Some rather sad news today, I’m afraid. A fox got into our chicken run early this morning, digging under the fence and chewing through the buried wire that was supposed to stop invaders.
Fox In A Chicken Yard, oil painting by Jean-Baptiste Huet 1766 – photo by Mary Harrsch
From the looks of the chicken pen this morning, Barney the Barnevelder rooster and Sir Francis the muscovy drake put up a pretty good fight and drove the fox off. Unfortunately Barney is gone, as are the three half-grown pullets. Sir Francis was injured, but I think he’ll pull through.
Luckily, the rest of the chickens escaped unharmed (although a little traumatised).
It looks like my weekend project is going to be fortifying the chicken run some more. I have a friend with a fox trap, too, which I’ll try to borrow and see if we can’t even up the score. I’m thinking I might even run the electric fence I bought for the pigs around the chicken pen as further discouragement to inquisitive predators.
It’s disheartening and frustrating, but unfortunately that’s life on the homestead. There are predators around, and we have to find a balance between giving our animals some freedom to roam, and protecting them from danger. In this case, the protection wasn’t enough and I need to upgrade it.
Do you have any good ways you protect your chicken run from dogs and foxes? Any tips on how to catch the fox?