The Fox Cometh…Again

They say that coyotes and foxes seldom occupy the same area. Both range a rather large territory and it does seem that once we cease hearing the coyote cries, it isn’t long before a fox pays us a visit and tries to pilfer one of our chickens. We lost a hen recently to a red fox and now the chickens are relegated to stay in the coop rather than roam at large as they would prefer.

Pursuant to our desire to let the farm go au naturel (to a point), the wildflowers and grasses have continued to grow. One drawback to this reconciliation with Nature is that the fox has more cover to sneak up on the chickens. Just beyond the “yard” that we mow, the tall grasses are mixed with chicory, milkweed, Queen Anne’s Lace, and a multitude of other wildflowers that make it hard to see a hungry fox sneaking up on his intended meal.

Front field

The unwelcome fox visits us every afternoon, hopeful that the chickens will be set free, whereby they can provide his next meal. He knows our schedule and that the dogs are up during the heat of the day. When the dogs detect the predator, they let him know that he is unwelcome, but thick-skinned varmint that he is, he continues to come around looking for a free meal.

We are down to a rooster that is living on borrowed time and five hens, four of which lay regularly. They provide all the eggs we can eat and I sell the rest to a produce store in town. I really don’t want to lose another one of our hens, so, for the foreseeable future, they are “cooped up.” We’ve been through this before. Eventually, the fox will lose interest and move on.  We, the chickens included, just need to be patient.

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12 thoughts on “The Fox Cometh…Again

  1. I can’t really fault the fox. He/she needs to eat….But it must be frustrating. Do you need any sort of permit to sell your eggs?

  2. We just have to play the waiting game for a while until the fox moves on. I don’t need a permit to sell a few dozen eggs every month.

  3. If it is the same fox, you could live trap it and move it along. But, I agree, patience is the answer. Our chickens and turkeys in Minnesota had a losing war with the poultry flu. It seems to be abating now.

    • We’ve found they do move on after a while to look for another food source. No poultry flu here yet. I heard there were a few cases in Ohio so it is moving to the East. Glad it’s getting better there.

    • Yep, still here. I’ve gotten involved in helping animal rescue groups with their fundraising and feeling really good about it. Bill is still involved with honey bees. I hope we get some honey this year. They were slow capping off the honey due to our very wet spring.

  4. Patience is the key, and the fox will eventually move on to fresh pastures. I know they have to eat, but not your chickens!

    • Hello Barb. The chicks were out all spring with no predators. I knew out luck wouldn’t hold. We lost one but she was older and not laying anymore. The chickens are up for the time being so no more free meals!

  5. Hey there, long time — no blog from you, but I see that you have been busy. Looking forward to hearing more about adventures in your part of the country. We have urban foxes now — and love to see them. No chickens to worry about here, but they do keep the rabbit and squirrel population in check, for which I’m glad.

    • Yep, I do plan to post not all that often, but more regularly. Super busy helping small nonprofit dog rescue groups raise money. Very satisfying, but still lots going on at the farm. Do I remember correctly that you live in White Bear Lake, as does my sister?

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