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Fox got in last night, killed 2 chooks...
10

luckyblackcat · 05/03/2010 11:11

So as I was wandering up my drive to my paddock yesterday late afternoon to get my flock in from the electric fence pen into their 'indoor' pen I could hear my rooster screeching madly.

I ran to the gate, and yes, there was a fox in my pen. I raced up the feild shoulting and waving the red bucket I happened to be holding, it dropped the chook and jumped over my electric fence.

I pushed the fence down and jumped over (OOOWWWW) my Maran Cuckoo was stunned on the ground so I picked her up and cradled her, my beautiful bluebelle was already dead.

I hearded the traumatised others in whilst clasping the 2 victims, as bluebelle was by the door and they wouldn't go inside.

By the time I'd rushed cuckoo to the house for some rescue remedy it was too late.

My poor DD was in floods, Cuckoo was a rescue and 4.5 yrs old and still laying at least 3 eggs per week and I have just nursed Bluebelle through a really nasty bug, giving her abs twice a day and making her banana porrige and marmite toast (her faves).

So today the chooks are in there 'indoor' pen which is 15'x9' (9 birds) looking very sorry for themselves, no eggs this am.

If a standard electric fence pen is not enough protection, how do I ever let them out again?

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Dumbledoresgirl · 05/03/2010 11:13

Poor you. I don't know the answer to your question but it must be horrible to see much loved pets killed in this way.

Whenever I think about keeping chickens, I think of the fox that regularly runs across our garden in broad daylight, damn him, and think again....

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meltedmarsbars · 05/03/2010 11:15

Oh dear

Your run needs to be higher to be fox-proof - if you can jump over the fence then so can he.

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ChickensHaveSinisterMotives · 05/03/2010 11:18

Roof your run. Now he's got in, he'll be back, sadly . I know that some people swear by the foxwatch. Sorry to hear about your girls.

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luckyblackcat · 05/03/2010 11:22

I couldn't jump over without pushing the top right down - hence the 'ow' as I got shocked.

Is a standard chicken net, been using it for nearly 2 yrs now.

Thanks DG, it was really tough. I tried to console my DD that the rescue one had a lovely life with us, she was a happy girl as she was still laying at her age and the other had never known anything but a cosseted life.

She was really cross with herself as I was a few mins late going up as I was heping her with her maths and if she was better at maths I could have saved her girls

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luckyblackcat · 05/03/2010 11:24

The indoor run has a roof but I like them to have some time each day 'outside' - I thought once he'd been he would treat it like a take away.

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isthatporridgeinyourhair · 05/03/2010 19:39

Sorry to hear about your girls and poor DD.

Two ideas which may, or may not be suitable -firstly moving them closer to the house might prevent a daylight fox attack, secondly, running an electrified wire above the fence might deter a fox from jumping over the fence. Hopefully this is a one off.

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luckyblackcat · 06/03/2010 08:23

Thanks porridge, I am going to do the extra wires thing, I have some really long electric fence poles that I use for my ponies - I plan to add two more strands also another down the bottom as during the snow (when the fence was half buried so not working and chooks were in) the blardy rabbits chewed a few wires, I have patched them up with electric fence wire but I'd like to be on the safe side.

I think even with that I will only be brave enough to let them out when I'm poo picking or the dog is up there when I am in the veg patch.

I can't really move it closer to the house without spending lots of money...we have lots of badgers/foxes here so I bought a poultry protection pen (from flytesofancy) and it is set onto sleepers, which in turn are above 3 foot deep trenches lined with weld mesh which is stapled onto the sleepers and the trenches filled with rubble and hardcore. This would be several days labour to recreate and move this.

Right I must go and start my fence so the girs can come out later.

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isthatporridgeinyourhair · 06/03/2010 09:29

Blardy hell - that's not a chicken run - that's Colditz! I have the goat/poultry fencing from Solway Feeders and it's mobile so I can move it around but yours sounds much much more secure. The pony poles sound ideal. Fortunately ? we live in an intensively farmed area so not much cover for foxes so we don't have a huge problem. Good Luck!

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MiffyWhinge · 06/03/2010 09:32

bluebelle and cuckoo

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luckyblackcat · 06/03/2010 14:02

Thanks Miffy.

@ porridge, yes the colditz area is their 'indoor' run (has a rain proof roof) their house is in that bit. It has two doors one each side, so I move the electric goat/poultry fence either side every few months to keep the grass/ground fresh.

We have loads of foxes (even tho hunting still occurs in this area) as lots of orchards, woodlands and maize (as cover for phesant shoots) my hound and often see them out midday, wandering around bold as you like.

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