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    • CommentAuthorjoannec
    • CommentTimeNov 14th, 2007 7:45pm (Nov 14th 2007)
     
    Ahhhhhh

    I came home tonight about 6pm and saw a fox on the neighbours front garden i thought oh how qute and then realised oh my god what about my girls, luckliy mickey (other half) had put them to bed about half hour earlier, thing is they roam free range around the garden cause they dont like being in there 8ft run but i dont want to come home to them dead because i really like them and they are fat, i only have 2 girls and a dog and a cat, im really worried what can i do??????
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeNov 14th, 2007 9:27pm (Nov 14th 2007)
     
    That sounds scary. I assume foxes will scent out potential prey and it must be awful wondering whether they're going to be a threat. Neil lost 3 hens not so long ago to what's thought to be a fox so I'm sure he'll sympathise with your concerns.
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeNov 15th, 2007 11:19am (Nov 15th 2007)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Hi Joanne,

    Your only safe bet is to keep them locked up until you can pen them in a bigger area.

    I've heard of foxes attacking and killing chickens during daylight hours so they're not just a danger at night.

    First of all I strongly suggest you keep your girls locked in their run, it might only be 8ft but it's safe and it's still a hell of a lot bigger than a battery hen could ever hope for, so don't feel too bad!

    After you've made sure the existing run is fox-proof (remember they can dig, so any chicken wire needs to be the thick fox-proof type, AND be in the shape of an L at the bottom where it meets the soil to prevent the fox digging under it), you can then start to think about giving them a bigger run (or an extension).

    I'm sorry to sound so scaremongering but it's truely horrible to find your hens missing, or mostly missing :(

    I'm pretty sure that once the fox has been near or detected the scent of easy prey, then it will come back, so you really need to be vigilant. Dan says a fox once killed several of their hens by jumping through a glass window into a locked chicken shed, so you can see what nasty and cunning animals they can be.

    Hope everything is ok and your girls remain safe.

    Neil
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeNov 15th, 2007 1:09pm (Nov 15th 2007) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm glad your girls are safe, that was so lucky!

    I would also advise you to keep them locked up. They might be miserable, but they will be safe. You've been lucky once, it might not happen again.

    We were lucky for so long with our chicks, who got to free range during the day. Then the fox came calling and all three were killed - and they were HUGE chicks (fourteen-week-old buff orpingtons :P ). They were bigger than Milly Tilly and Penny, and they weren't even fully grown yet.

    Our chicken coop is 10 ft in length, 5ft wide and just over 4ft high. It is 'supposedly' big enough for 8 - 10 chickens. We have three adult chooks in there, and they are happy as long as you provide them with lots of things to do. As long have they have room to flap, scratch and have perches then they will be happy. It might take your chickens a while to learn that they are not allowed out to free range anymore, but they will get used to it. And you can still let them out for an hour or so when you will be around to supervise, right?

    Hope this helps, good luck keeping your chooks safe :)
    Scarlet
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeNov 15th, 2007 7:57pm (Nov 15th 2007)
     
    I've heard 2 versions of what foxes are like. One is that they will kill for the sake of it and if they got into a barn full of hens they'd just kill as many as they could. The other was a story from my mom. She knew a man who had several chickens (possibly a battery farm or barn full - I was young when she told me and can't remember). Anyway, if he had a chicken that had stopped laying or was ill he'd put it in a pen at the bottom of the garden for the foxes to take so's they'd leave the others alone. They always took the ones he gave them and left the others alone. Not a nice way to go for the sick chuck but it seems they had a 'working' relationship.

    I think Neil and Red's advice sounds the best way to go - after all, we don't say "as sly as a fox" for nothing, and with other food sources possibly going into hibernation they might be looking for an easy meal. I hope Mr Fox doesn't come back and your chickens get used to a slightly more restricted lifestyle.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 8:50pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    I've had sad news tonight; Maggie, who had my 4 chicks from me, had a dog break in and kill them all...the owners are Londoners who have no idea how to look after a dog. Fortunately, they also have no idea how much a bantam frizzle is...I wish these idiots would stay where they were and not come and create havoc.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 9:24pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    Oh CC that's so sad. :( Maggie must be very upset and I'm sure you are too. I hope the dog's owners are aware of the upset they've caused.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 9:33pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    I don't suppose so; they think they can make it all better with money. I'm sure they'd be astounded, outraged and appalled to know that Maggie would have been quite within her rights to shoot the poor dog - whose fault it isn't.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 9:37pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    Guilt = money. Not to defend them, but there's nothing they can do except apologise and offer money to appease their guilt. Were they in Maggie's garden or does she have a small holding? (Does she have a gun?!!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 9:42pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    The dog was in her garden because they have no idea how to train/control a dog. She doesn't have a gun as far as I know, but as a farmer's daughter, who knows?
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 9:46pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    Its owners should be grateful it found chickens and not a child. Or we should be grateful they have a dog and not a child - imagine what it'd grow into.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 9:48pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    I think it's just as bad. Chickens this time, who's to say next time?
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 9:54pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    I only mean from the point of view of the law - they won't be prosecuted for chickens. In some ways its worse. It might have a taste for blood now so instead of a bite it could maul a child. And I didn't mean that the chickens don't matter - my pets have a big part of my heart and are just as important to me as my human family.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 10:01pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    Maggie won't get the law in; no point, really. Won't bring back Scraggy, Paxo, J-Lo and DoDo. I hope Sage has a few chicks this summer...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2008 10:12pm (Feb 21st 2008)
     
    Me too - you can post pictures! (We'll send Wazza round to teach you how!)
    •  
      CommentAuthorDianeonWhidbey
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 5:28am (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    Awwww. So sad.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 5:38am (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    Oh No, CC..that is terrible. Dogs got in here a couple yeas ago and killed half of our chickens, just for sport. I was so heartbroken. I do know how bad she feels. I wanted to shoot the neighbors more than the dogs. They had no right to just turn them loose to kill peoples livestock. That's why we moved our chicken pen inside of the horse pasture, the horses love the chickens and protect them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 11:21am (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    This is what I said, that it's not the dog's fault. We're getting more and more Londoners moving here and they have absolutely no idea about keeping animals. For a lot of them, they're an accessory rather than a companion, just one more possession. Poor dog. Poor Maggie. Poor chicks.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 11:31am (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    Its sweet that your horses take care of the chickens Lynn. Where I live dogs are status symbols. Lots of chav males with staffordshire bull terriers. Also some pit bulls but as they're banned they just say they're staffies to get around the law.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 5:48pm (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    The caretaker for the school here has the ideal deterrent guard dog; he looks like a HUGE black Staffordshire bull terrier. But his other parent was a Labrador, so you can imagine what a vicious slavering beast he isn't - Tuppence persecutes him something chronic!
    •  
      CommentAuthorDianeonWhidbey
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 6:21pm (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    LOL (ala the "Martin problem") I read that as a human caretaker. It was really that part about Tuppence that made me think: Wot?
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 7:08pm (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    The caretaker IS human. Well, his wife thinks so and she ought to know...
    Cardi is the dog who is persecuted by Tuppence the cat. Who is a tenth of his size.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 22nd, 2008 10:24pm (Feb 22nd 2008)
     
    I had to re-read CC's post as Diane had - and howled with laughter! Off to watch tv, spend quality time with hubby, and pull stupid faces at Caitlyn in the hope of a smile. From Caitlyn, not hubby!
    •  
      CommentAuthorDianeonWhidbey
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2008 2:55am (Feb 24th 2008)
     
    Oh. The caretaker OWNS a guard dog whose name is Cardi. Did I get it? LOL
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2008 1:58pm (Feb 24th 2008)
     
    Yes, dear...:\
    •  
      CommentAuthorDianeonWhidbey
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2008 5:39pm (Feb 24th 2008)
     
    Thank God.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 24th, 2008 6:09pm (Feb 24th 2008)
     
    "The caretaker for the school HAS the ideal deterrent guard dog..." the clue was in the the sixth word, see? :) I'm glad it's not just me...:flowers:
    •  
      CommentAuthorDianeonWhidbey
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2008 1:51am (Feb 25th 2008)
     
    I think it was the semi-colon that confused me. LOL

    ; he looks like a HUGE black Staffordshire bull terrier.

    But then - But his other parent was a Labrador,

    I think I was just tired that day... Har.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2008 5:00pm (Feb 25th 2008)
     
    Never mind, possum. Speaking as one who lives in a glass house - I mixed up HDTV and DVT in conversation with a customer AGAIN today - I shouldn't throw stones!
    •  
      CommentAuthorDianeonWhidbey
    • CommentTimeFeb 25th, 2008 7:23pm (Feb 25th 2008)
     
    Thank you.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2008 3:07pm (Feb 26th 2008)
     
    The grammatical errors make the posts soooo much funnier - please don't go all correct on us!! We should be dropping them in deliberately just to see if anyone spots them and what witticisms they can come up with!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2008 6:19pm (Feb 26th 2008)
     
    Nooo, becuase that wood drive the prooof-readers, amongst us compleatly inseine and; that woodent be a kind thing to do. :devil:
    • CommentAuthoroli in UK
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2008 7:37pm (Feb 26th 2008)
     
    I re-edit mine at least twice each post as I know how you lot are, I get into an awful depression about such things..... takes an extra swig at glass... or twoo
    • CommentAuthoroli in UK
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2008 7:38pm (Feb 26th 2008)
     
    Hey, where's every one gone???
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2008 8:02pm (Feb 26th 2008)
     
    I'm here...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th, 2008 11:07pm (Feb 26th 2008)
     
    I'm here now - and so are you Oli!! Might be 3 hours later than you asked, but better late than never eh?!
    •  
      CommentAuthorwazza
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2008 8:51am (Feb 27th 2008)
     

    no longer a member

    me is here too
    • CommentAuthoroli in UK
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th, 2008 8:59am (Feb 27th 2008)
     
    So we are all here but need a calender to clock in with rather than a clock!
    •  
      CommentAuthorTori
    • CommentTimeMay 13th, 2008 9:05pm (May 13th 2008)
     
    Im here ooppss in er 3 months out oh well better luck next time !!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 20th, 2008 11:57pm (Aug 20th 2008)
     
    You just like torturing old people who need their beauty sleep don't you. I've still got washing to put away, cats to feed, doors to lock. sigh. Just the OMG thread now then I'm gone and will leave it to you young-uns!