NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: FOXES.  (Read 17413 times)

carl

  • Joined Oct 2007
FOXES.
« on: October 31, 2007, 12:05:30 pm »
The other day i replied to drystonewalls that we had less foxes further out in south yorks. I spoke too soon. We have about twenty odd chickens , four geese and one little bantam(goldilocks). All excepy goldi' happily go in at night, she roosts in bushes. Allthough we have had no evidence of foxes since we moved here i have religously locked all away of an evening. Lately two or three neighbours have been cleared out by a big dog fox. So at the weekend I moved all the huts to where i could see to them under lighting from the yard. There was a bit of distress from the birds on saturday night and they seemed a bit panicky, so they were kept in their runs on sunday and monday. Goldi being a free spirit refused all offers of safe haven, even a nice stable. fed her monday, and she did her normal beligerent clucking and strutting. Was off work tuesday( sons school hols), did my early morning rounds. let all the birds out to roam. oddly, no goldi, doing her stuff outside the feed room, impatiently waiting to get first dibs on the corn. I looked around for her, but no sign, and even jokingly thaught, that will teach her not to come in. maybe she was sunning herself under the big hedge?. Later while taking some windfalls from the orchard to the piggies I saw the tell tale signs, feathers, blood and a bit of parsons nose. Alas poor Goldi, farewell. She had a good life and laid us some fantastic little eggs with enormous golden yolks. damn the daylight saving system, I am now panic stricken about letting the birds out as i don't get home untill darkness has fallen.
I am off again tomorrow, and will build a secure run big enough to keep them happy. but the geese?, i just hope they can fend for themselves untill i get home every evening. I like to let my birds free range all over the place, but now it will only be weekends and holidays untill the days lengthen again. shame.
Voss Electric Fence

stephen

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Kent
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 12:15:45 pm »
hey sorry to her about ya bantham!

we used to have geese, 3 brecon buffs and an emden. they never got locked up at night, they lived on the pond in the back garden and were extremley happy! they had a house to sleep in if they wanted but prefered the open air! one night my partner was watching them out of the top window and noticed a fox jump over the fence, he panicked and ran downstairs to scare it off however when he got there he found the male brecon buff had jumped off of the pond and was well displaying to say the least! closley followed by the emden female.....the fox s**t itself and was never seen again! so i wouldnt worry about your geese if they are fully grown they can take care of them selfs from my experience! we have an alsation and a labrador cross and they wernt particually fond of the geese but after a few pecks and hisses the dogs never bothered them again! and the geese never backed down! weirdly the dogs seemed to love the norfolk black poults but they seem to love kittens as well! weird!  ;D

carl

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2007, 12:53:17 pm »
thanks stephen. The geese are all embdens, and pretty fearsome when first encountered. Our Light sussex cockerel, " big boy", tries to stand his ground in front of his girls but now has no tail feathers due to the geese. They are quite tame with me but don't like strangers. So hopefully they will see off any unwanted attention.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2007, 08:17:05 pm »
I hate to tempt fate but - so far, we've been pretty lucky. There are foxes around here - I've never seen them but I've heard them bark. We lost one Black Rock years ago and our first cockerel, Henry, got eaten. Well, actually his head got eaten but thet rendered the rest of him pretty useless. Our hens are pretty good at going into their huts and a fox couldn't get in even if the doors were still open (I don't think). Our dogs are out a lot, as is our neighbours dog and the farm dogs so maybe that keeps the fox away.

I used to work on a farm where there were lots of foxes - the landowner was ahunting gentleman, so we weren't allowed to kill them. One morning, my boss and I were out early and saw fox cubs and lambs playing together. Honest.

stephen

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Kent
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2007, 10:48:56 pm »
wow! that must have been amazing to see! ive only seen fox cubs twice, both very late at night down very dark country lanes! both times the mother ran away!

been thinking about what the most human way to deal with the fox problem is? ignore (to a certain extent i suppose it is possible!) shoot, poision, trap etc etc?  ???

Drystonewall

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2007, 06:10:35 am »
been thinking about what the most human way to deal with the fox problem is? ignore (to a certain extent i suppose it is possible!) shoot, poision, trap etc etc?  ???

They say getting rid of a fox is like marrying your mistress ----it only serves to creates a vacancy.  :)

There are all sorts of regs about trapping them.-----you have to shoot them, you are not supposed, strictly speaking, to take them and release them elsewhere.

Poisoning them is illegal and if caught you could face a jail sentence and or imprisonment.

Get a man to pee round the perimeter of the hen run,  male urine has an ingredient that the fox finds disagreeable.

Human hair is also supposed to put them off, so go to the barbers and ask for the sweepings from the floor, put them in old stockings and hang them around the hen house.

Soaking a rag with Jeyes Fluid is also supposed to work, but please note that it is lethal for cats, so you would have to be careful about where you put it if there is a moggy about.

Citronella is also supposed to put them off, but our clever friends in Brussels have declared it a no no, so buy it while you can.

Products such as Scoot, Get off My Garden and Silent Roar hav also been recommended, but you would have to use a heck of a lot on most smallholdings.  :-\

High electric fencing and vigilance are probably the best bet.

Sorry to hear about Goldilocks by the way.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2007, 06:30:16 am by Drystonewall »

jan

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2007, 03:04:00 pm »
So sorry to hear about little Goldi...but we to have foxes over the back of us, but we also have a railway line between us and them...but the trains do stop running at about 10.30pm so i suppose its ideal lunch time for foxes.  Touch wood, we havent had any run ins either, but do have 3 JRT's so that may help a bit!!

Townie

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Fife
    • http://www.townie.wordpress.com
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2007, 03:37:28 pm »
We have foxes in the woods beside us.. I know because ive heard them... usually mating (sounds like someone being murdered)!!

Our Eglu is foxproof luckily..  Plus we have the 3 dogs, of which our male springer frequently cocks his leg around the housey part of it!

Sorry to hear about Goldi


Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2007, 08:58:06 pm »
I was looking at the Henkeepers Association website and they recommend llamas or alpacas as a fox deterrant...

carl

  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2007, 09:30:31 am »
blimey, if i try all these things my neighbours will know for sure that i am crazy. one unfortunate casualty of the upheaval of moving arks and runs and stuff has been our cockerel big boy. he has been very upset about moving as it has brought him into conflict with geese, and other cocks. he has pined away and dropped dead yesterday. so whatever you do to protect your charges, when it's time to go it's time to go.poor lad, he'd done well and fathered many chicks. remarkabley a neighbour had taken some of goldi's eggs which i'd had in the fridge to incubate at a local primary school and they hatched.so the miracle of nature keeps both the departed with us.
i think i might wee on some alpaca hair, and tie it to next doors jack russel and allow it to run round the perimeter. ( as long as he doesn't savage any more of my chickens).

field of dreams

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • strathaven
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2007, 12:09:27 pm »

My chicken house stands in a field about 1/2 mile away from my home, I have 6 foot and over chicken fence and have dug in wood at the bottom and have made the chicken house a secure as is possible. I know however that it may be only time before a fox gets in.

I have been looking at ways to reduce the risk and one way which I intend to try is to make a zig zag entrance to the chickenhouse. Foxes can get in a hole 4 inch squared and thus a normal  chicken entrance provides no defence. I have not calculated exactly the sizes of the zig zags but they need to allow chickens in and the fox not to be able to contort its body through the entrance. (experimemtation would be good but perhaps a bit difficult to do)

I hope this is helpful. I will post up dimensions when I have sorted above out.

Fluffywelshsheep

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Near Stirling, Central Scotland
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2007, 07:32:02 pm »
sounds a good idea
linz

katrina4068

  • Joined Dec 2007
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2007, 11:22:26 pm »
Hi,

just joined this forum. i lost one of my ducks about an hour ago to the b@@@@rd fox that has had 2 of our chickens in the last year. does anyone know how high they can jump or waht they are likle at climbing as we were sure we were fox proof over last time.
i've just read that poisoning is illegal (i shan't nip out and but the gallon of cyanide tomorrow now then..) i'm after any any ideas to keep them out as i still have 6 chickens to worry about and 1 distraught male duck who has just lost the love of his life....

Townie

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Fife
    • http://www.townie.wordpress.com
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2007, 11:39:26 pm »
Aww sorry to hear about your poor wee duck  :'(  Bl**dy foxes!

The only thing I can think about has probably already been mentioned further up in this thread.. get your other half to wee around the coop or around the boundary..

Failing that just bring them all into the house, i;m sure they would all appreciate a cosy kitchen   :)

rustyme

  • Guest
Re: FOXES.
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2007, 11:55:32 pm »
hello Katrina,
               sorry to hear about your duck . Fox's can jump 6 feet quite easy , I know for a fact as I have stood and seen them do it. They can also climb a fence just like we could climb a net on an obstacle course. That's what makes it so hard to keep them out . You no doubt know they can dig very well too. Another thing I have seen one do to get through chicken wire was, bite the wire and then twist and twist and twist till the wire broke, then get it off their face then just walk through the hole. As for poison ... I just lost one of my dogs to what seems like poisoning , from what I can make out , and it is one of the most terrible things you can imagine, to have to hold your dog while it goes through things I don't want to mention . So think carefully before laying any if you have pets. The best thing is to have a chat with someone who has a .22 rifle, a hunter type person . They would sit there for hours waiting for ole foxy to appear, and one quick pop and it is all done ...foxy wouldn't even know what hit him. Other than that , it is just a matter of building a fort knox type copy. You can also get or make fox traps , live catch ones, but then you have to get rid of one very cheesed off foxy, be careful they WILL go for you .Hope that helps a bit and maybe others have better ideas too....cheers Russ.

 

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