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Fox in our garden

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This is my first 'chat'. Two months ago I bought an eglu and rescued 3 battery hens.

As we have a very small garden there is no room for an extra pen, so I let them out in the garden. In 6 years I have never seen a fox as we are penned in by neighbours and we and the next door have terriers .As the hens love being out so much I increasingly let them out on their own. Ha! How confident. They had been out some hours today when I took a quick look out of the upstairs window. A fox was standing on the lawn 10 feet away from the hens!

I just ran - knocking things over as I flew. Running through the kitchen I roared as loud as I could, my imitation of a lion, till I got to the garden. The fox was gone and the hens looking not too bothered. I even had to catch them! I now deservedly have a sore throat, and will have to devise a cunning plan to make an invisible pen so the garden can still look like a garden and the hens can enjoy a bit of freedom! :?

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I don't like foxes. :evil: In fact, I even managed to get to one on one occasion when it was sniffing around the base of the eglu one evening. I gave it an almighty kick in the backside. :twisted:

 

I think that one has not been back, but I know the others in the neighbourhood are still knocking about, so you do need to be vigilant. Keep your eyes open :shock: ! Once they know the chickens live there, they will keep coming back to try and get to them... but they don't usually like coming out in the daytime so much, I have found... :?

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OH and I happened to meet a chap last year who was secretary of his local hunt (one based south of London somewhere). He was telling us about the RSPCA collecting foxes from London and releasing them into the 'wild'. During one hunt, 7 foxes were caught, all in the same place (not normal for rural foxes), very underweight (hadn't been able to hunt and kill their own prey) and 2 were still wearing collars! :shock:

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collars!!! for heavens sake...

yes foxes are pretty and cute, but they are also killing machines.

killing them with hounds may not be nice, but traps are vile, lamping/shooting not always successful (and therefore results in greater cruelty etc).

 

I think the old balance of the countryside was much better, and luckily we still have some of it round here - but govts cater for the masses dont they, and these days the votes are city based...

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I don't think its as clear cut as that. I have lived my whole life in the "countriside" and am from the "horsey set", :roll: and whilst I agree that foxes are a problem that need to be addressed, the whole fox hunting debate leaves me cold, as I hate to see a fox being torn apart by a pack of dogs, despite being a "horsey, country person". It simply isn't a right way for any animal to end its life.

Urban foxes are a different issue. Like dingoes, they need controlling. Simple.

In the countryside, foxes are actually our allies: If we didn't have foxes where I live, we would be completely overrrun with rabbits. One fox is responsible for taking out over 300 actual rabbits a year, if you take into account the rabbits breeding patterns, every time they take a rabbit they are lessening the rabbit population by a staggering 10,000 a year. Imagine 10,000 rabbits on your land!! :shock:

 

Therefore, I would like to proclaim: Foxes belong in the countryside, where we desperately need them! Urban foxes are a :evil:

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totally fair point. my inlaws (in suburbia) want chooks, inspired by our eglu, but cant because neighbours either side feed the foxes. so in spring they can watch the cute cublets - but for the rest of the year they are all over run by too many adult foxes, which all have mange, and are visibly unhealthy. at which point, the "nature loving" neighbours start to complain!

 

I'm not sure that for a fox to be hunted is inherently uncruel. altho I dont want to do it myself (which may be hypocritical, and I do ride so understand the 'fun of the wild cross country ride' element but am repulsed by the whole idea of watching the death, being blooded etc), I think that in nature there is a natural balance when the predator becomes the prey. as far as I have seen, hunting with dogs is a quicker, less fearsome (because more natural) death than prolonged catching in traps/poor shooting/ etc. but of course, that's only my opinion.

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I think we would be wise to veer away from a fox hunting debate here: We have had them in the past and it inevitably gets too heated! Lets put it in the box with politics and religion eh? :lol:

 

The Urban fox and chicken keeping, well, thats a totally different discussion isn't it?

I am always utterly horrified when I read on the forum of how bold and tame these creatures are in our cities.

I understand that many of us love wildlife, and if we can encourage it into our gardens, we do, but what I fail to grasp is that people don't see that these foxes are scavengers who create and spread disease and are dangerous, especially for people who keep small pets in their gardens.

 

I don't wish for this, but I do wonder when the first fox attack on a human will occur: Somebody approaches an injured fox, or one protecting cubs. The hue and cry that will follow!! :roll:

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Our local Oxford newspaper had an article a few months ago on how to attract foxes to your garden, and many people I know feel very privileged to be able to feed foxes outside their homes, so you have to keep very quiet and not assume that all people feel as you do.

 

The foxes that come into my garden are very diseased with mange, and one had no fur left at all. I don't think they have much of a life, and should not be encouraged. But when I contacted the RSPCA all they suggested was lion poo to keep them away....

 

I don't think country people can imagine foxes that jump off the top of the Eglu and run towards you when you go out into the garden! Oxford is particularly bad, and has been the subject of an ongoing twenty-year study on urban foxes.

 

It's hard to hate them (as opposed to their actions), because they have such handsome intelligent faces. They indulge in mass-slaughter because of the way humans coop up chickens: in nature the fox would get its dinner and the rest of the hens would fly up into a tree.

 

There is no answer to the problem.

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surely there is a worry with really small children and urban foxes, i am sure i have read about a fox trying to take a baby, i cant remember if it was in this country.

i used to put my little boy in the carrycot on the buggy with a fly/cat net in the shade in the garden. i would quite happily go and make a cup of tea or answer the phone with all the doors open, knowing we had a very secure garden i thought he would be safe. we used to live in the city at the time and i remember being horrified at the story and i never left him in the garden alone again. we used to have foxes in the city as they used to scratch at the doors at night and disturb the dogs, now we live in a village in the countryside i havent seen one yet. there are alot of stories and sightings of a big black cat in the woods at the end of our lane, i never know if to totally dismiss the big cat stories, my father said thought he saw something in his wood (which is about ten miles away from our house) and a few days later he found the remains of a couple of deer.

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Just to bring this back to people's attention - you can't be too careful! After a near miss a few weeks ago, I will only let my ladies out if I'm in the garden to supervise.

 

This afternoon I let them out into the Omlet netting, and pottered about in the garden. At about 5.30 I was in the greenhouse when I heard magpies chattering - I assumed this meant that the cat was about. The girls were also bawk-bawking a bit, so I stuck my head out of the greenhouse - and there was Inspector Fox, right behind the Eglu and less than ten feet away from me. :shock:

 

Thank goodness I had the netting up; without it, the chooks would have been up that end of the garden, which they love, and possibly out of my sight. I'd had to retrieve one of them earlier because I hadn't pegged it down firmly enough, and she would have been right in his path.

 

Please don't take any chances, especially if you live in a town. I can't believe the fox didn't know I was in the greenhouse, but he was prepared to come right up to the edge of the netting in spite of that.

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I don't think its as clear cut as that. I have lived my whole life in the "countriside" and am from the "horsey set", :roll: and whilst I agree that foxes are a problem that need to be addressed, the whole fox hunting debate leaves me cold, as I hate to see a fox being torn apart by a pack of dogs, despite being a "horsey, country person". It simply isn't a right way for any animal to end its life.

Urban foxes are a different issue. Like dingoes, they need controlling. Simple.

In the countryside, foxes are actually our allies: If we didn't have foxes where I live, we would be completely overrrun with rabbits. One fox is responsible for taking out over 300 actual rabbits a year, if you take into account the rabbits breeding patterns, every time they take a rabbit they are lessening the rabbit population by a staggering 10,000 a year. Imagine 10,000 rabbits on your land!! :shock:

 

Therefore, I would like to proclaim: Foxes belong in the countryside, where we desperately need them! Urban foxes are a :evil:

 

couldnt agree more about country foxes. Im a Devon country bumpkin born and bred and absolutely detest fox hunting. In this day and age there is simply no need to kill an animal in this way purely for matter of enjoyment, and whatever a "huntsman" told me otherwise "oh we do it to help the farmers/vermin control" is poppycock !! :evil:

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