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Author Topic: Losing ducks to the fox  (Read 522 times)

chooksquacks

  • Joined Jun 2017
Losing ducks to the fox
« on: May 14, 2019, 03:36:43 pm »
So we've been on our small holding for 8 years now. This is the third time we've lost animals to the fox.

A fox came in today in broad daylight (11:45 this morning) and managed two get my two runner ducks out over a 4'6 high fence. It came back for my saxony and managed to get her out as well, but luckily my dogs caught the fox in the act the third time and we were able to save her.

Our chicken/duck run is close to the house, I was home and so were all four of our dogs. I even had all the windows open as it's been warm. Yet the fox managed to get two away before we caught it on the third.

My neighbour has free ranging (unfenced) chickens out the back of us, literally 150 yards away, it's not touched those although we have obviously warned them. It didn't kill my chickens (which are kept in with my ducks) either.

Our remaining poultry has been moved into stables with full grills on the stop of keep the fox out as a panic measure until we work out what to do.

Every time this happens we re evaluate all our fencing etc, every time we think we've got things fox proof, we last a summer or two and then we get them climbing in again. Does anyone have any tricks to keep our animals safe?

We've got electric on top, it doesn't work to stop the fox. We looked at those omlet walk in runs but they are not only astronomically expensive but much too small for them to really live in properly. We've looked at other walk in runs, same issues re money and size and a determined fox would just dig in without sitting the whole lot on concrete.

We've obviously got dogs, that doesn't seem to put them off either. I can't work out how our risky to get ducks are better pickings than our neighbours easy access chickens.

What do people do? Accept that you will lose the occasional animals to the fox? I always feel so responsible and like we've failed entirely to keep them properly safe.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 04:19:29 pm by chooksquacks »
Voss Electric Fence

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 07:20:38 pm »
Foxes prefer ducks to chickens.
They get brazen and clever once they know there’s food on the go.
Kill the fox or foxes that have figured it out.
More electric wires further down and/or away from the fence: electric wire at top of fence for stopping horses, its probably too late to bang a fox by time it’s in mid air or scrambled over. The amount of time the fox is even at the top of the fence means it may not encounter a pulse.
Kicking wire mesh out 90 degrees, by about a meter and throw some soil over it so grass grows through means fox will really struggle to dig under.
I put lines of barb under my last fence: don’t think fox would have enjoyed its paws on that!

abc123

  • Joined Oct 2018
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 07:59:02 pm »

Kill the fox or foxes that have figured it out.

No. I disagree steph hen. If you kill a fox another one will only move in and that one could be worse. Its the same thing in the end.

Dont worry. Im sure everyone has lost some poultry to wildlife somewhere along the line. Just ensure your pens are secure, because its your responsibility to protect your livestock, and the fox is only trying to live its life.

Yes electric fencing is great, i only use it for my layers, but all my breeding pens have 2 courses of concrete blocks and and 3x2 timber frames with 10mm weld mesh, with concrete floors to stop tunnelling. Obviously generous amounts of bedding on top.

What is your electric fencing setup like? I use the netting option, which is relativley cheap for what it is. But it sounds like it might not work for you.

Spacious, secure permanent housing may be the only option if you cant afford a secure permanent electric fence.

ZacB

  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Suffolk
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 06:43:22 am »
As soon as a resident fox knows where a larder is it will keep returning. Fox numbers do need to be kept on top of, have a word with a local farmer if you’re in the countryside & see if he knows anyone local who could deal with the situation.
Secure housing and runs are a necessity at night but you cant keep your stock locked in 24/7.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 08:10:38 am »
In the short term, I’ve heard scare crows/ (stuffed boiler suit) and a solar radio left on help too.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 11:28:14 am »
Your local council may be able to advise, or recommend someone who will shoot it. May involve feeding it for a few nights.
It may be possible to get hold of a fox trap, it sounds bold enough to go in. But please don't just let it go in the country, lost my flock because of that idea :( >:(
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 04:09:05 pm by Penninehillbilly »

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 03:21:23 pm »
Shoot the fox- it'll only keep coming back. And in the meantime keep the ducks safe... my ducks live in my back garden as they are sitting targets for foxes. The chickens live down on the farm yard well away from the house.

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2019, 12:22:02 pm »
We had a fox learn to climb the wire she got 63 hens in total !!
I got her in a Fox wire set on the fence line , this was 3 years a go now and we have had the odd hen go missing but nothing has been back over the fence , so I’d agree and try take the Fox out , ether a wire cage trap gun etc ,,

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2019, 12:32:37 pm »
Our fox learnt to climb over 7 foot fence and over the roof.
We have lights with movement sensor in the garden. They keep flashing all night just outside my bedroom window. They are 2 and sometimes 3 foxes chasing each other every night.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

abc123

  • Joined Oct 2018
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2019, 03:54:11 pm »
 :thinking: fine kill or trap the fox if you have to but dont complain if another moves in :innocent: :)

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2019, 09:36:42 pm »
Quote
and the fox is only trying to live its life
.

A fox doesn't kill to eat

A fox kills just because
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2019, 11:32:02 am »
:thinking: fine kill or trap the fox if you have to but dont complain if another moves in :innocent: :)
Hopefully the next one won't be so bold, and no doubt will be able to live a happy life, but this one needs taking out.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2019, 07:02:10 pm »
I may have said this before , have you considered pee'ing around the perimeter of the hens run. I found it worked for us, mother in law would fill a bucket ( not all at once ) and pour contents around the run.
Worked for us

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow - some say it's in England !
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2019, 07:05:04 pm »
Haven't checked this for foxes, but steeping garlic in human urine is recommended for upping the anti as regards deterring rabbits and deer.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 09:13:13 pm by arobwk »

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Losing ducks to the fox
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2019, 09:14:24 pm »
:thinking: fine kill or trap the fox if you have to but dont complain if another moves in :innocent: :)


We have countless foxes on the farm but only shoot if one causes a problem. In 8 years we have only had a problem with 2 foxes.

 

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