The red fox is stunning in its prime, and it’s easily identified by its orange-red coat and bushy tail, it is widely found in the northern, and southern hemispheres. Unfortunately, for backyard chicken keepers, it’s also one of the biggest chicken super-predators.
Where does the red fox live?
It’s important to be able to spot the habitat of a red fox so you know if you have it in your town. They are one of the most resourceful animals, unfairly sly or cunning, and have learned to adapt to a variety of very different habitats.
And you’re going to find them in the forest and urban areas, where they’re best known.
Their habitat is a series of burrows, most commonly found in tree trunks. For urban areas, you will often find them under the sheds. You will know the entrance as a fairly large one. They appear to spray their scent on the entrance so that they can easily find it again. If you have a puppy, it’s easy to recognize the smell.
It’s important to note that the foxes are very good burrowers, and they’re professionals, it’s how they make their home. So burrowing under your chicken run is no problem for them, unless you take steps to prevent it from happening.
How to detect the presence of a red fox
Foxes use their poo-called scat-to mark their ground, so it’s easy to see. Take a lookout over the lawn, along the edge of your chicken park, along the roadsides.
You can even find it in urban settings on patios, porches, and garden furniture. It’s very easy to tell fox scat from dog drops. It is generally almost black in color in rural areas. If foxes live close to humans, it will be easier to eat household waste. It’s about three to five inches long and pointed to the top. You’ll see that it includes tiny undigested pieces of something they eat, berries or bones, fur, or feathers. And the scent of the fox is very strong and unmistakable.
What does the red fox eat?
It depends entirely on where they live. Some people think of foxes as meat-eaters, but in truth they’re omnivores, and they’re going to eat whatever they can.
They will survive on berries and fruit if they have to, but they are also ace hunters of small mammals, including rabbits, hares, squirrels, frogs, rodents, and snakes. They’ll enjoy your chickens, of course, if they can.
In urban environments, they have learned to store dustbins or recycle bins for discarded food. We also discovered that some householders would feed them, and that they would appear at the same time every day for their milk.
And, wherever you stay, don’t make a mistake, your chickens will be on the red fox menu.
How do you know if it was a fox that took your chickens? You’re going to find a bunch of feathers, but nobody. The fox is always going to take their prey back to their den.
How the red fox finds chickens to eat?
It’s the red fox and its senses.
Fox hunts primarily by a combination of hearing, which is its most acute sense, and, to a lesser degree, vision.
Their ears are able to travel independently, so that they are able to locate the origin of the sounds almost exactly. They are especially able to pick up low-frequency noises like rusting, so chickens rooted in straw or leaves will be picked up instantly.
Surprisingly, Smell is not as well-known as some other mammals, although still thought to be relatively sensitive, used to detect both their own and other fox lands.
The sight of the red fox is the least important of these three senses. Studies have shown that they are generally very short-sighted.
Don’t make a mistake, red foxes are good climbers!
They are usually nocturnal animals, and their sight evolved in order to be able to see at night more clearly. The fact that they are now still hunting by day means that they rely on being able to see movement, rather than specific shapes, until they are very close to their prey.
The red fox can run fact too.
Young foxes are able to move at speeds of up to 48 kilometers per hour (about 30 mph). The pace at which they leap on their prey is a lot faster than your chickens can ever hope to move.
Foxes are good at climbing.
While foxes tend to live underground, they will live above, if appropriate. Like other members of the dog family, they evolved to become successful climbers, using their hooked claws to scale fences and trees.
Together with the ability to jump over a meter (more than three feet) in height, this ensures that red foxes can climb fences of six feet or more using their paws. And as well as being able to catch chickens by burrowing, they will strike from above by climbing.
How to protect your chickens from red foxes.
With all this information about foxes, it’s not hard to come to a conclusion about how best our chickens can be safe from them. The fox is a resourceful animal that just needs to put a square meal on the table. But there are ways to prevent our chickens from being our food.
- Keep an eye out for the tell-tale signs and sounds of foxes in the area. This way, you will always be alert to the potential danger.
- Be especially alert from early April to mid-May when fox cubs need to be fed.
- The free range understands the potential danger. Foxes can hear free range chickens a mile or more away. Just free range if you can understand that your chickens would not be able to run fast enough to survive a fox attack.
- Make sure your fence is at least two meters (six feet) tall-preferably higher. If possible, install an electrical fencing attached to the overhanging posts that stretches outwards from the top of the fence by approximately 50 cm (18).
- When you’re in an urban area and you have friends who want to treat foxes as pets, don’t question them. Or, at the very least, ask them to feed the fox in the night after your flock has roosted.
- Accept that we may lose chickens from time to time, as best we try. Foxes are very adaptable and enterprising. If they can find a way around a problem, they’ll do it.
Where to buy Chickens in Akwa Ibom State
Since chicken is the only meat that has no negative health conditions, you can always use it to prepare any local and continental dishes of your choice. In Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, you can buy chickens from sofreshchikens.
Uyo, The Akwa Ibom State capital:
Number 215 Udo Umana Street opposite Akpan Andem Market, Uyo
Oron, Akwa Ibom State:
Number 27 Market Square by Aba Street, Oron, Akwa Ibom State
Eket, Akwa Ibom State:
3 park road, opposite Chinese market, Eket.