Are you wondering, How To Keep Foxes Away From Chickens? Here is a quick and easy guide to keeping the foxes at bay!
We all love our feathered companions. We love watching them wandering around their pens or out on the plains and for many of us – we also love the taste of chicken.
The problem is, so do a lot of other animals and foxes are no exception. If you keep chickens, you’ll know the worrying aspects of having to continuously check on them to ensure their safety.
That’s fine, but you can’t stay up on guard 24/7. It’s simply not feasible!
So, what’s the answer? Today, we’re gonna take a look at some ideas of how to keep your feathery friends safe. Here it is: how to keep foxes away from chickens.
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Be Sure It’s Foxes
Before you go nuts and buy fox prevention kits or whatnot, you’ll need to assess if your problem is coming from foxes. It’s no good preventing foxes if you’ve got bigger problems!
So, you’ll need to know the signs of a fox attack. Foxes, although technically canines, hunt like felines. They’re incredibly stealthful, quiet and sly. They’ll use their razor-sharp claws to kill their chosen prey.
If their chosen prey are chickens, you’ll notice certain patterns. Generally, they’ll take one chicken at a time but if they’re within a henhouse – all the chickens are at risk.
Check for the following things:
- One to two chickens are missing
- Free range chickens are vanishing
- The missing chickens are very early morning or late at night
- You see little to no signs of blood
- Feathers being left behind in clumps
You might also notice the chickens left behind have been injured. If you see any of these signs, chances are – you’ve got foxes attacking.
Your Place Is Too Appealing To Foxes
Prevention is the most effective method for keeping your chickens safe against fox attacks. It’s not really a “one size fits all” tactic for keeping foxes away. It’s more about being smarter than the fox will be. So, here are some tips on making your place less attractive to foxes:
- Don’t leave food out in the yard. Scraps are very likely to attract foxes.
- Shut and seal compost heaps.
Consider placing your food scraps in a compost container to avoid foxes rummaging through your food waste!
- If you have any area that gathers water, you’ll need to close it up or take steps to stop water gathering (if it’s in a natural position, e.g. a hole in the ground.) Water sources will attract a fox and other critters.
- Harvest any fruit and vegetables you may have as soon as possible.
- Don’t use any fertilizers that have blood or fish within them. Predators will smell that from miles away.
- Make sure your trash is shut tight. Foxes are scavengers!
Consider A Mobile Coop
One way to keep your chickens safe and moving around is to have a mobile chicken coop. Mobile chicken coops are able to be moved by yourself, giving you the opportunity to move your chickens to better locations throughout the day and giving your yard a rest of permanent fixtures.
At night, when the foxes tend to go on the prowl, it is recommended you move the chickens into a stronghold coop. There are methods to make your coops into safe-havens, like strong mesh wire.
Tactical Chicken Wires
Chicken wire is a fantastic tool in keeping chickens in but foxes are more difficult.
If you’re in the middle of building your place, you will find this easier. Often, people put up chicken wire but forget that foxes – particularly hungry foxes – will dig their way under the wires and get their meal.
The best method in this scenario is to put the chicken wire under the ground too. Consider putting some wire at least six inches under the ground of your bottom wire.
Upgrading Your Chicken Security
Hardware mesh is a fantastic preventative wire from fox attacks. It is designed in such a way that foxes struggle to get to the chickens. It’s at an angle that stops the foxes from finding a way around or under the coop.
It’s worth putting a mesh skirt on the bottom too. This will stop a fox from finding a nearby spot to dig and get to their prey.
Remember, foxes are incredibly intelligent and are even able to knock locks off coops. You’re better off installing multiple locks and making sure they are strong and not easily removed. If you have children, you’ll need to make it kid-proof so they don’t remove the locks!
When you’re considering upgrading any wires or fences, you can’t get any better than electric fences for preventing foxes.
They’re generally inexpensive, easy to put up and easy to source. If any predator, including foxes, touches an electrified fence, they’ll be deterred from trying it again as they’ve remembered the shock of the last attempt.
Remember though, you’ll need to put something under the ground too – just in case the fox still decides to dig underneath the fence.
Visibility Is Hugely Helpful!
Foxes are stealthy. Where they’re in exposed areas, they become uncomfortable and try to find a place to hide. The likelihood is low that they’ll attack in the open so you’ll want to trim any overgrown areas like bushes and trees.
With that, by adding sensory lights – foxes will almost certainly be put off. No predator wants to be illuminated when considering a kill.
Changing Your Place Around
You’ll want to keep a close eye on your chicken coop every day. You might notice certain areas at risk. Ensure that you block any holes that a fox could take advantage of. With any of your chicken protection, it is a wise idea to keep a diary or schedule to stick to. This will ensure routine safety and hygiene checks.
Furry Friends Are Fox Fears
Have you got a dog? You may want to get one! Of course, your chickens might be at risk from the dog so you’ll need to train the dog for a while first.
Having done so, the canine scent deters predators and the dogs will alert you by barking!
We hope this was helpful to you! Good luck with protecting your chickens!