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Watch out for Mr Fox

(11 posts)

  1. Christinao
    Member

    Dear All,

    I know that I'm probably stating the really obvious but just a warning to be on the look out for foxes.

    My friend, who lent me all the equipment to incubate and hatch my eggs, had her 2 lovely ducks killed by a fox last night. She is absolutely distraught. Her son came out to put them away, a little later than usual (haven't we all done that?) to find that the fox had got them.

    Apparently, particularly at this time of year, foxes will come out earlier than normal as they may be looking for food to feed their young. It has really upset me as I'd seen them hatch and watched them grow. They were the reason I decided to have a go at hatching my own ducklings. It seems such a waste of life :(

    Christina

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. frugalp
    Member

    Hello there. That is truly horrible. I am so sorry for your friend - I know how she feels. We lost one of our hens three weeks' ago after a fox broke into our supposedly fox-proof eglu. He is a huge and has been terrorising the neighbourhood over the past few weeks - also carrying away a neighbour's duck and visiting during the day. It turned out that some of the ratchets on the run door were a bit worn and it was no problem at all for him to get in.

    We only had one hen left after the attack, so we had to get another two to reestablish the pecking order. We got two new lovely girls. They'd been with us barely a week before the fox returned and got one of them. I'd let them out for a bit at lunchtime and had been watching them like a hawk. I was away from the back garden no more than 30 seconds to go to the toilet but that was enough. He must have been lying in wait. We were absolutely gutted as our girls are primarily pets.

    Now we have secured the eglu and made it like a fortress and we're not letting our hens out at all unless both of us are in the garden and standing over them. The fox is so quick and unafraid of humans that we just can't take the risk a third time. We looked into getting a pest control guy round to deal with the fox, but costing around £200 for a trap to be set and then the fox taken away is prohibitive, especially when another will just come and take his place. It's hard to know what to do for the best.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. leanne
    Member

    We too lost two of our runner ducks in one night to a fox. You don't realise how attached you have become - especially as we hand reared them from ducklings. I think they were protecting our female duck as she managed to escape to the next garden and was unharmed, although became very agitated at losing her companions. We have since got her a new female runner friend but it is taking a while to adjust and we won't let either of them out without one of us being near. It's a shame as they loved to have free run of the garden for a few hours every day.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Oh dear, thanks for the warnings! We have only ever seen one or two foxes round here so have become complacent. We will make sure the ducks are put away by dark as fox cubs will be born in march and as you say, they will need to find extra food.......
    Wish they would take more of the rabbits that dig up the garden and eat my plants!

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. Lorna
    Member

    Hi All

    So sorry to hear about the fox kills. I know too what it is like. I am always a bit scared as well. Someone told me today he smelt the evidence of foxes, not far from me.
    I let the ducks out during the day and I am scared of them being took.

    Thanks for the warning. It pays to be really vigilant. I am not able to afford high fencing and I could not put it up myself either. I think I lost my big drake last year to the fox.

    Best Wishes

    Lorna

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. quax
    Member

    This is awful, apparently (according to our neighbour) there are foxes in the area but I've yet to see one. Our ducks are out all day on their own as we both work. I usually get home at about 3.30-4pm and they are always pleased to see me (probably cos they're hungry!). Our ducks go into their house on their own when it gets dark, but I may put them in a bit earlier during March, if that's when the foxes need the extra food. Sorry to hear about all the killings, I will have to keep my fingers crossed.
    Rachel

    Rachel
    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. sallie
    Member

    Hi All,

    Invest in some electric fencing. Easy to put up and foxes hate it. You will need to put it near the ground so they can't get under it and take it quite high (5ft)with the wire about 9 inches apart so they wont jump it but it is a fairly cheap option plus you can move it about as you need to. We use Shrike units to power our fences. They cost about £80 and run on D batteries so no charging car batteries. Stakes can be bought at your local Scats or Countrywide store and so can the wire. You can get poultry netting which seems to work. I have a friend who keeps lots of chickens right next to Ashdown forest and she doesn't have problems with fox raids. So sorry you are all having raids. Renadine might help, foxes are not supposed to like the smell of it (bit pongy but I don't find it too revolting). Again you local country store should have it.

    Fingers crossed your livestock survives. PS you can always buy a fox trap (for less than £200).

    Best wishes.

    Sallie.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    yes, fox traps spotted on ebay for £49.99

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. Hi all,

    I lost 6 guinea fowl to foxes last Summer as the fields close to the farm had crops growing in them. the foxes came at different times of the day and even came into the garden once to get a guinea fowl. It means I have to put the guinea fowl away alot earlier than they would like to go in but they do get into a routine.

    Just read this article about 3 hens and a cockerel killing a fox http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1254900/Revenge-chicken-Three-hens-cockerel-named-Dude-peck-fox-death-broken-coop.html
    You can't help but feel sorry for the fox - it certainly picked on the wrong gang of hens!

    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. campbell ridge
    Administrator

    Hi all, for the first time in x number of years we have had a fox in the garden. It was in the evening when duckies were safely away. But we now put them away earlier just in case.
    Sarah.

    Sarah L
    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. Hi all,

    My friend Izzy has told me about a good tip for keeping the fox away.

    "A wee tip! Put a battery operated radio under a bucket and keep it on and the foxes will stay away because they think someone else is there - or depending what station you leave it on, will think it's bad taste!!! (According to my father-in-law!) It's worked for me so far! x"

    Hope it does work!
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfirends

    Posted 9 years ago #

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