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Author Topic: Fox proofing for our chickens  (Read 62489 times)

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pushrod

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2008, 18:54 »
If you are using electric fencing you might get hedgehogs caught in it. They just curl onto the fence and will die unless quickly freed. You can reduce the chance of this by putting 6"X1" planks vertically along the base. You can also reduce the grass growing against the fence problem by putting a 30mm wide damproof course on the grass first and pushing your net posts through it.
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andreadon

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2009, 13:59 »
The extension to our chicken run is in the corner; which means that two sides are brick wall (one side is the chicken house and the other is an eight foot high wall).  We dug out the bottom 2 feet with a mini digger (oh! the fun we had!!) and lined the entire hole, including the brick-wall-sides (and an overlap on the exposed sides), with two layers of scrounged chicken wire (because we've been told that chicken wire is too flimsy for foxes), all overlapped and joined together.
We have filled the hole back in with rubble and the soil that came out.
the next stage will be to make a small trench around the edges (where the overlap wire is) which we will fill with concrete, in which the posts will go.
The base of the run will be 2"x2" right round the edge, on the concrete (all four sides) and then we're building the whole thing up with a frame of 2"x2" which will be covered in 19gauge 1sqcm mesh (up the exposed sides and the roof - we don't need to do the wall sides)
It'll be like fort knox!

peanut

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2009, 11:15 »
If electric fencing isn't an option - the L shaped skirted bottom is ideal, but if you can combine with digging in, all the better.

Basically, a fox will dig at the bottom of a fence - if you have a strong wire mesh skirt of at least 10" in depth, the fox will continue trying to dig at the base of the actual upright fence, thus rendering his/her digging a complete waste of time and resulting in very sore paws.

Although clever animals, they can't work out skirts.  I've had mine for 3 years now and no problems, although I have seen foxes in the area.
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Roughlee Handled

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2009, 16:22 »
Can I just say that electrified netting may work with your "local" fox but as foxes are individuals each can act very different.  My local fox understands my fence so well that he/she is able to enter and exit with ease.  The only way possible is over.  I have one chicken left after this morning between 9 and 10 am (the girls where alive at 8am).  I am now having to give up chicken keeping till I can build a permanent run.  I have given my only chicken left to a local chicken keeper as I can not keep her secure till I have built a run.    I lost two chickens three weeks ago and today I lost five.
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Roughlee Handled

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2009, 13:29 »
Quote from: "poultrygeist"
.................. Also either bury 9-12" in the ground or run a 'skirt' around the bottom. ...................


What size would your skirt be in inches and this time I am not being funny. You mention that you would bury 9-12 inches down.  Should I put 9-12 inches in a skirt?

poultrygeist

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2009, 14:22 »
Sorry to hear about your attack.
I have a skirt about 9" with 12" slabs on top.
This, I think, would deter a fox from digging under, btu doesn't stop rats.

If I did it again, I would go for 9" buried (weldmesh) with slabs around the outside as a skirt.

Forces them back from the fence and if they do try to dig, they're stopped in their tracks. Needs to be 13x25mm mesh to stop rats but for foxes just a 1mm (19g) mesh).

The best places to look for advice are the fox monitoring websites such as Bristol Fox Group. They dispel a lot of myths and give practical information.

Rob

Clodbuster

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2009, 14:57 »
Quote from: "Roughlee Handled"
My local fox understands my fence so well that he/she is able to enter and exit with ease.  The only way possible is over.


May I suggest you make sure your net is running at 6000v. The only correct way is with a tester but touching it with the back of the hand and if it hurts bad it should be OK. The best solution will be to place some bait on the live wire. There are some proprietary Bait Caps but wrapping a few strips of bacon or intestines around the net strands so he has to use his tongue to get it off. The tongue is highly enervated and sensitive and I promise he will not jump over again.   :twisted:  Buy you a beer if he does.

Roughlee Handled

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2009, 15:13 »
I can guarantee you that my fence is running at 9000v. I have a tester.  I will not be using the eletric fence again for chickens again.  I do not trust it and will not trust it again. Not even for a beer.

Roughlee Handled

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2009, 17:27 »
Quote from: "Clodbuster"
As you wish, here's a link to a trial done protecting chooks from foxes.

http://electricfencing.blogspot.com/2008/11/using-electric-fence-to-protect-poultry.html


Very interesting. But as I stated " foxes are individuals each can act very different. "  My local fox has jumped over a 105cm electrified poultry fence in broad day light.
Therefore I can not trust the electric fence.  It has been in place for 5 months. Lots of time for the fox to test it and longer than the trial.  I could shoot the fox but there will only be another fox that may also have the same knowledge.  For me I will only have peace of mind when I have built a run with a high fence.

Clodbuster

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Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2009, 15:46 »
I'm not sure but the fox may have developed the technique of jumping over a fence before the electric net was installed? This technique is evident with Springbok and Impala from South Africa and Deer here. As a whole they do not test an obstacle but will simply jump it. As a result EF was considered in-effective for that type of animal until fairly recently and this is where baiting was developed to draw the animal onto the fence and so educate it, once educated their pattern alters totally and respect for the fence ensues.  

It's a pity you've decided to remove the EF, I'd have loved to have seen if it worked.

pushrod

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Re: Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2009, 11:11 »
I lost a chicken this morning to a fox as i accidentally forgot to reset my electric fence last night   >:(  I must admit that i have occasionally forgot to do this before but i suspect the snow on it may have made him investigate again. My cockerel sleeps outside and surprisingly he survived. The fox managed to take the roof off my small house and take a buff orpington but she is such a big bird that he wasn't able to get away with her. One bird was still in the house and another had got over the fence herself and somehow managed to survive outside.

Obviously my fault but the worrying thing that with some degree of success the fox will be back- think i will be putting a little scrap of bacon around the wire.

the hen just had her neck broken and no other apparent damage - so looks like a winter chicken soup with the last of the leeks and carrots for tea!

shiatsusu

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Re: Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2009, 11:50 »
We built our run a fortnight ago in prep for the girls arrival using chicken wire dug into and under the fence. So far no fox problems but our pup managed to chew a hole in it trying to get to a bread roll. Has anyone any experience of foxes gnawing through wire? I'm now worried!

poultrygeist

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Re: Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #27 on: February 05, 2009, 11:54 »
If you scroll up a few to my previous post Shiatsusu, you can see the minimum spec of the wire mesh needed for fox proofing.
I'm afraid chicken wire (hex) is only designed for keeping chickens in and not for keeping any predators out. You need proper square welded mesh with a minimum 1mm (19g) thickness. It is more expensive but chicken wire offers no protection whatsoever.

Rob 8)

shiatsusu

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Re: Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #28 on: February 05, 2009, 12:14 »
Thanks Rob- I'll talk to other half and sort that out

drumcrow

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Re: Fox proofing for our chickens
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2009, 20:17 »
here is two little ideas i use and so far i still have all my hens :) :) the first one is to get human hair and stuff it in to ladys tights and put it around the boundary of were you keep your chickens... the second one is get your hubby or any one MALE to pee yes pee in to a bottle and spray it again arond the boundary of were you keep your chickens. hope this helps in some way. :)
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