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Fox has just killed my lovely chicken!

(8 Posts)
hellymelly Fri 05-Jun-09 21:07:35

A couple of weeks ago DH forgot to shut the chickens in for the night ,heard a commotion at about midnight,ran out to find my favourite chicken dead in the garden.We have been super vigilant about closing them up when they go to bed,that was the only night he had forgotten,but a couple of hours ago we heard noise and dh ran out,and there were feathers everywhere.He tracked the fox for a while but it has taken another (my second favourite chicken,and my dd's pet).I didn't think it would come in daylight,the hens are free range in our garden and they have been so happy.I am really upset,she was such a sweety,and now there is only one left.Do you really have to keep them in a coop all the time? They have loved the garden.there are dogs out next door that I assumed were putting off any foxes.also we have a dog,ironically a fox-terrier,but I don't let him run free in the garden as he chases the chickens.Is this the end for free range? What do you do?

burge1 Fri 05-Jun-09 21:41:52

Sorry to hear this. I have 3 chickens free range locked in at night. the one night forgot to lock in fox came but luckily naked husband ran out of bed just in time to save them!! SO far no visits from FOX at daytime (had them a year) so risking it as they have great life. However once fox strikes they learn there's food there and I know of others who foxes visit in day. I'd be inclined to fence of an area and make it safe for chickens now that it's been in day so no longer safe?? Then your dog could go out at same time too??

hellymelly Fri 05-Jun-09 21:49:06

Well I think that is probably what we will have to do,unless we re-home the poor sad one we have left-she was wondering around calling for the other until we shut her in.We did initially do that with the three we first had but we hadn't made the fence high ehough and they were getting out and were so very happy pottering about our garden that I put up with trashed flower beds for the pleasure of watching happy hens bustling about.We took down the run and left them out all the time until they went to bed at dusk and then we shut them up.I am dreading telling the dds tomorrow.DD1 was very upset at the first chicken being taken but the one just killed is her pet and she loves her.sad.

burge1 Fri 05-Jun-09 22:03:19

I can't imagine..perhaps you'll need to get a friend for your 1 chicken as I'd heard they don't like to be alone. It is a pleasure when free range but sounds risky now. We are thinking to put carpet gripper rods (spikes) on back fence in case, but perhaps won't deter?? We have a dog that may put fox off as he hangs out with chickens a lot!! He's henpecked!!

hellymelly Fri 05-Jun-09 22:18:45

No they hate to be alone,they get very stressed.I wish my dog would hang out with the chickens.He did at first and it was all great until one flapped out of the (then )run one day and he made a grab for her.He had hold of her for a while and luckily was just playing with her rather than really biting her,but he has decided big flapping feathery things are as much fun as chasing cats and despite severe shouting at his mind is made up.If I could leave him out with them we would be fine fox-wise as he loves to chase foxes.

meltedmarsbars Sat 06-Jun-09 12:08:02

Poor chooks! Deffo need to shut in all the time here except if I'm in garden too - we get foxes day and night.

To put foxes off, get your dh to pee on your fence - marking his territory with testosterone. (old duffer in village told me that one)

carol12345 Thu 08-Oct-09 23:22:56

I had a similar experience.
We had 4 chickens. The other night at 3-00am, the fox brutally murdered 3 of my chickens. My husband heard some noises in the garden and by the time we got outside, one chicken was half dead by the back door, the other half dead on the lawn and one was completely dead in the chicken run. We ended up taking the half dead one on the lawn to the vet to be put down. The whole thing was horrific. One chicken survived by burying herself in a pile of mulch in the run.
She is still traumatised by the whole event - she was previously very outgoing and lively and now just stands around barely eating or drinking. We bought her 2 new friends yesterday and she seems to be picking up.
We too let our chickens out in the day to roam free but I am definitely not going to risk it after that whole experience. I think if you have a large enough run then they will have a good enough life without being let into the garden.

Bigboots Thu 08-Oct-09 23:32:55

Is the run in an eglu big enough for them to be happy? (3 chickens in the standard eglu - not cube).

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