First fox attack - will they come back?

(6 Posts)
Cakehead Thu 24-Jan-13 14:04:15

Sad day yesterday for us. After five years with chickens, DH made a mistake and didn't put the hatch lid back on the Eglu after getting the eggs. So they free-ranged round the garden all day in the snow (normally they are in a secure run). We were at work, and came home to find that they had put themselves back in the Eglu last night, but one was missing. The tracks in the snow tell the story. Looks like the fox just put his head in and pulled one out - our Ginger Ranger. Amazing that he only took one, really. He pitched up as soon as it went dark, dragging the carcass round the garden. I manged to shoo him away and wrap up what was left. But he spent all night circling the garden looking for it - he even took a run at our very large (and not easily spooked) cat. He's a huge fox. Any thoughts as to what I can do? DH is mortified by his mistake, obviously. The fox is going to just keep coming back now, isn't he? So sad. Was a lovely hen.

mummymeister Sat 26-Jan-13 13:55:18

Yes he is. its a daily battle against him who cannot be named in our house. you can try all sorts of things to keep him away. certainly for the next couple of weeks keep them in a secure run. Make sure they cant dig into the run if really worried by putting chicken wire along the bottom. foxes will be v hungry at the moment and will be very determined so you have to be equally back. Tell DH that this is something we have all done and at least you only one not all.

Primrose123 Sat 26-Jan-13 14:01:30

Yes, he will come back. My father has kept chickens for years and it is a constant battle to keep the foxes out. You were lucky he only took one, usually they kill them all but only take one away. sad

DF's chickens are let out in the daytime and put in a chicken shed at night, as that is when the fox usually comes. We have been lucky that he doesn't seem to try it in the daytime. It might help that they have three dogs who will bark at a fox! They live in the middle of fields though, are you in the town or country?

DoItToJulia Sat 26-Jan-13 14:08:06

Oh, poor Ginger and poor you and your DH.

I have heard that male urine can deter foxes, so get DH to pee all around the eglu. (Not tried this, but worth a shot?)

We have hens and foxes. I saw one in the garden in the middle of the day last week, so we are being extra vigilant.

Cakehead Sun 27-Jan-13 16:24:03

We're what the estate agents call 'semi-rural' (there really is a name for everything!). Fields all around one side of the house from garden onwards, a few houses at the front. Which is why we've never had many foxes - there's not the usual town litter to keep them fed. But this fox is huge! And he was back every half hour the other night, circling the run in the snow. The run is safe - on concrete slabs and heavy-duty weld mesh - but I could see he'd scratched around the eglu in the snow. Confession time - I took four shots at him with a little air gun to frighten him off (not aiming at him - I couldnt do that...) but each time he'd startle off and then come back. I'm half expecting him to pitch up in a bullet-proof vest, he's that determined. We tried the urine thing, didn't see a difference. Yesterday I tried to block every run through the hedges I could find. He's back. We have a game-keeper nearby who keeps foxes down for a local farm. I'm starting to wonder about that. Is that awful? He's on a mission now and so am I...

The chicken taken at dusk, just like everyone says. It's amazing they were out all day and left untouched really. And I suppose it shows how hungry he was that he just started eating rather than the usual carnage.

RooneyMara Sun 27-Jan-13 16:35:51

Yes they come back.

We had chickens killed one morning - none was even taken to eat. Just ripped their heads off while I was on the school run. We had one survivor so I put her in the old shed and built a covered run, it took a week or two - secure if a bit shoddy. We got more chickens and they lived in it after that. Still have three.

Our rabbits were in it too and dug out, and were loose for a few days which was nice as they went back in at night, but the fox took two of them as well - not a sign, just one was missing one day, then the next day another one had disappeared. I think I heard a squeal in the night sad

As long as you are secure then it won't get anything. It won't stop coming though. Make sure it can't dig under the eglu. Paving slabs or wire dug into the ground work well.

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