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wellington womble

A fox trap

(Not strictly for the pot, but it seemed the best match)

I have a fox. Or possibly several (they have dug at least three tunnels under the greenhouse. I am concerned about subsidence!)

I also have a fox trap. It catches chickens very effectively.

How can I make it catch foxes?! I bait it with raw meat scraps. Which the chickens eat.
dpack

cat food(you might have by catch with that one but once you have had a good laugh it can leave with everything but it's dignity intact )

blood

roadkill
Treacodactyl

Can you fence out the hens in some way a fox could still get passed?

What do you intend to do with a captured fox?
wellington womble

Shoot it (not personally. I have a properly equipped and qualified person on standby)

There are cats locally, but they seem to avoid the chickens. I bait it at night when the chickens are away, but Monsieur Reynard shows no interest. I dont mind releasing other critters, I'd just like to catch the foxes as well.
SteveP

Cover the base in soil or straw so it doesn't walk on the wires. Place bales at the sides and on top.

The fox will go into a hole more readily than an open metal trap.
dpack

another consideration ,as with all trapping,is scent.

wear gloves when baiting and setting preferably gloves rubbed in soil or dung

as they seem to have moved in under your greenhouse if your sniper has time a night shoot might be productive if the area is safe for such activities or radjel can be baited into a safe kz.

dusk and dawn near radjel's house or on well used routes to it's happy hunting grounds or forage bins is quite effective

it will go for chooks eventually and they do hunt by day if they recon they can get away with it

a slightly different approach is to discourage them by scent ,human urine makes them very wary of an area.

i like em but they are incompatible with chook keeping as even the best made pens can be breached given enough motivation and time.
Tavascarow

A trapping friend rubs his hands with horse manure before he handles any of his traps.
He buries his smaller traps for a couple of weeks when new to remove artificial scent as well.
I don't know if this is overkill but he makes his living from vermin control so possibly not.
My first thought when I read this thread was use a chicken as live bait but that's very unethical, inhumane & probably illegal. Laughing
Hots

What do you intend to do with it when you've trapped it??
wellington womble

Shoot it. I have friend who is a pest controller and shoots.
The trap is a bit new and shiny. I can put it in with the birds for a while to get more chicken-y.

The fox hasn't moved in under the greenhouse, it's just trying to get at birds which are temporarily billeted in there. I am super impressed at the tunnelling.

Chicken bait, I wouldn't, but anyway if the trap is open the birds can get out. For the record, it seems to take three birds to trigger the mechanism. I could do with a dead one, so naturally they are all in perfect health.

I quite like them too. But they are just too agile and resourceful. You can't keep them out, so there's nothing for it, really. I need to get the undergrowth tamed before shooting is a possibility, but if I can't get it trapped we will start to be more assertive. I want them get them before they start having Cubs.
Bodger

Dig a shallow hole and then put the bait into it and then place your cage trap over the hole and the bait. Of course, this only works if your cage trap is triggered by a treadle. Its what I do,
wellington womble

Thanks, I'll try that with burying the bait and covering with straw. It is a treadle trap. I suppose I can at least rely on the chickens to test it.

I thought I might put the trap in with the birds for a while as well. That'll stop it bring all new and shiny.
SteveP

When I baited a treadle trap I didn't rely on the fox standing on it. The bait (rabbit) was tied to a piece of bailing twine that was looped around the back of the trap and tied to the treadle from below. When the fox takes the bait it pulls the twine and trips the trap.

Two chances of catching it
Bodger

Two types of cage trap. The treadle where the fox treads on the treadle and the other one is where the fox pulls at the bait and triggers the trap.

I can't see what advantage there can be in tying the bait to the treadle.
Hots

It's responsible that you're going to shoot it, for a while there I was concerned that you might be one of the idiots that trap them, then 'set them free' near other folk's birds............ Confused
SteveP

Two types of cage trap. The treadle where the fox treads on the treadle and the other one is where the fox pulls at the bait and triggers the trap.

I can't see what advantage there can be in tying the bait to the treadle.


If the bait is tied to the treadle it will be tripped if the fox treads on it and it the fox doesn't
wellington womble

I do see.

I wouldnt rerelease, I think that would be cruel. Their survival depends on knowing their environment. I am a bit miffed about having to shoot them, but I don't see any alternative, other than castle style fortifications. I did see chickens kept on an island in a large pond once. I always wondered how that worked out.

I got a trap because I was told they don't sleep. Mind you, so far they don't catch much either..... Wink
Treacodactyl

I did see chickens kept on an island in a large pond once. I always wondered how that worked out.


Are you thinking of the ending on Chicken Run? Wink Foxes can swim I gather.
dpack

foxes can definitely swim and will do so to avoid a hunt or to get to a decent dinner. wellington womble

See? The bloody things are incorrigible!

I haven't seen chicken run, I think perhaps I ought to.
wellington womble

Oh. Just checked the trap, and I've got one. I wish there was another way. dpack

well done,it isnt easy or nice to have to kill things cos they chose the wrong place and dinner menu but foxes and chooks are incomparable.

ps a good fox pelt makes a decent hat
Bodger

If you can put up with the stink when you skin it. Laughing wellington womble

I won't be skinning it, the gun has that privilege. I believe his wife has requested a fox fur hood.

He said that the vixens go to earth over winter. When do they pup? I'd hope to catch them before they breed, obviously. Also, how many am I likely to get? Will it be just the one pair in this territory? I'm aware that others will move in, and I suppose how long will depend on how rich territories are in this area. I know they have been established for years with no attempt at control.

I think the bait hung around longer this time. It was just chicken scraps, but I put them in a net bag from some limes and that meant although the chickens got in after it, they couldn't eat it. So it had the chance to get stinkier and was there for longer.
dpack

as you have both territory and "food" i recon you will have a steady supply of new fur hoods.

they usually pup as the first young rabbits emerge but if they have "urban"food it can be earlier,some years they will have two litters

as to groups they can be lone.pair or family group .

young ones are often sent to find a new home at a few months old.

keep the trap set and baited Wink
wellington womble

My vulpine menace is still a menace. There appears to be a number of them. We got one in the trap, eventually. Then half of the chickens got into the trap, and the fox figured out how to get them out one by one. A bit of bad luck and a high wind meant the rest of them got shut out of the run the next week, so it had those as well. We managed to shoot that one, and lost two more the next day, that unaccountably decided not to go to bed. I think they escaped the run and were too stupid to get back in.

The birds are now penned to keep them out of the trap, but I have now lost all but two of the replacements for no reason at all (I'm prepared to accept that the fox will get lucky now and again. See above) They are penned, but masters of escape (re-entry, not so much). I checked they were all in at dusk. They have an automatic closing door, so they are shut in at dusk without fail. I have checked, and it is working. I can't set it for any earlier, because they get shut out. I think the last lot must have been got in first thing the morning.

I've baited the trap with everything I can think of including a dead chicken, eggs, a magpie and various chicken scraps Its managed to get it all out without triggering the trap, or triggering it without being inside it. I have now put chicken giblets under the trap in a net bag, and pegged the trap down but still no catch. I'm sure the trigger is working, and is sensitive enough because an escaped chicken triggered it last week. We don't go near the trap at all, unless we have to and I wear gloves.

How can I catch the bugger? My gun has spent a few nights around, and has managed to shoot a dog fox. We think this is the vixen, but she's outsmarting us at every step!
dpack

at this time of year she is probably feeding pups so will be very active and determined.

keep the trap in good order and post your sniper is the best bet although tracking in daylight to find her preferred routes,lay ups and perhaps even find her home can help work out where is a good spot to lie in wait if she has rumbled the current sniper positions .

it is a bit of extra work but high seats that overlooks known haunts(the hen run for example) can add to the potential safe angles of fire.foxes are clever and will avoid danger zones in favour of unshootable places .
im assuming rifle and night site rather than shotgun for the high seats as with a shottie the extra work does not give anywhere near as much added advantage as with a longer range weapon.
even with a shotgun the high seat helps with reducing scent ,increasing the areas that can be seen and giving extra safe angles of fire
wellington womble

Bloody thing. We've had glimpses of her, but she's really skittish. Lamp shy, too. A trap canny - still no catch. I'll get some more chicken. I wish I'd tied the dead one to the trigger. dpack

smearing cat food on the treadle might work (or tie the bait on or behind the treadle)

high seats,night sight seems a good option.

tracking is never wasted time whatever the target.
wellington womble

I am beginning to regret keeping chickens! I have had no fox attacks since the beginning of May, and have had a (dead) chicken tied to the treadle of the trap for a good fortnight. No fox. No sign of fox.

On Wednesday I thought it was safe to buy new chickens. Trap triggered Wednesday evening, but no catch. Today, I have lost six. I have no idea how. None. I know for definite they were shut in last night, because we checked them after the door had shut. They don't get let out till about 8am. Which I would have thought was late enough. Both the laying birds (why does it always get the layers?!) had laid before being eaten.

The only possibilities I can think of is that the fox was about between 8 and midday. Or that it got in through the nest box, but I'd have expects the eggs to be broken in that case.

I can't really think of anything else to do. Obviously, I will secure the nest box with something. I could move the chicken house down closer to the house, so I can keep more of an eye on things, but I couldn't pen them down here. I can't keep replacing chickens indefinitely!
Treacodactyl

They don't get let out till about 8am. Which I would have thought was late enough

Why do you say that? Foxes will be about all the time, both urban and rural foxes are often about during the day and if they have cubs to feed they'll be very active.

A completely enclosed pen sounds like the way to go.
dpack

sorry to hear this,tis horrid to lose birds that way.

enclosed pen with roof,wire mesh buried a foot deep and four feet out

simple pen (just walls and anti dig netting) with anti climb electric fence wires and a couple of electric wires to discourage jumping(they can do about 6' from a standing start)

keep on with trap and gun,

having them nearer the house might help a bit but a determined fox will have one off the kitchen table once it works out how.they are clever in reality as well as in stories.
wellington womble

I don't mind loosing the odd bird. A fox is worthy opponent. I'm just fed up of loosing so many. They've had thirty birds since we moved here in October.

I don't think I want to keep chickens in a pen. I suppose I could just let them out when I'm around, but they'd be in all the time in the winter. I'm going to move the house down here, I think. I haven't seen a fox (except once, in the trap) I suppose I could get a dog.

Jenna's school friends have been discussing fox culling with their parents, as she is devising methods of protection and dispatch in the playground. I blame Wallace and Grommit! It all seems to involve alarms and lasers and traps!!
dpack

i recon a narrow field pir and a 5kw scanning laser would do the job Laughing

a good pen is the best option and let em out when they are supervised ,a good dog will be vigilant but they do sleep,get taken for walks and a truly independent one will go walk about .

get a good dog anyway for many reasons.

re pens they do cost but long term they are cheaper than feeding radgel.

my chookmobile birds were fine for ages but as the weather got cooler and food got scarcer i lost a lot over a month or so .

rob and nat have had fox problems yards from where they were at the time .

keem em out and keep the chooks in pens worked for grannie (she also used a lee enfield .303 now and again for persistent ones that tried to get into the runs).
Slim

a good dog will be vigilant but they do sleep,get taken for walks and a truly independent one will go walk about .

get a good dog anyway for many reasons.



I've certainly needed to wake mine up when there are things that need barking at Rolling Eyes

Typically the hour of day when I'd like a dog keeping an eye out is the same time the dog is trying to sneak on to our bed!

(I do think a dog around does help though. Folks never saw a woodchuck in the garden until a year or two after the dog died)
wellington womble

We have just lost another two lots of birds, both during the day, and shot two more foxes. All the birds are confined to pens and are sulking by withholding eggs.

How will I know when it's safe (more or less) to let them out again?

Incidentally, we also have a probable-stoat to trap. And I have two less quail (well actually I have two less quail heads. It left the rest of them for me)

Really, I'm tempted to move to the Isle of Man. Do the Scilly Isles have foxes? I'd prefer a more southern climate.
dpack

sorry to hear this ,2 foxes down might help a bit but there are always more, keeping the chooks in a secure area is the most effective way to avoid losses

at this time of year foxes are starting to get hungry (less daft baby bunnies etc) and will be hunting far and wide looking for dinner .

penned unless supervised is easier in summer but it might be best to reduce their ranging if you are cannot be out with them as much in winter. even with them radgel might grab the odd one.

bigger pens is the best option but not often practical.
Treacodactyl

Yep, keep them in a secure pen is the only way to keep them alive. It's more humane than letting them out to be fox food. dpack

"Incidentally, we also have a probable-stoat to trap. And I have two less quail (well actually I have two less quail heads. It left the rest of them for me) "

fenn N 4 Wink
wellington womble

It's so handy when your best friends husband is a part time game keeper!

I can see your point about keeping them in, but I don't like to. I think if it comes to keeping them in, I will probably not keep any. At the moment, I am considering guard animals.
Treacodactyl

When we had a few hens we only let them out when we were around. Even then and even with a dog we still had the odd fox try their luck. To be brutal if you don't let hens out at all they will be happier than being let out some times and shut in the next. I don't mean 'enriched cage' shut in, but a large fenced movable run.

Having spent a fair bit of time outdoors in suburban gardens and the country side I see foxes at all times and often close by. I have met someone who didn't have any trouble with free-ranging hens but he did stalk the countryside with a shotgun many evenings and he did have a few Ridgebacks running about.
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