This article will show you how to keep foxes away from chickens. Foxes are cute, but they’re also bloodthirsty creatures. They’re drawn to the scent of chickens, especially when they’re nesting. Foxes are clever, territorial animals that have evolved to be sneaky, cunning, and vicious in their pursuit of prey. They are omnivores with a particular fondness for poultry. They prey on chickens primarily because they’re easy to get at, easy to find, and easy food source once you do find them. If you have chickens, then you probably have a fox problem—whether you know it or not. So how do you keep foxes away from your chickens?
Keeping foxes away from chickens is simple, but it’s not always easy. There are several ways that foxes can invade your farm and harm your chickens. And the only way to really stop them is to keep them out of the coop in the first place!
First, identify what kind of fox you’re dealing with. If it’s an arctic fox, give the animal some space. Arctic foxes are generally not aggressive and only prey on chickens when they’re hungry. If it’s a red fox or a gray fox, however, you need to take action immediately. Red and gray foxes are very aggressive and will attack chickens without provocation. They can be identified by their red or gray fur and bushy tails.
How To Keep Foxes Away From Chickens: What To Do.
So what are you supposed to do if a fox happens to come into your chicken-filled yard and decides to make a meal out of your flock? Here’s what you can do:
Don’t leave your chickens unsupervised
Foxes are opportunistic—if you leave your chickens unattended for even a few minutes, a fox could sneak in and take them out one at a time. Of course, you don’t need to watch them all day long, but you should be around enough to notice when something seems off.
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Keep them inside a secure building
The best way to keep foxes away from your chickens is to keep them inside a secure building, such as a hen house at night. By keeping all of your chickens safe in their own secure area, you are protecting them from foxes and their other predators.
If your coop has gaps between boards or holes that are big enough for a fox to fit through, it may not be safe for your chickens. Make sure the doors are solid, and inspect the perimeter of your property regularly to make sure there aren’t any holes or places where foxes can sneak in.
If you do have free range chickens, making sure there is plenty of cover for the hens to hide in should help deter foxes from attacking. The best way to achieve this is by providing shelter and cover for them around the perimeter of the coop. This way, when the fox sees the hens are protected, they will move on and find an easier target.
Use electric fence
Electric fences are really effective if you put them in the right place. You need to put them around the chicken coop and yard because this is where foxes get into your pen. If you have an electric fence it will give off a small shock when touched by any animal other than the ones that live in your yard. This shock scares off foxes because they don’t know what it is or why it’s there and for some reason, foxes don’t like being shocked even though many animals like being shocked by static electricity.
Install wires on the wall
Another thing you can do to protect your flock from fox attacks is by installing wires on top of the wall or fence surrounding your chicken coop. Foxes prefer to attack prey that cannot escape so this will act as an extra deterrent.
Feed foxes far away from chicken coop
Feeding foxes away from where you keep your chickens will also deter them from returning to that location again. By feeding them elsewhere, it will prevent them associating any birds with food and therefore prevent them.
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Place tin cans around the perimeter of the chicken house
Tin cans work very well when placed around the perimeter of the area you wish to protect. You will want to place them on their sides with the openings facing the outside and toward the ground. You can also fill them with water or oil and then freeze them so they become solid, but remember this will make a big mess if placed near your property line or if one should become dislodged.
Scatter mothballs around the property
One way to keep foxes away is to scatter mothballs around the property every 15 feet or so (the scent will be driven down into the ground by rain). Foxes have an aversion to strong smells, so these should help keep them out of your chicken yard.
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Get a herd-trained dog
If you want to protect your chickens, you could get a dog. If you have a dog that has been bred for herdings, such as a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd and you train it, the dog will herd your chickens and keep them together. This is good because it means the chickens will stay together at night so they are easier to find in the morning. It also means that foxes will have difficulty getting close to your flock and they won’t be able to chase the chickens down as they run away.
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Use a Trap:
A simple box or cage like trap can be used to catch a fox. The simplest way is to use a cage trap with a piece of chicken inside. A small hole should be cut at the back of the cage so that the fox can get in but the chicken cannot. Place the cage against a wall or fence where there is evidence of fox activity (i.e., tracks). If there is no wall or fence, then dig a trench around the trap about 18 inches deep and 4 inches wide. This will prevent the fox from digging out when caught. Foxes have learned to look for wire fences to dig under so if there are no fences present then branches should be placed on top of the trench as camouflage.
A very good method for catching foxes is with an ordinary rabbit snare placed over an opening where fox tracks are seen entering and leaving such as an
Make sure that the coop is locked
First, take action to prevent them from getting in. Foxes are surprisingly agile, so install a fence at least six feet high. If you have other animals in the backyard, like dogs or cats, make sure their pens and chicken runs are completely separate to reduce the chance of an animal letting the fox in. Make sure your chicken coop door is sturdy enough to withstand a fox attack and check regularly for holes that might let a fox in.
This method is only effective if you have a really secure door for the chicken coop. If you use a small door or one that isn’t well made, then a fox will be able to get into your chicken coop easily. You can also make sure that you remove any possible entry points for the fox by making sure that there aren’t any holes or cracks in the coop door.
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Sprinkle pepper around the chicken coop
Another way to keep foxes away from chickens is by sprinkling pepper around your chicken coop. Many people believe this will work because the scent of pepper makes them uncomfortable and so they won’t want to come near it. However, as many people point out, this method may not work very well because it does not always deter them completely and sometimes even agitates them more and causes them to attack the chickens more often than before. Chili pepper or ammonia-based sprays that will deter foxes from getting close to your coop.
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Have you ever had a fox sneak into your yard and eat all of your chickens? It’s devastating! Not only do you feel a little bit like you’re living in a fairy tale gone wrong, but you have to go buy more chickens, and then make sure the fox doesn’t come back for another round. But don’t worry! You don’t have to put up with it. Hopefully, this article answered your ‘how to keep foxes away from chickens’ question.