Keeping your Chickens Safe from Fox

Fox Proofing the Chicken Coop 
Suggestions to Keep Fox Away 

TBN Ranch

The fox is an efficient and clever hunter with the capability to dig and maneuver through very small spaces.  With little effort, a fox can chew through chicken wire and open latches that are of simple operation. Factory made coops often have both lightweight wire and flimsy latches which are merely an invitation to dinner for a fox.

Fox are mostly nocturnal animals, so your chickens are most at risk at night, unfortunately, when you’re sleeping.  However, a hungry fox who knows chickens are free ranging during the day, will hunt then.

They’re smart and patient, they will watch your coop for weeks before they attack. Every bird the fox can grab in the coop will be killed, often the entire flock will be completely wiped out. They’ll take as many birds from the coop with them. I think I have your attention now, so here’s what you can do to help protect your flock…

How to Fox Proof the Chicken Coop

  • A wire floor secured to the coop frame will prevent fox from burrowing under the coop. You can get wire that has bigger holes so your chickens can still scratch in the dirt. If that’s not possible, attach a wire skirt around the coop so that a fox can’t dig or burrow near the coop. However, this means you won’t be able to move your coop.
  • Enclose the coop with heavy gauge wire and make sure there are no gaps in the corners, around doors, or where the sides meet the roof.
  • Put two sturdy latches on the coop door, or use a lock.
  • If there access to the nest box make sure it’s locked at night.

Building or Buying a Coop?
Ideal housing for chickens where predators are a problem (which is everywhere) is a ventilated shed or structure with solid walls and a floor for overnight. An attached covered pen with heavy gauge wire and perimeter wire skirting for daytime use.

Suggestions to Help Keep Fox Away

  • Sensor lights near the coop are a help keeping away fox, you can easily buy solar and put them low to the ground.
  • Motion sprinklers near the coop are another option, predators are startled by water.

Hope this article help you keep your flock safe!

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Winter Chicken Keeping in Phoenix

Preparing the Chicken Coop for the Colder Months Ahead

The winters are rather mild in Phoenix and your birds will be quite comfortable without heat added, as long as they are protected from wind, drafts, and especially rain.

Temperatures rarely drop below freezing in Phoenix, with the usual overnight temperature in the 4o’s. As long as your birds are kept dry, cool weather is quite welcomed, especially after a long summer of brutal heat.

A heavy weight tarp is suitable protection from wind, along with ample clean pine shavings (preferred) or straw in the coop and nest boxes. Your birds will huddle together for warmth at night, if you stick your finger deep inside their feathers you’ll see they are toasty warm, even at freezing temps.

Never put a heat lamp in your coop, the risk of fire is far to dangerous. I wouldn’t use a light bulb for heat either. First of all, your birds don’t need it in Phoenix, and second, light is annoying and disruptive to the normalcy of nature.

You will hear other chicken keepers say egg laying is reduced or halted completely in the winter months. That may be so in other parts of the country, but in Phoenix I never notice much change in frequency. Remember, the key to keeping the egg basket full is defined in two simple words… happy birds.

Raising Chicks this Winter in Phoenix?

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