Fox raid, again

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valeriebutterley
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Fox raid, again

Post by valeriebutterley » Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:54 pm

Frankly, wish I had a pack of hounds and a red coat!!!

Under my very nose, from over my neighbours fence, I had my darling Phyllis snatched, she was enjoying her retirement, finished her egg laying days, and enjoying the garden and the glorious weather. Spotted me sitting in a chair on the patio and came to say hello, out of nowhere came the bl...y fox, like lighting and took her. That was yesterday.

Today was the bantams garden time, same thing, but today the murderer took my incredibly beautiful white Pekin, Blanche.

What can I say?, I HATE foxes, they are callous murderers, and the only good fox is a d...d one.
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rick
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Fox raid, again

Post by rick » Thu Apr 21, 2016 8:31 pm

Sorry to hear that Valerie. Sounds like garden time is a risky thing at the moment and with two hunting trips that paid off another visit is an absolute certainty. I must admit if it happened to mine I'd be out to pin a fox pelt to the door!
But basking in the happy state of it not happening I have to say I like seeing foxes trotting across the fields. Apart from buzzards they are the only large(ish) wild preditors around here.
But to have a hen you've cared for for years snatched away in a blink - that's really harsh.
valeriebutterley
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by valeriebutterley » Mon Apr 25, 2016 6:16 am

I have just bought a fox trap.

If and when I catch it, anybody got any ideas about disposal? will a 3 miles or so away from here disposal see him/her back?

It did do a third trip Rick and took one of the fragile little cages apart to get the birds, the last straw for me. I could not believe the debris outside
when I saw it. It is in the garden on and off for most of the day.
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Marigold
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by Marigold » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:52 am

I don't think trapping and releasing the fox will be an effective answer, Val. Three miles would be nothing to a hungry fox, probably returning home to his or her cubs - and to a supply of your chickens it has come to regard as a soft option! Also, there's the problem of persuading it to go into the trap- it might prefer live birds and take several visits to get caught. Possibly you could arrange for someone to shoot it, (or them - most probably a couple) it would make a temporary difference, although others might move in to the empty hunting territory. There are people who specialise in shooting foxes, I think one of them advertised on here about a year ago, and a Google search might find someone. But it would only be a temporary answer, I'm afraid, if you live in an area where the farmers and gamekeepers don't do the job for you.
I do empathise with your anger, frustration and fear, but I think some effective electric fencing, and stronger cages, would give you more peace of mind. In time, they might leave you alone, but at least you would know they were safe inside the fence.
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by valeriebutterley » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:50 am

Marigold,
each time with both Phyllis and Blanche I was out in the garden feet away, and had no idea it was around again. It seemed to come fro nowhere.
I would never put my hens at risk, but electric fencing is not possible, because of the humps and bumps in the garden, and when the hens are in their pens they are safe. To me one of the joys of henkeeping is to see them out and about in the garden when I am out there, I do not expect them to be scared or attacked and killed by a fox.
The run that the fox took apart was not particularly fragile, it was hard against a solid brick wall and it had extra bolts and locks to make it less vulnerable, and strengthened up by concrete bits around it. The sheer ferocity of its attack on the structure made me fear what it could do to a human, small or large, wood was torn apart by teeth and claws, it certainly was the last straw for me.
Foxes, I realise are not cutesy, cuddly animals, but extremely dangerous ones, I have three year old grandchildren often with me here.
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Marigold
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by Marigold » Mon Apr 25, 2016 11:14 am

I agree that foxes are not cutesy or cuddly - just wild animals, hiding and hunting for food for themselves and their cubs, in ways they've evolved to do. You wouldn't expect them to come up openly to your garden gate, asking for entry, would you? There's no point in thinking of them as bloodthirsty creatures with a moral sense who enjoy killing for the sake of it (like humans often do) - it's just a matter of survival for them. They don't have any opinion on the matter, they just do what nature compels them to do, and if you have a garden full of tempting hens, apparently free for the taking, what else will predators
be likely to do? The ones you've got coming into your garden seem to have lost their fear of humans, since they've escaped unscathed so far after their raids. So it seems to me that, either you somehow manage to create a free ranging area behind electric fence where you and the hens can feel safe, or you get help from a farmer or pest controller to shoot them for you. Preferably both options, because if you get this lot killed, more will eventually move in, and the first you'll know about it will be when the new ones get more of your chickens. Of course we all would like our hens to be able to wander freely in our gardens,- but it has to be free from the worry of the terrible scenes you've had to witness.
By the way, it was you who said the fox 'took one of the fragile little cages apart to get to the birds' in your post earlier today.
Please don't be upset by what I've said - I write this out of friendship and real concern for you and your chickens, Val.
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dinosaw
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by dinosaw » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:05 pm

From what you have described the easiest way for you to deter future attacks Val is to get yourself a dog and whenever you and the chickens are out in the garden the dog goes with you, virtually any type of dog will be a deterrent but obviously the terrier breeds are especially effective and will kill a fox outright if it intrudes. You will need to train the dog in relation to your chickens and I would never personally recommend leaving a dog unsupervised with chickens though it is what farmers especially and many others up and down the country do with no problems.
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by valeriebutterley » Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:25 pm

Hi M.,
Yes I did say fragile little cage, it is in comparison with my other ones, but it wasn't that fragile, especially as it was shored up and many locked.
What shook me was the ferocity of the animal that did the damage to it, and the way is was moved as if it was easy. It takes me a lot of effort to move it simply because it is an animal cage.
I cannot have electric fencing for reasons mentioned. This fox will not beat me. Also, what concerns me particularly is its lack of fear, I have never had a fox that is around in daylight all the time. It came over the fence the other day, when I was eating a sandwich outside, as if we were great buddies. Most of my other attacks have been night forays.
I only have to appear at the back door and normally they leg it as quickly as they can.
I await with interest the arrival of the humane trap, how to do it, and suggestions on how far to take it.
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Marigold
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by Marigold » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:07 pm

valeriebutterley wrote:
I await with interest the arrival of the humane trap, how to do it, and suggestions on how far to take it.
Interesting idea - but it might not prove to be an entirely straightforward solution, Val.
Apart from the possibility that your clever and determined fox may well be waiting for you in the garden when you get back home from your release expedition, had you thought of warning other poultry keepers, farmers and gamekeepers in the area where you intend to let him/them go?
You've told us about how fierce and strong this fox is. Do you think you could lift the cage into your car, with the fox fighting for its life inside, lift it out again when you got there, and release it without getting bitten yourself?
Instead, could you perhaps find someone who would humanely and legally despatch any foxes you manage to catch, do you think? My daughter does this with squirrels she catches, that are causing mayhem in the thatch of her barn. A friend shoots them in the cage.
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Marigold
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Re: Fox raid,again

Post by Marigold » Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:41 am

I remembered watching a programme about urban foxes, and how they learn to live so confidently in close proximity to humans. The programme included footage of people who 'rescue' foxes and release them into the countryside, in the hope they will then live a 'natural' life hunting rabbits etc. having seen the error of their ways. Of course in many cases this doesn't happen, they just find the nearest property with chickens etc and go on hunting in ways they've learned to do in towns. See The Fox Project http://foxproject.org.uk/
As your fox is so unnaturally bold and seems to have no respect for humans, I wonder if he or she was once a relocated town fox? Hunting in the daytime, right under the nose of humans, isn't what a 'proper' rural fox is likely to do. But one that had been reared to live by scavenging back gardens, and which had been relocated and was maybe desperately hungry because it didn't know how to catch wild food, might be glad to have found your place, though.
Maybe read the Fox Project website and possibly ask for help and advice on ways of dealing with your problem? They might at least help you catch him (or her - or them) and advise on what to do next.
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