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Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Tue May 26, 15 4:53 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    


I have lots of theories, my favourite is that it walked up to a farmer with a gun.

Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 15 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Turns out it was just waiting for me to go away for the day . . .

It didn't get anything but it was close, and the red silkie cockerel has teeth marks and a nasty subcutaneous bleed on his neck.
The worst thing is, I'm not sure this is the same one, it's lighter, and has a bit bigger white tip to it's tail. If it is a different one, that makes three tame foxes this year . . . I hadn't seen any for 5 or 6 years.
Maybe I should phone the rspca

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 15 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Did Jim pop over?

Ibthink people feeding foxes and badgers is quite an issue really.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6495
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 15 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I feel your pain. 10 days ago we had our first predator in 10 years. Took 2 Light Sussex and a Buff orp - big girls. method - pull through fence (sheep fencing - bottom space).
Now we didnt see anything and there wasnt a huge commotion, and we could see the feathers, so assumed mink or polecat as if it were a fiox wouldnt it just jump the 4 ft fence with the bird in its mouth?

So fox watch (with gun) for a week - nothing. Even had wildlife cams up - nothing.
So - happened again 3 days ago - big LS cockerel. This time I heard a bit of commotion. This was 8.30 3 nights back. ran to the field - cock half pulled through bottom space of sheep fence again, head and neck totally ripped off. You could see right into the cavity.
Still we havnt seen anything, but it MUst be a fox surely to take something this big and strong.

Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 15 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

tahir wrote:
Did Jim pop over?

Ibthink people feeding foxes and badgers is quite an issue really.
No, not yet. I had said not to bother, when the last one stopped coming, but, as there's more of them, he might as well come and see what the chances are that he can help when the next one comes.

The more I think about it the more I'm sure this is a new one. I reckon I've just been lucky for the last few years, and that it's nothing to do with the leccy fence that I've not 'lost' any chickens since I set it up.

I don't think it's feeding per se that's the problem. A neighbour regularly puts food out for them, but makes no attempt to tame them. I'm pretty sure she doesn't even go outside to watch them, but just watches them from her dining room window. I'm 99% sure it's not 'her' foxes that are the problem. If they were, then I'd've been having constant problems, or at least regularly at cubbing time, right from the start of keeping chickens. I reckon it's townies trying to get the 'cute little b. . . easts' to come closer.
I'm wondering about getting the press to run a story on what happens to tamed urban foxes . . . just need to get a dead one first

In the meantime, any suggestions on making 1/4 acre fox proof without breaking the bank? (That includes 6ft fences ) Hawthorn looks like it will eventually be effective, but it's taken several years so far and looks like it needs another year to be thick enough to lay. I'm wondering about rosa rugosa, gooseberry, or properly trained brambles?

eta or hints and tips on making traps

Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 15 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:
I feel your pain. 10 days ago we had our first predator in 10 years. Took 2 Light Sussex and a Buff orp - big girls. method - pull through fence (sheep fencing - bottom space).
Now we didnt see anything and there wasnt a huge commotion, and we could see the feathers, so assumed mink or polecat as if it were a fiox wouldnt it just jump the 4 ft fence with the bird in its mouth?

So fox watch (with gun) for a week - nothing. Even had wildlife cams up - nothing.
So - happened again 3 days ago - big LS cockerel. This time I heard a bit of commotion. This was 8.30 3 nights back. ran to the field - cock half pulled through bottom space of sheep fence again, head and neck totally ripped off. You could see right into the cavity.
Still we havnt seen anything, but it MUst be a fox surely to take something this big and strong.


Badger?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 34295
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 15 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

as foxey is quite happy in sharp and spiney plants but dislikes open places a fence and low (or no) vegetation might be a cunning plan for a perimeter

low (kept between 20 to 50cm by clipping) but dense and tangled gorse in a broad strip is quite a barrier but it does need clipping quite a couple of times a year and how wide (ie effective) depends on the reach of the tools you have.

Woodburner



Joined: 28 Apr 2006
Posts: 2904
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 15 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
as foxey is quite happy in sharp and spiney plants but dislikes open places a fence and low (or no) vegetation might be a cunning plan for a perimeter

low (kept between 20 to 50cm by clipping) but dense and tangled gorse in a broad strip is quite a barrier but it does need clipping quite a couple of times a year and how wide (ie effective) depends on the reach of the tools you have.

These beasts are fearless. Perhaps a truly wide open space might give them agoraphobia, but even though the neighbouring gardens are predominantly mown grass, and only have skimpy wire fences, the general effect of the surrounding area is that of open woodland.

I think density and viciousness of the prickles is the key thing. They may be happy to make a lair underneath the shelter of a bramble thicket, but pushing through a netted mass would hopefully be a different matter. We spend quite a lot of time keeping the electric maintained/clear, so hedge maintenance would not be so different. Keeping brambles properly makes picking easier too. The biggest problem will be accessing 'the other side' for good maintenence, without significantly reducing the area for the chooks, but then again, it's got to be better than keeping them in runs.

I'm wondering if clearing away a lot of the neighbours overgrown brambles, (so I could access the ditch and remains of overgrown hedge that is our responsibility) is giving too easy access . . . I think I'll move the remaining pile of cut stuff back to where it was cut from, and simply keep the (now vigourously regrowing) brambles from recolonising the ditch. I'll plant the long side with RR and gooseberries and the house end with brambles.

Man with a gun is here now, and agrees about where they're getting in and where they're coming from. Is there a 'kicking itself smiley' anywhere?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44144
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 15 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Muntjac are becoming much more tame round here

Mutton



Joined: 09 May 2009
Posts: 1508

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 15 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lorrainelovesplants wrote:
I feel your pain. 10 days ago we had our first predator in 10 years. Took 2 Light Sussex and a Buff orp - big girls. method - pull through fence (sheep fencing - bottom space).
Now we didnt see anything and there wasnt a huge commotion, and we could see the feathers, so assumed mink or polecat as if it were a fiox wouldnt it just jump the 4 ft fence with the bird in its mouth?

So fox watch (with gun) for a week - nothing. Even had wildlife cams up - nothing.
So - happened again 3 days ago - big LS cockerel. This time I heard a bit of commotion. This was 8.30 3 nights back. ran to the field - cock half pulled through bottom space of sheep fence again, head and neck totally ripped off. You could see right into the cavity.
Still we havnt seen anything, but it MUst be a fox surely to take something this big and strong.


We had that happen earlier in the year. I was told stoat. That they are incredibly strong for their size. Bird pulled to stocknetting, jammed in headfirst, then head chewed off. Our chicken are a bit smaller than light sussex though.

In terms of jumping fences with bird in its mouth, not necessarily. We had fox trouble some years back (definitely fox, we saw it) and on the first pass it pushed under the stocknetting with the duck in its mouth. We did a load of stone filling in of dips and made the bottom of the fence good. The fox came back a week later, killed a second duck, but dropped it at the fence where it could no longer go through.

Make really, really sure that something the size of a stoat can't get in your hen house. Ours are in an outbuilding and we had the head chewed off one in the nest box, in the night a while back. We then made really, really sure there was nothing anything could climb leaning against the walls inside or out and it hasn't happened again.

Lorrainelovesplants



Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Posts: 6495
Location: Dordogne
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 15 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Never had anything try and get in the houses, and the ventilation is covered with weldmesh not chickenwire. Its the first time in 10 years we have lost anything apart from neighbours dogs(made for great neighbour relations that did!) and a badger ripping off the back of an ark in the front garden to get at growers.

We have had live traps out for 10 days now and nothing. baited with eggs and a bit of chicken - not a sniff.......

misty07



Joined: 22 Jan 2010
Posts: 2217
Location: swindon wiltshire
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 15 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My ferrets got out few months back and killed the only two of the laying flock a bluebelle and Lf light Sussex it was only my hob and killed the bird's with ease I nearly shot him there and then but he is soooo good and tame my 3yr old daughter can handle him well. So he had luck on his side got a fox atm haunting the area got tin road signs around the garden hidden so just use the air rifle to make a bang from the bedroom window.

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