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June 7, 2011 at 6:38 pm #255110
I am looking into fox proofing our property. It’s a couple of acres, about 350m circumference in all. It currently has stock style fencing with pine posts, large square wire mesh & straight wire at the top. Any advice, suggestions, hints, tips, etc most welcome!
Where is a good wire supplier?
Is 8ft high enough?
What grade of wire is best?
How much do you think it would cost all up?June 7, 2011 at 7:42 pm #497708porgeyMember
Hi BV, as you already have a good fence there maybe much cheaper ways of protecting your place from foxes. What do you want to protect in particular? And 350m circumference seems a bit small.June 7, 2011 at 9:15 pm #497709murphyslawMember
Foxes can climb and foxes can dig, and they can chew at bits of wire and bits of wood, night after night until they get through.
So if you did an (expensive) 8 foot fence, they could still climb over it unless you put an overhang or else strung the wire all loose and too scary too climb.
They could also dig under unless you buried the wire all around. And what will you do for gates? They also need to be fox proof
signed sadly from the woman who lost dozens of chooks in dribs and drabs before she worked all this out for herself.June 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm #497710
Unfortunately murphyslaw is spot on. Foxes are very good at figuring out ways to beat you.
Netting or shadecloth pegged to the ground away from the foot of the fence will prevent digging underJune 7, 2011 at 10:11 pm #497711FozzieMember
For my chook pen, I’ve got 5foot netting around it, dug about a foot into the ground facing out, with standoff electric fences around. *knocks on wood* so far so good. For the house yard will do normal height fences, with chicken wire dug under about a foot and an electric wire along the top of the fence. Am hoping it’ll do the trick eventually when completely installed, it’s not vital that they stay out of the house yard, but preferable!June 8, 2011 at 12:51 am #497712
It takes more than 5foot high netting to stop a fox, remember they climb very well.
In non compacted soils they can easily dig under a 30cm footing…..if there is something they want on the other side.
Layering an apron on top of the ground away from the fence fools them when they try digging next to the fence……also a lot easier to install.June 8, 2011 at 1:15 am #497713
After I posted that I went down to the chook yard & found a hole in the side of the yard where a fox had chewed through 2 layers of wire – rabbit wire over chook wire & at the back of the yard I found diggings where they had ripped through the wire laid over the ground away from the fence. :woohoo: :angry:
I was thinking of attaching star droppers to the existing permapine fence posts & yes, having both an overhang & a skirt along the ground away from the base of the fence. Maybe an electric wire half way up it would be an added deterrent. There is only one gate, so we would have to manufacture that & make it electric too.
Really hoping the bugger doesn’t get into all my new hens – I bought another 16 on the weekend. Obviously too tempting for foxy woxy. Would tin around the bottom of their yard be a deterrent at all?June 8, 2011 at 2:00 am #497714FozzieMember
Unfortunately layering isn’t an option with horses in the paddock next door as they could get hooves caught in the mesh.
But surely a fox wouldn’t keep climbing if it’s getting zapped by the leccy fence?June 8, 2011 at 2:25 am #497715BlueWrenMember
What do the commercial “free range” chook farms do? Some,perhaps few and far between, do have their birds out and about on grass during the day.Do they just not have foxes around? Foxes are mostly,but not only,night hunters.June 8, 2011 at 10:05 am #497716veginoutMember
I buried (20cm) heavy gal chicken wire and shademesh around my food forest area 1/2Ha to stop the bunnies getting in and as a side benefit the foxes have stopped eating my berries and guavas. The fence is 1m above ground against a 6 strand barbed wire 1.2m high.
There is no sign of digging and I check the fenceline regularly, it will be tested when I put ducks into a pen in there I think.
My brother-in-law and his rifle are the best deterrent when we have a fox worrying the chooks.June 8, 2011 at 11:03 am #497717murphyslawMember
Electric fences are good only so long as they are on. They stop working when grass grows high enough to short them out and when large strips of flying bark fall on them, or sticks. Donkeys and goats are clever enough to listen to the fence first to see if it is on. As soon as it shorts out, they are out. I even had one donk that was clever enough to kick one post over so the wire shorted out on the ground. I have a lot of poles with kick marks on them. If a donk is that clever, then surely a fox is also? Probably wouldn’t kick the fence though.
Rifle sounds like a good solution to me. And those maremma type dogs are good too.
My chooks are in a huge run that has a chicken wire roof. There are rocks all around the edge and for years I used to check it daily and put a new rock on any scratch marks. The entrances to the 2 doors and gate way all have a bricked in step in front of them. I haven’t lost a chook in 10 years now, but I’m still very vigilant and I paint rocks, wood, fence posts etc with chili vinegar whenever there is a sign of foxy loxy.
I guess everyone has to work out what works in their area. It is very foxy round here.June 8, 2011 at 12:40 pm #497718busylizzieParticipant
BlueWren post=313566 wrote: What do the commercial “free range” chook farms do? Some,perhaps few and far between, do have their birds out and about on grass during the day.Do they just not have foxes around? Foxes are mostly,but not only,night hunters.
Our local chook farmer has his chooks out during the day, they freerange all over the place, quite a sight to see a few thousand chooks roaming :tup: he has a couple of dogs to ward off the foxes.
Our chooks have a big shed all enclosed with tin and wire, both of which are buried beneath the ground, its like fort Knox. I let them out most days and a few weeks ago, 2 went missing 🙁 foxes are bold as brass, since then we have been out and taken a few shots at one and havent seen one since, not to say they arent around, we have also just got a puppy which Im hoping will learn not to chase the chooks and look after them instead. Good luck BV, foxes are pain in the butts and the sooner the bounty is bought back in for them the better. 🙂June 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm #497719
Good point fozzie, not that I know what a fox does once it gets zapped by electric fence, but reckon it would deter them from going on.
I am surprised that a fox could rip a hole in strong galvanised chook mesh, when you know foxes well, they arent big strong animals. Wondering if the holes could have been made by a goanna or dog/dingo, I know a dingo can tear a hole in a chook pen.June 10, 2011 at 3:34 pm #497720
I’m going to buy some stronger, thicker chook wire & run it around the outside of the chook yard. The existing wire is fairly thin, hence the fox chewing through it. Apparently they come back night after night & work on it. I spoke to a chicken breeder yesterday & he said the foxes chewed through one of his yards, so they left the fence like it (only put in young roosters in the yard) and after 4 nights they set 6 rabbit traps, caught 5 foxes & hung them on the boundary fences & didn’t get bothered by any more for a long time.
I don’t want to kill them, but if I find a roadkill fox, is it worth hanging on the fence? Will that really deter them?
I’m still looking into fox proofing the whole place, not just the chook yard, so does anyone know where I can get a good deal on hexagonal wire fencing and star droppers?June 10, 2011 at 5:36 pm #497721MumchookMember
Hi BV. I, too, have fox woes but now fence my chook sheds and runs with solar powered electric netting. I can move it round as I rotate them on different ground.
I have a couple of alpacas too, one of which is excellent at chasing foxes away, however I move them around too and so they’re not always close to the chook yards – hence the purchase of the electranets. Friends of mine use a Maremma dog or a normal electric tape at both the top of the fence and a few cms off the ground, on the outside of the fence around the chook yards.
It would be quite expensive to electrify the whole outer boundary of your property so if you only have the chooks to protect and not a paddock of lambs as well, etc, then I would suggest you set up protection just around the chooks.
I have wire buried all around my chook sheds and religiously locked them all up every night, however since having the netting up I can leave their doors open of a night, allowing them to go out as early as they want in the morning, and they are safe.
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