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Free ranging versus large covered pen...how do you keep fox away?

(3 Posts)
Jumente Sun 20-Sep-09 21:03:29

I've just been offered four ex batts along with the coop I was going to buy...

we're not set up at all so far, just the ground and the inclination as it were...so trying to figure out how best to protect our girls when we get them.

I was reading up about fox proofing a pen, and it is so complicated...plus if/when he gets in, the chooks are a captive prey.

however if I let them free range in the end part of the garden, surely any old fox could come along even during the day and take what he fancies? Or is there a special way to let hens into their hut that a fox can't get through? (if they run quick enough!)

I am struggling with this and have to make a decision before they arrive, I've told her we aren't quite ready yet. Should I be looking to build a huge aviary type of thing? Or just wing it as it were smile

Oh and once a fox has been, surely they will know to come back again till you have no chooks left? Would having a guinea fowl or turkey among the flock help? Or a goat? (to scare foxes away)

MitchyInge Mon 21-Sep-09 09:49:25

if a fox visits you could lose all your hens at once, they often kill them just because they can rather than just taking what they need to eat

I don't think anything is ever 100% fox-proof, depends how hungry/determined he is - we've got a 6' wall but my springer can scale it if he is chasing a cat angry so I'm guessing a fox could if he really wanted to!

Jumente Wed 23-Sep-09 06:32:46

Thanks Mitchy...smile

I think we're going for an ark after all. It would be possible to fence in the end bit, adding like a mesh bit above the wall etc, but it may not stop foxes even so and will be complicated.

So will start off with an ark, then if I feel brave I'll try and foxproof that area and let them free after that. Apparently it isn't a good idea to mix free ranging and ark, as they will get stressed and pace when in the ark once they expect to go free.

Poor things!

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