Fox Attack - HELP!

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chickenlittle80

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Fox Attack - HELP!
« on: June 16, 2016, 11:53 »
My family and I are new to chicken keeping (6weeks). Until this morning we had 6 beautiful girls who are largely kept in a 8m x 3m run which I thought was pretty well secured. A fox climbed a 2m corner post this morning, over the barb wire and clawed through the netting to have a run about with the hens.

My wife heard the commotion and ran into the garden (6:15am) and opened the door to the run to allow the chickens in to the garden and to chase out the fox. One of hens had clearly been targeted though had no bit marks or blood. It died about 20 minutes later after clearly struggling to breathe. Suffice to say I had 3 very upset children this morning as these have become our pets.

I have 3 questions...
1) would the chicken have died of shock?
2) How can I make a secure roof over such a large area (image of the run https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B0W3WGrt_6hQa0RfRUdDRmVRWVE)
3) Can anyone reccomend decent fox deterrent products? I've heard urine can work. Anyone experienced this?

It is fair to say the the whole enclosure is rustic, and was done on a budget but It 'did' feel relatively secure :-(
« Last Edit: June 16, 2016, 11:57 by chickenlittle80 »

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Mum2mj

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2016, 12:58 »
Sorry for your loss foxes are horrible and ruthless. It could have been a heart attack or
Internal injuries that you couldn't see.  To be honest I'm not sure the sides are that secure either. Weld mesh panels are your best bet for sides and roof as they can't get through this (neither can rats)
Foxes managed to attack my ducks through the supposedly predator proof eglu (tore their legs off through a tiny gap in the back...)
 Now the foxes have got in they'll be back looking for more ways of getting in.
My chickens are kept on concrete with a weldmesh run and I've never had a fox able to get ins I use wood chips on the floor.  Male urine can help deter but definitely doesn't stop them.

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snow white

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2016, 15:46 »
Electric shock therapy.  As you have kiddies, you can put the wire at the top or near the top of the fence.

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grinling

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2016, 19:56 »
Your wire looks like a mixture and is it secondhand as there are different thickness's of mesh available.
I would suggest double wire it into the ground. Have you got a builders merchant or food stockist to get 50m of wire. Overlap wire as well.
The fox will be back so bring the hens inside or a garage or a shed.
We have corrogated roof on ours to keep  it dry, but a loose wired mesh should work as foxes don't normally climb on bendy wire, but can climb rigid wire easily.
Foxes can also dig in so any mesh needs to be L shape at least 2 spades depth and 2 foot out. Does not look like it is.
As you have realised, do not free range unless present.
Keep an eye on the other hens as they can succomb to shock later.

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Sassy

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2016, 10:22 »
Agree re weldmesh. Use electrified wire and put it at a 45 degree angle to the outside top of the run. Even ordinary wire should help esp in the short term.  :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

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chickenlittle80

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 13:34 »
HI All
Thank you for your responses... The original inclosure was a mixture of bits that I had begged and borrowed and purchased. I have upgraded on Friday to the top half being welded mesh (16 guage) with an almighty tangle of barbed wire at the top. I have a curtain around the bottom, though get the impression that the fox will get them if he tries hard enough. I'm away for a week but on my return will be adding further barbed wire around the top at 45 degrees to the posts. From what I can gather from my wife (who chased away the fox) it took him several attempts to get out of the cage over my original barbed wire perimeter, so hopefully that expereince will have put him off a little.
Here's to a fox free week :-)

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grinling

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2016, 14:46 »
If the wire is not embedded in the ground the fox will dig under it.

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chickenlittle80

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 08:00 »
If the wire is not embedded in the ground the fox will dig under it.

Thanks - i'm slightly worried about this, but equally when we built the enclosure there were very few places we could dig down as the run is surrounded by 70 year old beach trees and it is roots galore below the surface! I think we've done as much as we can, although I did read somewhere that foxes don't have the initiative to keep working back until they find the edge of the wire to dig from... It'll be a waiting game now! All 5 hens present and alive this morning!!!

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Sassy

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Re: Fox Attack - HELP!
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 18:04 »
Foxes do not consider how they are going to get out only how to get in, once in the damage is done unfortunately :)



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