Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Attack of the fox?

Saw the Fox tonight again, hanging around at dusk...so shot outside to lock in all the chickens, even though they were all inside the electric fenceing...

All hens present and correct at bedtime , including the wild rover Spot, who I managed to shut in tonight!
So...I decided to do a big swap around when all the birds were sleepy, later...so he and the 2 Legbars are then in the Eglu run for a few days and the others can come outside in the electric fence area or, stay inside the bigger secure run.


Tonight was a bit...worrying ,though..

I went out to get Spot the feral cockerel from inside the hen house to transfer him to another closed run and house. I did that and then opened up the big house and run where the other two ( recently ) gone feral Legbar hens were enclosed. Got one, shut door, trudged to Eglu where Spot was, put Legbar hen in with him.

Went back to get Legbar no 2...she flew out of the door as soon as I opened it!..and ran around in the dark squarking madly.....she got the other side of the electic fence and then, as I went to try to grab her...she and I froze because the fox was there...Foxy made a lunge for the hen , I shouted and Foxy backed off BUT just stood there, growling...about 6 foot away from me?

I grabbed Legbar hen, shouted again at Foxy and finally it ran off into the wood.....

All 3 Legbars are now shut inside the Eglu and run, where they will stay for a few days, and the other 9 hens will be inside the secure runs for the next few days as well..

Have NEVER seen a fox "square up" to a human like that before...it really wasn't scared at all....

a bit worrying TBH......


  1. Howling Duck Ranch has been writing about how predators (she's american so more cougars, bears etc) are hanging around humans more and more because they don't perceive us as a threat anymore because we tend not to shoot/kill them anymore. I would be all for putting an air rifle pellet in his/her butt - wouldn't kill but would give it second thoughts about trespassing again. After all, if it would growl at you, why wouldn't it lunge at you too?

  2. Are there any legal ways you can get rid of a fox over there? I know when we had our mink trouble we called the county man whose job it was to deal with those pests and he was useless. In the end we poisoned it.

  3. It is worrying as a fox normally would run like hades away from a human...it might be time to call someone in to have it taken care of as it might be ill, and it would be best to put it down before someone gets hurt and it decides to bite.

  4. Tricky thing, foxes. It must have been horrible to loose your chickens, but as you say, foxes have their merits too. We have several that visit our garden and at all times of the day. There was one sunning itself by our hedge earlier in the week. It was in view of the chickens and they were a bit perturbed by it to start with but they settled down when it didn't get any closer.

    When we left the house and run unprotected we saw one climbing over the run and sniffing about, but with the mesh fence round they seem to have left them alone. I suspect they are all well fed around here, but yours sounds very hungry, unless it is rabid. I was surprised you said the fox jumped the electric fence. It is worth knowing they can do that as we were led to believe they wouldn't.

    We keep our chickens locked in unless we are outside watching them. They have a fair amount of space and probably don't miss what they haven't known, which is total freedom. I'm afraid we believe in reducing the risks of our hens being fox' chicken dinner as much as possible while letting them roam as much as we deem is safe.

  5. Mmm thanks for all the comments, I am wondering what to do for the best and have split the hens up between the 3 runs and houses for they all have as much room as possible.

    Karin, the fox took at least 2 of the hens within 20 feet of one or other of us, but just out of sight at that moment...so its pretty bold!. The hens normally free range inside an electric fence protected area, but are allowed out into the garden or wood when we are around to keep an eye out...such was the situation on Sat, when I lost the 6 hens. I found the remains of 2, but not even feathers from the other four...so am concerned that not only do we have a VERY un afraid fox, but there is more than one...

    Fox looked very healthy, btw..indeed a magnificent specimen and yes I normally have a liking for foxes and we have several who visit...

    but NOT when they eat my hens.

    The electric fence is the height of the wooden fence ( standard 1.2 m height) and OK a bit saggy in the middle between the poles, but even so the fox leapt over both sets of fences with ease.....

  6. That sounds quite scary to have a fox growling at you. Sorry I have no useful advice, I've never even seen a fox in real life!

    I just wanted to say how sorry I was to hear about the loss of your hens, I hope you get the problem sorted soon.


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