Foxes can be a major problem for homsteaders. We used to allow our chickens completely free range, but once we started losing one or 2 a day we had to put them in a large run instead. Last year we even had a fox family move into our cow pasture- where the ducks love to hang out!
Our ducks still free range most of the day- until their numbers started dropping about one a week. The foxes were getting braver. Even standing on our front walk while I yelled from the deck. We had to start physically chasing them off. That would stop them for a day or two, but we still needed to find a way to get rid of foxes for good.
What You Need to Know About Foxes:
- Foxes are extremely smart. They will watch you and your habits and learn when it is the safest to make an attack on your poultry
- Because they are so intelligent, you are more likely to catch a raccoon or your barn cat in a live trap.
- While foxes do hunt at night most of the time, they will hunt during the day time. This is especially true during winter and when a mother has kits to feed.
- The best way to keep your birds safe while you try to get rid of foxes is to keep them in a secure coop and run.
Then one day we got a tip from an old timer- someone who’s been a farmer and livestock owner for a long time. And here it is:
The #1 Way to Get Rid of Foxes for Good:
And I don’t mean marking your territory around the chicken coop or run. That won’t deter these foxes- though it’s probably a good idea to still do that. What you have do do is search out the actual den and urinate directly into it. This can be quite fun for any young boys you might have at your place. Send them on a fox hunt and let them mark any areas that look like they might be fox dens.
The foxes on our property like to move into old groundhog holes, so we mark all those as well.
Before we started using this tip, we would see foxes all through the day. We would see them on our front walkway and they wouldn’t run even when we came onto the front deck. We had to physically chase them off. We haven’t found all the dens in our area- there are a lot! But we have drastically reduced the amount of foxes we see during the daytime when our birds are out roaming.
Foxes are stubborn, especially in the winter when food is more scarce, so you have to be diligent in searching out any new dens. But foxes are nomadic and if you consistently deter them they will move on to an easier place to hunt.
While you are searching for the fox dens near you, check out these articles on predator proofing and keeping your poultry safe:
Out Foxing the Fox from Back Yard Chickens and Chicken Tractors
Predator Proofing Your Chicken Coop and Run from One Acre Farm
Predator Proofing 101: How to Keep your Chickens Safe Day and Night from Fresh Eggs Daily
Predator Proofing the Chicken Run from Idlewild Alaska
© 2016, Sarah R Toney. All rights reserved.