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Fox resistant run entrance
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SteveP



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 155
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 16 6:24 am    Post subject: Fox resistant run entrance  Reply with quote    

I need to devise a method for the chickens to exit and leave the new night enclosure in the paddock by a route that doesn't give acces to a fox. The enclosure resembles a pheasant release pen and is surrounded by electric wires.

The pheasant grid devices for use at ground level which are available from game rearing suppliers won't allow LF chickens through and anything bigger will probably allow a fox through. The electric wires may protect the weak spot but as they say, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

My only other idea is a ladder over the top of the fence. Has anyone used a chicken ladder to a coop and has anyone had a fox climb it?

Any info or suggestions will be appreciated

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14810
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 16 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I doubt that it's possible myself. If a chicken can get in, a fox definitely can imho. I would be delighted to be proved wrong, though.

Having said that, would it be possible to devise something based on weight - like an open fox trap, so that the weight of a couple of chickens wouldn't trigger it, but a fox would? You have to be pretty certain that enough chickens couldn't fit on the treadle to trigger it accidentally and trap them out. I have one of those, and the birds have been know to get in after the bait and trigger it (and clever Monsieur Reynard figured how to get them out and eat them!). Possibly it would even help the ladder idea, of you had some sort of attatchement that could fail above a certain weight? I am not an engineer, and this is merely speculation. It's easier for us to just go and round up the stragglers every night. (I have one of those automatic coup doors, and still have to check they are all in every night, because most evenings one or two are shut out and waiting on the doorstep for me. It does mean we can go out occasionally and only risk loosing a couple of birds, rather than the whole lot, though.)

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32958
Location: yes
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 16 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

a plank with a nail poking out tied on a bit of string so it dangles in the entrance is said to be fox resistant and the birds just push past it . im not convinced but some recon it works.

SteveP



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 155
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 16 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

dpack wrote:
a plank with a nail poking out tied on a bit of string so it dangles in the entrance is said to be fox resistant and the birds just push past it . im not convinced but some recon it works.


I have more confidence in 8000 volts through a wire for the fox. The chickens don't appear bothered by it.

Whatever method that I eventually use for the chickens will get surrounded by the wire but I would prefer a simple one that is less likely to be used by a fox if the wire goes down.

Slim



Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 4691
Location: New England (In the US of A)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 16 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wellington womble wrote:

...would it be possible to devise something based on weight - like an open fox trap, so that the weight of a couple of chickens wouldn't trigger it, but a fox would? You have to be pretty certain that enough chickens couldn't fit on the treadle to trigger it accidentally and trap them out.... Possibly it would even help the ladder idea, of you had some sort of attatchement that could fail above a certain weight?...


Sort of like a scaled up version of this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXenv5Ulq-k

(except dropping a fox off of a ladder and not a mouse into a bucket)

Cathryn



Joined: 16 Jul 2005
Posts: 19829
Location: Ceredigion
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 16 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We have used a narrow tree branch balanced against the hen house sitting at head height. Anything bigger that a bantam would dislodge it. It has worked very well. Our problem is badgers not foxes though. (Our dogs run loose at night and foxes would keep away.)

To my amazement llamas actually do drive foxes away from 'their' hens! Might be a step too far for you.

(We are vaguely considering if we could use them to protect the new born lambs. Not quite sure how they would fit into our farming system yet though. )

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14810
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 16 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am considering alpacas. It just seems a lot of money to spend on a hobby (I'd have to build fencing, shelter and feed/hay storage).

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 3977
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 16 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

My neighbours have 12 adult alpacas and 6 youngsters,and they continue to lose chickens,lost a gander last week.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13487

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Here's my new pen.
I've used six foot 'Jumbo' plastic release pen netting with a strand of electric wire at the bottom and the top, to stop both the digging fox and the scrambling fox. This was completed a few weeks ago and I have every confidence in the set up.
















Last edited by Bodger on Fri Nov 04, 16 5:48 am; edited 1 time in total

SteveP



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 155
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 16 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bodger's pen is constructed like mine except I use two strands of wire around the base. I have used that design for fifteen years and not had a fox get through.

Back to the original post. I still haven't decided how to let the chickens roam the paddock during the day.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13487

PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 16 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As long as they know where they roost at night, I'd manually open the gate for them in the morning but then you or someone, would have to be there to close the gate on them ASAP after they'd gone to roost.

SteveP



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 155
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 16 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bodger wrote:
I'd manually open the gate for them in the morning but then you or someone, would have to be there to close the gate on them ASAP after they'd gone to roost.


Which is my problem. I currently work shifts.

Until I devise a solution I will open the gate when I can shut it and am home at roost time.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14810
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 16 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have to put mine away early if we are not going to be back from activities or days out before dark. I give them treats when I put them away, and they learn to follow the bowl in, even it's not dusk. Then they are in their foxproof run, so are safe, even if a few don't make it to bed before the door shuts. I have some new ones at the moment, who haven't got the hang of yet, though.

I give mine mealworms, for which chickens (in my experience) will do absolutely anything.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 32958
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Oct 31, 16 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

the electric "portcullis" things for pop holes work ok and can either be set on a timer or to close/open using a photo electric cell as a trigger for the relay

the dirty 4 dozen did ok with one of those until foxey decided to get dinner during the day.

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7091
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 16 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

This is what our gamekeeper does:

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