A new den

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rick
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Re: A new den

Post by rick » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:11 pm

Idyllic! If my lot see that they will strike for better conditions!
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Tweetypie
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Re: A new den

Post by Tweetypie » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:14 pm

I'm not sure why there appears to be no foxes around. There is a barn either side of mine with young children, but over the other side a large farm with a pond with ducks, guinea fowl. Might be because all these owners have dogs, too?? My husband is retired so in all day, however, the hens are put back in the internal pen when he goes out. I'd never leave them unattended, as you say, the horror stories from foxes getting hold of them. It would break my heart. :-(
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rick
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Re: A new den

Post by rick » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:16 pm

I didn't think we would get them here (run is in the middle, dogs and cats all round.) A friend of mine has kept chickens on their farm for many years, has a den that they know about nearby and has never had trouble. Trouble is, if they do get hungry, with cubs, or territories change for some reason, they may pass by when the hens are safely locked up but will make a note to try again.
But then with freedom like yours have maybe theres a reasonable trade of risk with reasonable precautions. Having a dog definitely puts them off wandering through though.
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... If i remember rightly, the fox arrived after a few days of the dog being kept in from barking at the rear wall for a few nights. It was getting to be annoying but with hindsight... It was also in April, I think, when a Vixen would have cubs to feed and the students pizza discards at the front of the terrace weren't quite the biscuit. 3.30am, commotion, Blaze lost and two others roughed up (but survived) before I twigged, got out of bed and down to the run. And the vixen didn't get the meal :(
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LadyA
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Re: A new den

Post by LadyA » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:08 am

I'm in the country, surrounded by fields, but I've actually seen more foxes in the town 10km inland than I've seen out here! Thankfully, I've never, in all the years I've had hens, lost one to a fox (fingers crossed, touch wood, etc. etc.! :roll: ) although there were fox families living down at the back of my place a couple of times. I'd see the cubs out playing behind the house at night. But my neighbour, about half a mile up the road has been cleaned out of hens by foxes several times. I think it's because I've always shut mine into the secure run around teatime in Summer and by about 3.30 in Winter. The fence around their outdoor pen is only about 5ft high, so wouldn't stop a fox. So far, so good anyway!!
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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Marigold
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Re: A new den

Post by Marigold » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:53 am

i think fox attacks are more likely in urban or suburban areas where the farmers don't control foxes, and some people feed them and encourage them into their gardens. However, in a rural area where there is no shooting or livestock and mainly cereal crops the foxes aren't so much of a bother to farmers, in fact a few of them may help to keep the rabbit population down, and wild foxes are more wary of humans, though you can never rely on it - a hungry fox with cubs to feed will hunt where it is able. There are several 'fox rescue' organisations who trap urban foxes and release them into the countryside to 'set them free.' This poses a danger to those of us living in the area as such foxes will have lost their natural wariness of people and be used to scavenging in gardens for food, live or otherwise. It's also hard on the foxes, who haven't learned to hunt 'properly' in that sort of setting. Urban foxes will also tend to hunt at all hours, including during daylight, meaning that people nearby can't let their birds out safely at any time, as they'll come into gardens and snatch a hen even when humans are out there watching over them - as you'll see if you read Val's story.
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Margaid
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Re: A new den

Post by Margaid » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:05 pm

I thought it was illegal to trap foxes and relocate them to another area, but according to the guidance here that is not the case.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foxes-moles ... rom-damage

It is a government website so one hopes they have it right, although it only applies to England. All it says on the subject is that:

"You shouldn’t relocate or release captured foxes. This will cause foxes stress by transporting and relocating them to an unfamiliar environment." and what's more you can be fined up to £20,000 for causing unnecessary suffering to a fox (or mink) which has caused untold panic, distress and suffering to your hens.
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