Day 142 – The ‘not so’ Fantastic Mr Fox…… and how to fortify the Chicken Coop

Can you believe it?  On a quick check of the Chicken Coop this morning, before heading out for the swim meet, we discovered one mauled chicken, a hole under the gate, and no sign of the other two.  Disappeared without trace.  This is the city centre, enclosed and not that green, but we obviously have a local fox, or a feral cat.  Whichever way, that was the end of our egg dream for this week, and further investigation and fortification is needed before heading out to purchase the second band of chickens.  I feel very sad, as they were hiding our in their box last night due to all the noise, only to meet a gruesome death in the mouth of some mean Mr Fox.  I am tempted to stay up all night with a shotgun awaiting his return, but from my memory of the book,  the 3 farmers sit there forever……..

I’ve opted for a quick google search from the comfort of my kitchen as a safer and easier option!

How to fox proof your chicken coop. – suggestions here include a mesh base (but wide enough that your chickens can still scratch the soil), digging mesh below the surface (to 50/60 cm) or using concrete sleepers around the edge to make digging very difficult.  We are likely to go for the sleeper option as we have spare bluestone slabs in our garden.  It’s interesting that supposedly 1.8m walls in a garden should keep foxes out.  Not so here, ours are 2m high!

Wildlifeonline – Red Fox Deterrence. – A lot of information on this site, including electric fencing, but I think shutting up the kitchens in their sleeping area is one to take on board.

image from Foxes and Grapes | About Story, Art School, and Life., including a great article on how to draw a fox (which won’t be high on my activity list at the moment!)
So settling down to a normal life without chickens this week, sad but actually looking forward to visiting the chicken farm next week to replace them.  Note to myself, check up on the breeds and go for the non-flying, pretty one’s that lay a lot of eggs!!
Comments
4 Responses to “Day 142 – The ‘not so’ Fantastic Mr Fox…… and how to fortify the Chicken Coop”
  1. Henny says:

    I don’t think it’s a fox, your garden is walled. My guess would be a cat, they can climb over fences, walls, etc.. What a real pity, poor chickens. And poor you, for having to do without them.

    Henny

    • whatever it is, it also attacked the next door neighbour’s chickens 2 weeks ago…. lesson learnt, there are nasty wild predators even in the security of the city! It could be a wild cat, but we never see any cats in our garden, and don’t forget, we are near to a very large wood.
      Thanks for your kind wishes, it’s now very odd sitting in the garden with a chicken coop and no chickens!

      • Hélène says:

        In our gardens, there are some furrets (?) (marters in NL) that killed Florence’s rabbit (our cat Pip killed one of them, so we know)

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