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Weekly Roundup – Outfoxing Foxes

18 July 2011 5 Comments

RecyclingWell, the big thing on my mind for the past week or so has been foxes. Mostly, how to keep them away from my poultry.

  • Swampy Acres Farm had trouble with foxes taking Australorps about a year ago. He has a good page on chicken predators, and also a good description of his fencing. I really like his chicken feeder, too.
  • Outback Tania has a good article about what they did to fox-proof their chook pens. This is pretty much the same as what I’m planning to do, so it’s good to hear it’s been successful.
  • Lots of info from the UK on deterring foxes. They have some good info and diagrams on building fox-proof fences around poultry pens, using electric wires, chemical repellents, and the interesting-sounding “taste aversion” – leaving them samples of the types of poultry you keep, laced with very hot spices or vomit-enducing chemicals, so they associate your particular species with being sick and avoid them in future.
  • Milkwood’s new gravity-fed chicken house is a nice design, although to copy it I’d have to use heavier wire, sink the perimeter iron sheets deeper, and net over the top (they’re in a very different area to me, with different pests and predators). I’m particularly interested in how they built the corner poles for the chook run, leaning out and placed under tension. I’ve never seen that before!
  • I discovered the FeralScan web site via the ABC rural radio Bush Telegraph podcast. It’s all about “crowdsourcing” the mapping and monitoring of various rural pests. In particular, they have FoxScan and MynaScan – two of the pests that I’m most concerned about. There’s also CamelScan, but I don’t get too many of them in my garden! The various sites have a lot of good information about the pests, what damage they cause, and how you can help control them.

Please leave suggestions below for further reading, especially on chicken pens and protecting poultry from predators!

Build your own chicken coop.

5 Comments »

  • bellambita said:

    I sympathise, We live in Bellambi and lost our four chooks last Tuesday night. They were scattered headless around the place and we buried them in the rain. The next day I found a Fox scat (turd, poo, crap) on the back deck. Obviously He or She was miffed that we had disposed of their bounty. A chookwise friend of mine mentioned that they always come back the next night. Maybe this can be helpful information for chicken fanciers trying to ambush the beasties. Meanwhile, thanks for the info on security. I will be taking stock.

  • David said:

    Sorry to hear about the fox destruction. Possibly look into foxlights (www.foxlights.com). An Aust invention desgined to keep foxes out of sheep padocks.

    Have not used them, so cannot vouch for it in any way.

    Luck with finding a solution.

  • Darren (author) said:

    @David: Thanks. I’d seen the foxlight on New Inventors, but it was much more expensive last time I looked at it. It’s still a bit pricey for me, though – I’d rather make the pens foxproof and not have to muck around with batteries etc on a device that may not prevent all attacks anyway. We’ll be getting a dog, too, which will help enormously.

  • andrew@nearriver said:

    We keep a pair of geese with our chooks, as they ward off foxes, snakes and warn of raptors. Over the past 3 years we have lost 1 chook to a kite, and we free range 140 girls in our flock. And yes Mareema dogs work well too.

  • Darren (author) said:

    @NearRiverProduce.com: Thanks for the tip! I have heard that geese are good for that. Two of our muscovy drakes fought off a fox once (although one of them got injured), so I can see that an even larger (and louder!) bird should do well. We’re planning to get geese, too. There’s a poultry auction coming up soon, so hopefully I can get some there. We also just got a kelpie puppy, so we’ll have a multi-pronged defence against predators.