26 September 2010

Foxes in the Canberra 'burbs?

| Kuku
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Hi Folks,

After losing our chooks to foxes last year (vale Steggles and Ingam), we’ve taken the plunge and bought four new ladies (isa browns). We’ve splurged on a new chook palace (thanks ebay) and are in the process of fortifying the old pen. The kelpie is most impressed that we’ve bought him something to watch…better than (ahem) foxtel.

I’m wondering if anyone has suggestions on out foxing the foxes in the suburbs?


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“Nort Fox”

Ha ha very good!

nicnacvb said :

…turn the chook run into Fort Knox.

..or Nort Fox?

Leaving some meat out “flavoured” with the hottest chilli you can find might discourage them for a while.

While I believe they are generally night hunters. I have read lots of reports (on forums) of foxes hunting lambs and chickens during the day in country areas. So I’m wondering if people have experienced this in the suburbs.

And now we obviously have a fox who knows there are chooks close by is he/she more likely to come around to our place potentially during the day?

nicnacvb said

I have a new question for the fellow chook loving suburbanites. Has anyone had chickens killed during the day in the suburbs?

I don’t think so (although I’m willing to be proven wrong) I always thought they were night hunters.

I had my 3 beautiful Australorps taken by a fox last weekend. So the job this weekend was to turn the chook run into Fort Knox.

We were going to use pavers as flooring for the run but it turned out that would have cost over $500. Yikes! So we bought some fine aviary mesh and have run that along the floor and part way up the fence to make it harder for a fox to push through.

I have a new question for the fellow chook loving suburbanites. Has anyone had chickens killed during the day in the suburbs?

I’m thinking about getting a fox trap and despatching the fox if its likely to come during the day. The chooks are locked up at night and I’m fairly confident that unless the fox has a battering ram he won’t be getting into the pen, but on the weekend the chooks roam the backyard and I don’t want a fox around that knows there is a free chicken buffet available. Thanks in advance.

Oh and I was looking at the “foxlight” but it looks like the flashing light might be fairly annoying to the neighbours. They are supposed to be visible 1km away so perhaps not suitable for suburbia. Anyone with experience feel free to correct me.

Thanks everyone for your help! (And the tip not to wear white trainers in dark in the backyard – thanks Nexus 6)

There was a guy on ABCs The New Inventors that had designed a lamp to scare off foxes… meet “the foxlight“…

Problem: Foxes eating my chooks
Solution: Do not keep chooks

I’ll second the idea of simply laying the mesh on the ground for about 1m on the “outside” of the coop, or paving that same area. You want to make it as difficult for the fox to dig under or jump over the fence as possible. Mesh on the ground is easy to lay, hard to dig through, and is easily concealed by a thin layer of turf.

In my own situation I have chooks in a tractor that moves from one garden bed to another, with the beds paved-around with a few pavers.

Haven’t had a fox desperate enough to try digging under yet, but I’m sure it’ll happen some day.

I used to get followed around lake tuggeranong by a fox on my late night runs in summer. i think i he might have thought my white running shoes were a pair of rabbits hehe.

ConanOfCooma9:00 pm 26 Sep 10

A silencer on a 12 gauge? You’d lose a few decibels, but it would still wake the neighbors up, for sure.

Thanks everyone. A-digging we will go!

Oh and P1 – only if you have night vision goggles and a silencer!

If your coop/pen is anything like my eBay one then buy some sheets of panel mesh (5mm) and lay it flat around the exterior of the coop (peg down with tent pegs) the grass has grown through mine making it easy to mow directly over the top of. I have done this to dig proof the inside of my dog yard as well to great success, no need to bury any wire . I live on acreage near Yass and can hear fox calls every night chooks are fine. Hope this makes sense.

Spot light and a twelve gauge?

Although burying the wire is probably a better option in town.

Bury the bottom of the chicken wire & if they are still a problem you u
can bury a trench of rubble around the edge. Some people have mixed broken glass with the rubble to halt the proceedings of a fox.

Another one is to build a brick wall for 1/2 a metre underground.

Our property backs onto a reserve, and I was worried we’d have trouble with our chickens. So, I dug the chicken wire down about 40cm into the ground when I built the new coop. It’s also covered on the top. A year in, all our chickens are alive and well!

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