With the harsh weather, a reminder

An area for discussion of problems with pests and predators. WARNING: People are discussing problems with predators, that includes things such as fox and bird of prey attack. Such posts may not be nice viewing, but are acceptable.

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drfish
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With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by drfish » 14 Jan 2013, 17:12

Just a heads up regarding the bleak spell of weather we are having currently. Mr Fox is on the prowl (or Mrs, for the equality minded amongst us)

We hardly ever see day-walkers where I live, despite it being quite mixed between urban and rural, but the missus has let me know that Mr Fox paid a visit around 1pm today, fortunately via our front garden (the girls are out back). It jumped onto ours from next door, and strolled brazenly over the garden, jumped the fence, and casually walked off up the street. The missus sent the Staffie after it, just to make sure, and it beat a hasty retreat into the fields behind our street.

Little lesson to be learnt though, especially amongst free-rangers. It's the point where old foxy will be getting desperate and prepared to take a gamble. Make sure you keep em peeled and have a shovel ready to instil some level of threat.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by darkbrowneggs » 14 Jan 2013, 17:27

I wonder as well if it is because it is the mating time for them and the dog foxes are more likely to be about looking for likely vixens?
To follow my travel journal see www.thebusphoebeandme.us For lots of info on keeping and breeding Marans see www.darkbrowneggs.info

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by Henwife » 14 Jan 2013, 19:49

I found fox prints in the run this morning when I went to let the birds out. Unfortunately not enough lying snow to see how he got in, but he inspected every pop-hole. Tonight the fence is on fast........and another battery on charge.
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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by drfish » 15 Jan 2013, 11:01

Looks like it had been across the top of the coop this morning, they certainly weren't cat paw prints. Doesn't seem to have made any effort to get into the inner pen though, and no prints near the rear door to the coop.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by brooksidepoultry » 20 Jan 2013, 16:04

It's a shame I'm not allowed to swear but mr & mrs fox will be soon enjoying a taste of lead bullets by us!!!! :angryfire: :angryfire: :angryfire: The damn things have been TWICE in one week! 1st got in the hen house 4 hens died of shock & I'm sure it took one that's before the snow! Now another came in broad daylight - I thought it had my turkey stag which thank god it hasn't :grin: :grin: :cheers: & the geese & ducks remain untouched :grin: but it took a load more hens when they were free ranging & there were tracks all over the place & 1 of my poor little bantam cocks was so distraught the others pecked him to death! :shock: :crybaby:

So the others are all now locked in the goose & turkey sheds until the fox problem has been resolved - BUT MR FOX THIS MEANS WAR!!! :angryfire:
A country lass who loves it all x.

Pekinmum

Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by Pekinmum » 20 Jan 2013, 16:41

The other night I woke up worried about the chooks, it was 1am and snowing! I pulled my wellies on and a coat, let the dogs out, and there it was, Charlie boy. It soon ran off, but it had been around the coop. Then yesterday, fresh tracks, during the day. Ive never seen one out during the day in our area, we have too many dogs out, children playing, but with the snow people aren't out in the gardens. Thankfully its not tried to get in the run, but it will only be a matter of time. We are a neighborhood of "foxes are beautiful, but we dont feed them" attitude. So I'm sure the only reason its about is because of the chickens....

chuck1

Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by chuck1 » 21 Jan 2013, 00:00

The snow is a good time to see what's about and there will be a few surprises for people who believe there are no foxes in their vicinity.

Sorry about your bad attack brookside.

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by drfish » 21 Jan 2013, 12:20

I have been checking, and fortunately nothing since the day. Saw one this morning around 9am though on the otherside of our street (about 50m away). I actually thought they'd been attacked on Saturday. I'd let the chickens and ducks out as normal, wet back around dinner time to check the water, and there was blood all over the run, on the fresh snow. Did a quick head count, all present and correct, so I though the cat must of caught a pilfering wild bird and dispatched it in the run. Then I noticed one of my ducks had about a 4" round patch of blood on it's belly. I suspect it was doing the 'belly slide' in the snow which they seem to love, and nicked it on something. Gave it the once over and it looked ok, just a small nick but a lot of blood. Ran them a nice warm bath "pond" and let him sort it out himself. All seems to be ok now, no trace of infection or anything. And he's settling down it ok.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by brooksidepoultry » 21 Jan 2013, 20:07

Thanks chuck all ours are currently under lock & key until mr or mrs fox has been eliminated - I've hopefully got someone coming with a load of rifles & shotguns later this week & am hoping to borrow or invest in a few fox traps & hope the cats don't set them off x
A country lass who loves it all x.

chuck1

Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by chuck1 » 21 Jan 2013, 23:28

Foxes have runs and where you can see they go through a fence or under a gate, I set wire snares which are in effect, large rabbit wires. I've had loads of foxes that way. The best fox traps are the big cages that are baited as if anything else goes in, they are not killed. If you get a fox, they need to be killed with a shotgun.

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by brooksidepoultry » 25 Jan 2013, 17:57

Yeah the big cages are the ones we are looking at & people have known foxes by us to go though the river in order to hide their scent x
A country lass who loves it all x.

Viv

Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by Viv » 29 Jan 2013, 14:54

So sorry for all your losses... horrid!!! My friend from the Dales text me to say they lost all there hens/ducks bar one to a fox and they were quite secure but obviously not secure enough ...A few months ago a farmer friend called and said beware a white van had dropped off over 3 foxes into the countryside ( North Pennines ) couldn't see its reg no as too far away in broad daylight. Thought they were urban foxes, worst type he said as not too scared of humans. Within 2 days 22 growers were taken/killed from a neighbours field. A neighbour passing in a car saw one fox at 3pm jump into my garden so he was out scaring it away, luckily. I read up and found an interesting article in a local paper telling you how to try and avoid fox calling and we have done it ( gonna say no more. don't want no more bad luck) but I get my OH every time he is in the garden to pee all around the perimeter of the garden (Discreetly form cars passing - no neighbours as such) and when I go to the hairdressers I ask for the cut hair and put it into cut off tights and tie it and hang on fences. So far........smell of human must work against some of them. A group of farmers and gamekeeper have since attempted to sort the problem. I do hope all hen keepers manage to keep their flocks safely through this trying time. [-o<

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by drfish » 29 Jan 2013, 17:51

With the pee, the theory is more hormones than smelling of human. Male foxes especially are a little cagey about where they go if there's a lot of pheromone. Whether it works or not remains to be seen, but I regularly pee near the chicken pen, and encourage friends who come round. Blokes that is, not women. Saves on wearing out my stairs carpet :mrgreen:

As for other human artifacts such as hair, clothes etc, I can't imagine they would make any difference at all. Foxes aren't stupid by any means, so they may be curious once, but then see straight through the plan. Same with something like a scarecrow. Once they figure out it's not real, they'd not even bat an eyelid at it. I tend to look at what scares/alarms my domestic pet dogs, and use that strategy. Although one is a fat lazy Staffie who isn't scared of anything, and the other is a chihuahua crossed with a Chinese hairless crested, who thinks he's the hardest thing in the world, but is actually scared of his own shadow. So it's a bit tricky to gain much insight from them :grin:
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: With the harsh weather, a reminder

Post by darkbrowneggs » 29 Jan 2013, 18:20

darkbrowneggs wrote:I wonder as well if it is because it is the mating time for them and the dog foxes are more likely to be about looking for likely vixens?
Spoke to an old terrier man who used to go out with the hunt, and he said they will already have young. Apparently the calling time in Oct November ish and then 60 day to produce cubs.

A silly (but rather nice) CLB got shut outside one of the pens, and after my fall in the snow and breaking my arm I thought that I would rather loose one pullet than have another fall, and probably still not get her in. She was just a clump of feathers by morning so I know I am getting visited every night.

The snow brought down the electric fencing so it has had to be switched off and I am relying on the pens to do their job, till I can get someone to sort it for me. Its not a job for a one armed woman :( .

Normally they are the second line of defence. I think the fox coming round so close is putting the girls off lay as well. Though the weather won't have helped either.
To follow my travel journal see www.thebusphoebeandme.us For lots of info on keeping and breeding Marans see www.darkbrowneggs.info

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