Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Community

Canberra's experts selling valuables
150,000+ buyers nationally

Urban foxes killing backyard chickens in Canberra

By svg 16 September 2011 26

Seems to be quite a spate recently of foxes killing chickens.

We lost two chickens (in the middle of the day) after a few weeks of constant effort by the fox after an unsuccessful attempt.

Neighbours also lost 5 of their chickens (here in Hackett) and others in Ainslie have also mentioned losses.

Sounds like TAMS cannot do much because urban rather than rural.

Would be interested to see who else has had problems.

Apart from the benefits of eggs, scrap eating and garden scratching from chickens they are wonderful (and loved) pets for kids.


What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
26 Responses to
Urban foxes killing backyard chickens in Canberra
Filter
Showing only Website comments
Order
Newest to Oldest
Oldest to Newst
breda 7:44 pm 17 Sep 11

“If the head is still there it was a fox because they are only trying to get out the liver, kidneys and heart.”
—————————————————————————–
I think that graziers who have had sheep and lambs attacked by feral doges will tell you that it is not only foxes that mutilate animals or kill them just for the heck of it. And, it has nothing to do with seeing chooks as toys. Toys are a human concept – to animals they are just things, whether alive or dead.

Funky Claude 6:16 pm 17 Sep 11

Jordo said :

Interesting fact a mate told me last night, if you’re wondering if your chickens were killed by your dog or a fox you can tell by how it was killed.

If the head is still there it was a fox because they are only trying to get out the liver, kidneys and heart.

If the head is taken off first it was your dog because they see chickens as a toy and instinct tells them to go for the head first.

This might be common chicken folk knowledge but I was impressed for leaning this new fact.

Might be just a myth that one. I have seen quite a few chooks after both fox and dog attack, and in my opinion, a missing head it is not a reliable indicator of the culprit. I am happy to be proved wrong however, I may have been missing something. Interestingly chicken heads have been used as bait deliver 1080.

Ben_Dover 12:28 pm 17 Sep 11

gp said :

I made an inquiry last year to the powers that be regarding the use of bait in/from my backyard…. Imagine the storm of e-mails from 3 different departments advising me of my legal rights if I went ahead with any baiting!

Foxes have rights!

gp 10:06 am 17 Sep 11

We lost our flock of 6 hens last year about this time. The new flock are locked up at night and in a pretty good enclosure during the day. My young daughters know that if the fox comes back, there is little we can do.

I made an inquiry last year to the powers that be regarding the use of bait in/from my backyard…. Imagine the storm of e-mails from 3 different departments advising me of my legal rights if I went ahead with any baiting! One of the groups was nice enough to explain about the ways that foxes cache their prey and the possibility of other animals accessing the cache. I live at the base of Mt Taylor and we see foxes right down into Kambah regularly, day and night. Sods.

Ben_Dover 9:54 am 17 Sep 11

Postalgeek said :

puggle said :

The ranger did mention that there a lot of foxes around, and that some people feed them…..

Chook owners, for a start.

Damn near wet myself at that one! Gold!!

Thumper 9:46 am 17 Sep 11

Jordo said :

Interesting fact a mate told me last night, if you’re wondering if your chickens were killed by your dog or a fox you can tell by how it was killed.

If the head is still there it was a fox because they are only trying to get out the liver, kidneys and heart.

If the head is taken off first it was your dog because they see chickens as a toy and instinct tells them to go for the head first.

This might be common chicken folk knowledge but I was impressed for leaning this new fact.

Nope. A fox will knock off their heads just for the fun of it as well.

Jordo 8:09 am 17 Sep 11

Interesting fact a mate told me last night, if you’re wondering if your chickens were killed by your dog or a fox you can tell by how it was killed.

If the head is still there it was a fox because they are only trying to get out the liver, kidneys and heart.

If the head is taken off first it was your dog because they see chickens as a toy and instinct tells them to go for the head first.

This might be common chicken folk knowledge but I was impressed for leaning this new fact.

Walker 11:12 pm 16 Sep 11

I bet I saw the very culprit.

A hundred metres from majura primary late one insomniac night, roughly two weeks ago. I couldn’t say if it was before the kill (scoping out) or after (where’s the rest gone?). I’m going to guess the latter.

It was completely fearless and slightly larger than I’d expect (I haven’t seen one for some time). It even approached me for a moment, at ten metres or so.

I had to purposely startle it to get it going back up Irvine street. It didn’t hurry. That thing seems quite at home, I’m afraid.

Watson 7:35 pm 16 Sep 11

All (or most?) of the chickens at Majura Primary school in Watson were killed by a fox/es a couple of weeks ago.

AAMC 3:54 pm 16 Sep 11

There are allot of foxes around and the recent rains and improved food supplies will only increase their numbers.
NSW Game Council has reported that in the 2009-10 financial year 66,540 foxes were taken by their licensees in NSW alone. This is almost totally from rural areas where (I assume) the population density of Foxes is lower due to the more dispersed availability of food.

I too have chickens, Belconnen near William hovel drive, and have never seen a fox near my yard……could be my Great Dane? Little does foxy know that he wouldn’t even get off his couch?

Thumper 3:37 pm 16 Sep 11

Postalgeek said :

puggle said :

The ranger did mention that there a lot of foxes around, and that some people feed them…..

Chook owners, for a start.

hehehe….

markconley 3:18 pm 16 Sep 11

I have 4 birds (poultry) locked up for 24/7 on deep litter. No smell as the birds continuously turn the litter / droppings over, in 6 to 12 months you’ve got great garden fertiliser, Mark

Bells 3:17 pm 16 Sep 11

EvanJames said :

If geese can be murdered by foxes, chooks would have no chance. It’s a shame. Was a time when neighbours’ dogs were the main thing we had to worry about with our free-ranging ducks and chooks. Provided their shed door was latched at night, they were fine.

the fact that our three neighbours all have dogs is something we’ve hoped was in our favour. The big alsation next door is particularly loud – we continue to hope that scares off any visiting foxes. But like I said, ours never free range unsupervised. It’s just not worth the risk, but neither are they tightly locked up all day.

EvanJames 3:11 pm 16 Sep 11

The people down the hill from me have geese. When they first moved in, they had craploads of them. They get locked into a little run every night. but over the months, the flock dwindled til just one remained. They have a few more now, but the geese get to wander during the day (they visit my place from time to time), and evidently something’s been picking them off.

If geese can be murdered by foxes, chooks would have no chance. It’s a shame. Was a time when neighbours’ dogs were the main thing we had to worry about with our free-ranging ducks and chooks. Provided their shed door was latched at night, they were fine.

Postalgeek 3:08 pm 16 Sep 11

puggle said :

The ranger did mention that there a lot of foxes around, and that some people feed them…..

Chook owners, for a start.

G-Fresh 3:03 pm 16 Sep 11

Egads. This is nothing new. I remember foxes killing my families chickens more than 15 years ago in a canberra backyard.

Bells 2:29 pm 16 Sep 11

Ours are locked into a commercially made coop (just a bunnings variety) at night and have a 1.8m wire enclosure during the day. Sure, it’s bare, but we keep them well fed in grass, vegetables and other chicken food with plenty to scratch around in during the day.

They get 30-45 mins of free ranging time every evening (now that the days are getting longer) and they’re supervised for this time. We let them out for longer on the weekends, always supervised.

It does worry me that chickens have been taken during the day. Our enclosure is relatively sucure but it doesn’t have wire on the top. But at 1.8m a fox couldn’t scale it. The gate is probably the weakest point.

I’m just not prepared to have them locked in the coop all day – there’s no chance for them to dust bathe and I’m sure it’s not hygenic. I take the risk – the enclosure is a reasonable compromise.

troll-sniffer 2:04 pm 16 Sep 11

EvanJames said :

I woudln’t like to have them locked in a pen all the time… it’d get pretty smelly and bare.

Country chook runs have always been like that in my experience, unless there are other factors to keep foxes away.

I’ve seen some very nice chook pens in suburban yards where it was normal for the birds to be locked in almost 24/7. Most were of a reasonable size, as in the whole back fence by 1 1/2 to 2m wide, with substantial wire dug in to 50cm and across the top. A few had two halves, where chooks were given one half to scratch around in during the day then moved to the roosting half at night. Another one had two fully functional halves and the birds were rotated between them at varying intervals.

You can’t scrimp and cut corners if you want safe chooks, particularly in an urban environment. A relly of mine decided he wanted fresh eggs so he spent an entire weekend buying materials and constructing a rudimentary chook pen, not dug in properly, open to the sky, and if I remember rightly it took just 48 hours for all five newly-purchased birds to meet their fate.

Thumper 1:50 pm 16 Sep 11

He isn’t even scary, as a spoodle he looks more like a cast member of the muppets. However, he seems to do the trick.

My dog is old, I mean, really old, deaf, blind and was a cast member of the muppets.

No foxes at my place.

Then again, there’s not many elephants or tigers either.

But seriously, make them a huge, completely enclosed cage. That’s what I have and i’ve never had a problem with foxes.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2019 Region Group Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
the-riotact.com | aboutregional.com.au | b2bmagazine.com.au | thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site