Can I Shoot a Fox That is Killing My Chickens?

A very annoying problem to have; fox attacking and killing chickens. And you’re wondering, Can I shoot a fox that is killing my chickens? Because it sounds fair. If a fox has been edging closer and closer to your coop and is attacking your chickens there are some things that you can do. This article explains what the law says about shooting a fox and what you should do if your chickens are being preyed upon by foxes.

What does the law say about shooting a fox?

If the red fox is on your property, the first thing you should do is call animal control or the police department. You can’t just kill the fox if it’s on public property.

The law gives you the right to kill a red fox that has attacked your chickens as long as it’s not on public property and as long as it’s not in a nature preserve. If a red fox is on public property like a highway or park, then you have no right to shoot it.

The law says that it is legal to shoot foxes if they are causing damage. The law also says that it is illegal to deliberately injure or kill a fox unless it can be shown that you had reasonable grounds for believing the animal was causing damage, or if you were acting in defence of yourself or someone else.

So, what does this mean in practical terms?

If a fox is going into your hen house every night and killing your chickens, then you are allowed to trap or shoot it. You must take care not to cause unnecessary suffering and only shoot the fox with a suitable firearm and from a reasonable distance. If possible, get professional help from an expert (such as your local gamekeeper) who can deal with the problem humanely. If a fox has recently killed one of your hens but is not still present when you discover the dead bird, then you have no right to shoot it because there is no longer any evidence that it was responsible for the death.

If a fox comes into your garden during the day and poses no threat to any animal or person, then you are breaking the law if you shoot it. Foxes are naturally wary of humans and will run away if approached by someone on foot. You must not shoot a fox at close.

Even though you can shoot a fox that has attacked your chickens, it’s not actually easy to do.  Make sure that you get permission from the local authorities so that they can clarify whether killing a fox is within the law.  Get permission in writing before going ahead with any action because otherwise, if an official tells you that shooting a fox is illegal, then you will have no protection from prosecution.

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Can I Shoot a Fox That is Killing My Chickens: What To Do.

If you are keeping chickens, you need to make sure that they are safe. Foxes will prey on chickens and it is important to take action if you find yourself in this situation. A fox is a natural predator of chickens so it is important to take appropriate precautions to protect your flock from attack.

If foxes do show up on your property then there are steps that you can take to try to deter them from your chickens If foxes have been spotted in the area, then it is best to move the chicken coop. The easiest thing that you can do is move the coop about five miles away. The fox may be aware of the chicken coop and could have been frequenting the area to prey on them. If you move the coop around, this might help to deter them.

You also want to make sure that you secure your chicken coop as well as possible. This means that you should have a lock on the door and that there are no gaps in the walls or roof of the coop where a fox could get inside. If you notice that there are foxes in your backyard then there are several things that you can do to try and scare them off of your property including setting off fireworks, throwing objects at them.

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How to Keep Foxes Away From Chicken Coop: Non-Lethal

A fox is a wild animal, so it’s probably illegal to kill it — unless you live in an area where shooting foxes is permitted. In most parts of the United States and Canada, foxes are considered wild animals that can’t be hunted or killed without special permission from the state or province.

Chickens are easy prey for foxes and you can take steps to protect them from predation. Foxes can be destructive predators that eat poultry and other livestock, and they also carry annoying fleas. If you’re a hunter who has been granted a permit to hunt foxes in your area, you might have good reason to kill them.

Where the law does not allow you to kill foxes or any other wild animal but it does allow you to use certain methods to deter a fox from killing your chickens.


Many farmers who raise chickens in predator-prone areas use tethering, which means attaching the chickens to a stake or other secure object so they can’t wander around. This is commonly done with ducks, but it can also work well with chickens.

If you’re going to tether your chickens, follow these steps: Choose an area where predators such as foxes won’t have easy access to the chicken line. Predators tend to go into hiding if they sense humans nearby, so the best place to tether might be a thickly wooded area that’s far from any roads or yards.

Make sure you keep the chicken line away from bushes and trees — even tall ones — because predators can jump up onto branches and jump down on unsuspecting birds.

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Fence in the chicken line with sturdy wire mesh or welded wire.

Keep in mind that predators will dig under fences if they’re desperate enough. You’ll have to do repairs regularly if you use this method. Building a fence around the chicken run that is at least eight feet tall. Install a gate that is made of strong wood or metal. If your gate opens outward, place it at least ten feet from the chicken run.

This prevents the fox from being able to enter the chicken run after climbing over the fence. If your gate opens inward, place it far enough away from the chicken run that it cannot reach inside the enclosure. Foxes are very intelligent and crafty creatures and will try to reach through any opening they can find in order to get at your chickens.

Installing an electric fence around your chicken run that is charged by a battery and solar panel or some other power source. This is not as easy to install as an underground fence, but if you are willing to put in the time and effort required, then this may be the best option for you. Remember that electricity can be dangerous, so make sure to consult with a professional before attempting this on your own.  The most effective deterrent is the use of electric fencing.

A single strand of electric fence wire around your chicken run at a height of 12″ will keep out foxes, rabbits, cats and dogs. You should also use a good quality galvanised mesh as this has smaller holes than standard green plastic coated garden mesh. 

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Secure the Coop

A predator-proof coop is a must if you want to keep your chickens safe, and foxes are no exception. This doesn’t mean that they can’t get into the coop, but it does mean that they will have a very hard time doing so.

A sturdy fence that goes all the way around the enclosure (or as much of it as possible) will help prevent them from jumping over or climbing in. The walls of the coop should be at least six feet tall, if not taller, to discourage them from leaning over or standing on their hind legs in an attempt to get inside.

The door should be strong and heavy, so that it won’t be shifted out of place with a quick nudge from a fox’s nose. If you have any windows, they should be covered with wire mesh and secured tight against the frame to prevent sneaky creatures from getting in through them. You may even want to consider covering up any ventilation holes if you live in an area where foxes are very common. 

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Some of the ways to Keep foxes away with non-lethal methods

1. Eliminate food sources, secure refuse, and block access to potential den sites.

2. Install motion-activated lighting or sprinkler systems to frighten or deter foxes.

3. Scare foxes away with noisemakers, alarms, or other frightening stimuli.

4. Use fencing and barriers to exclude foxes from an area.

5. Keep pets in enclosures with secure roofs so they can’t be preyed upon by foxes.

Knowing what the law says and what your options are in protecting your chickens from a predator can be helpful.


Can I shoot a fox that is killing my chickens? Not until you’ve explored other non-lethal methods. Red foxes can be quite dangerous if they’ve become accustomed to eating eggs and chickens. You have the right to protect your property, especially when you’ve done all that you can – non-lethally.