Fox attack?

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bantam novice

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Fox attack?
« on: June 18, 2015, 14:56 »
Well this is a sorry tale.  About 10 days ago when it was wet and blustery I lost seventeen hens.  My friend and I  had been out at 1.30 pm to check on them but by 4.30 that afternoon our six sabelpoots and ten of our growing chicks (about eight weeks old) plus their broody mother had disappeared.  There were a few feathers but not as many as you would think and no bodies.  This seems quite unusual for foxes as I thought they usually leave bodies and it seems like a large haul for even a fox family.  Unluckily the electric wire had frayed and the predator had found a way under the electric netting.  Would this be a fox?  Fortunately, we have since repaired the electric fencing and it is now secure.  Horses bolting come to mind! 

So firstly I want to know would this be a fox or some other predator. 

Secondly I want to give a timely warning to check electric fencing and other security measures as I believe this is the most vulnerable time of year with vixens trying to keep their cubs fed.  The results are heartbreaking and devastating.
11 bantams (and counting!) 2 dogs 1 cat

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Mum2mj

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Re: Fox attack?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 15:43 »
Hi I'm sorry what a horrible thing to happen. I've no idea what could take that many unless it was the two legged kind.  Hope you find out

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Mrs Bee

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Re: Fox attack?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 15:50 »
Devastating for you to have lost them all.

This happened to us a couple of months ago. Fence died and we didn't realise. We only lost 2 as OH woke early and spotted the fox.

I think the fox kills all the hens first then comes and collects them one by one and hides them for later  but we often find the bodies before he has had time to collect them all.

From what I have read, I think that it depends what time the attack takes place too. Because if the hens are awake,  they panic and make lots of noise it sends the fox into a frenzy and it kills them all.

Ours were all quite and sleepy at the time and that is why we think the fox only took 2 of the early risers.

Really sorry you lost so many of yours.

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treecol

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Re: Fox attack?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 16:00 »
So sorry to read this. I know how you feel as we had a fox attack this week at about 6am just after I'd let the hens out. Fortunately he didn't take any hens, but the one he attacked died from the shock
It's a real learning curve trying to stay one step ahead of them. We thought it may have been something other than a fox, too, but as he came back the next night, we now know who was the culprit.
hope things go better for you, it's heartbreaking.

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New shoot

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Re: Fox attack?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 17:44 »
Sorry to hear your news Bantam novice.  That's awful to lose so many  :(

It could well have been a fox.  As Mrs Bee says, it would have killed the lot, but 3 hours is plenty of time to come and collect all the bodies to stash.  Whether it was too much food wouldn't have occured to them.  They will take as much as they can given the opportunity :(

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Sassy

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Re: Fox attack?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2015, 08:31 »
Certainly not unusual for a fox to kill all. I have known folk lose over 30 with only a couple of bodies taken. I also wonder about the two-legged predator! Just wonder if there would have been a lot more feathers.   >:( :ohmy:
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!



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