Fox Appetite Satisfied

Buffalo was eaten by the fox today. We came home from the parade in Bristol to a pile of feathers in the yard with a trail into the woods.

I feel awful. I feel like I failed her.

Maybe I’m not cut out to be a farmer.

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17 Responses to Fox Appetite Satisfied

  1. Turtleheart says:

    Oh no!

    But you didn’t fail her. That fox just did what foxes do, it was going to keep trying until it succeeded.

  2. Howling Hill says:

    And it’ll continue now that she knows she can get three more free meals. We’re taking the chickens to be slaughtered next week — assuming they don’t get eaten before then. We’ll do the chicken thing again next year but we know to put up a fence. As much as I don’t want to confine the chickens I don’t think we have much choice.

  3. Poop.

    Unfortunately, fences are not solutions where foxes are concerned. They dig under them. Saddly, the only solution is to remove the fox from the equation… (either kill it or trap it then relocate a significant distance.)

    Your best bet if you want to keep the gals alive until their appointment is to keep them in the coop when you are not home or outside. Make sure they are getting extra feed this week too; they may put on some weight….

    You didn’t fail the chicken – remember the whole cycle of life thing…

    Talk to you soon…

  4. Noelle says:

    Oh nature, never playing by the rules. That’s a sad tale for everyone but the fox.

  5. farm mom says:

    I don’t think you need to kill the fox. I hear many, many people have success with an electrified wire placed along the bottom of the fence. I’d do some research to give yourself some options. As for your hens, I’m sorry. But it sounds like you are making the right decisions for yourself, given your situation.

  6. Gina says:

    This is definitely a part of farming!! You are actually right on track (i.e. it’s a natural part of it, not that it makes it feel any better). I lost all of my broilers to coyotes a few months ago!

    So sorry about the loss.

  7. Allie says:

    Oh, so sorry to hear it!

  8. Howling Hill says:

    Silverwolf: Our idea is to bury two feet of fence and still have it be about six feet tall.

    Noelle: My concern is now the fox knows there’s three more free meals — five if you count the cats — she’ll come back for more.

    Farm mom: I wasn’t planning on killing the fox. Wolf would like to but I’m really opposed to the idea.

    I had considered an electric fence, so it’s definitely something to look into.

    Gina: *sigh* I know it’s a part of farming, the part I don’t like.

    Allie: Thank you.

  9. farm mom says:

    I kinda thought you would be! ;) I’ve read that once a predator feels the sting of the wire on their nose, they give up and don’t try again. I know you’re concerned about electricity, but the fox knows where to get it’s meals, she’s not going to scare away easily.

  10. Howling Hill says:

    Farm Mom: I have such a hard time killing *anything* (except ants). I know the fox is doing what foxes do. I was naive when I thought they were nocturnal and wouldn’t come out during the day. *sigh* I was wrong (sshhh, don’t tell Wolf =).

    Will the rooster scare the fox away? Or will she eat the rooster too?

  11. Silverwolfsanctuary says:

    A fox will kill the first, easy chicken or rooster that it can get its mouth around. A rooster won’t deter a hungry fox, but it can alert you that there’s one in the yard.

    Sometimes an electric fence will work, but thick fur does not conduct well and they tend to learn to dig under those as well; they just start further from the fence. Burying the fence 2 feet isn’t enough. A fox den can be dug up to six feet underground!

    Speaking from over 60+ years of experience in animal husbandry & farming (mine & my parents) it really does come down to the only *sure* way is to remove the fox from the equation. If you are worried about kits, they are probably weaned by this time of year, so trapping in a have-a-heart trap and relocating (at least 25 miles and preferably blind) won’t leave them completely helpless.

    Unfortunately, you guys have too much tree/bush cover – it’s very easy to sneak up and grab a bird at will. At the farm we are able to do free range a lot better because predators have to cross lots of open fields to get at the birds…

  12. Howling Hill says:

    Silverwolf: I figured it wouldn’t matter if the bird is male or female just the bird which is the most easily accessible.

    Ok, digging down more than two feet to bury the fence then!

    I’m not removing the fox. To do so will allow another fox to move in. I just don’t think relocating the fox is the answer. Wolf wants to kill it in the worst way and we’re arguing about it because I don’t feel it’ll solve the problem. Like I just said, another fox (or predator) will move in and we’ll have the same problem all over again.

    We’ve talked about cutting down some of the trees but haven’t had the $1000 to do so. Wolf has promised to cut back some of the brush but the chainsaw needs to be sharpened which is why it hasn’t been done yet.

    We’ll give the chicken thing one more try next year. If it doesn’t work then we’re SOL. But at least we tried!

  13. Silverwolfsanctuary says:

    One of these weekends bring the chainsaw blade over to the farm, we can sharpen the it.

  14. Howling Hill says:

    I’ll bring it with me this weekend.

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