and hence) vunerable fence point of entry to the garden.

 

Male 'water' gives the impression of that most dominent fox in the history of the universe is in residence so mere mortal foxes keep away.

 

I also purchased a Foxwatch. This arrived yesterday. I was testing it like mad during the evening and had a decent night's sleep at last. :D

 

I've not got an Eglu and associated run - but can you put something solid along the skirt of the run? I made the bark run area and used some old railway sleepers as additional 'bulk' on the outside of the area.

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Daniel,

 

We have a huge problem with foxes in Blackheath... so I suspect it's no different just down the road in Brockley! As a result, I constructed the Eglu and run on slabs, covered with weed suppressing fabric (had some spare in the shed) and then layered with wood chips and aubiose.

 

There is no way that a fox could tunnel in. Although I never thought the run would be a problem, I was worried about tunneling under the Eglu itself. I think your idea of a mesh under the Eglu attached to the run should work OK.

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In winter my eglu lives on the patio (just for ease of access and non soggy feet - in summer it lives in the garden).

 

It is fine on the patio. I do weigh the skirt down with bricks and pot plants. I am mindful that you are not supposed to leave heavy objects lying around the garden for potential burglers to lob through a window, but on the other hand, I do like to know the run isn't going anywhere.

 

Here's my winter set up, bricks down the side and Wickes corrugated sheeting on top.

084.jpg

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I bought a roll of mesh (weldmesh - chicken wire is no good against foxes) and un-rolled it then placed the Eglu and run on top, the wire extends about 50cm at each end, you need a wide roll for it to stick out each side of the run otherwise it isnt wide enough and you have to patch some in (if you have to do this overlap to the max and stick some tent pegs in)

 

I pegged the mesh down with the flat head plastic pegs, placed the Eglu and run on top and pegged down the whole lot with hooked pegs

 

You'll need a good thick layer of woodchip or bedding on top

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Dear all,

 

Thanks for your help on this problem. We have just returned from our weekend away and all the chickens are still alive and are now safely locked away in the Eglu.

 

I did get the welded mesh (from Wickes) and I laid it underneath the Eglu and cable tied it to the run and pegged it down with tent pegs. It has an overlap of about 40cm around the Eglu so the fox can't dig underneath. I also jammed some large bricks next to the Eglu to stop the fox reaching underneath and bothering the hens.

 

Our friend who took care of the the hens in our absence says that he thinks the hens were bothered by a fox on Sunday. Lots of feathers (could be from them fighting?) but there is tell-tale fox poo near the Eglu and there was only one egg (rather than three). For this reason I have bought a Foxwatch which should arrive soon and will hopefully mean that the hens get a good nights sleep! Today two of the three laid eggs and tomorrow hopefully all will!

 

I am looking into covering the Eglu run to stop the fox swiping which might have caused the feather loss? The pictures posted in your replies will help me too!

 

Thanks again for your help and do expect to hear from me again soon with more questions!

 

Daniel

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