Be­ware the dig­ging fox

Country Smallholding - - Ask The Experts -

QWe’ve had a fox dig into the chicken en­clo­sure that we thought was safe from at­tack (we’d dug the netting into the ground fac­ing out etc). How on earth have they got in and what can we do to pre­vent this hap­pen­ing again?

AKim

Stod­dart says: I’m afraid this is an al­to­gether too fa­mil­iar prob­lem for small­hold­ers as, even if you haven’t suf­fered an at­tack for a few years, your lo­cal fox will most likely be pass­ing your en­clo­sure each night wait­ing for an op­por­tu­nity break in. Also, with the wet win­ters (and at the time of writ­ing, sum­mers) that we are in­creas­ingly ex­pe­ri­enc­ing, even a prop­erly dug in fence will come loose over time and en­able a canny preda­tor to make their way in. We’ve ex­pe­ri­enced this our­selves but have found a sure-fire, ut­terly fox-proof al­ter­na­tive. Us­ing a pile of large field stones (that our farm­ing neigh­bours had re­moved from their land and wanted rid of), we placed them around the in­side and out­side of the en­clo­sure netting.

It looks nice and, short of a fox com­ing armed with a wheel­bar­row and a few heav­ies to lift the stones, we now know our chick­ens are fi­nally safe from this type of un­der­ground at­tack.

Heavy stones can de­ter foxes from dig­ging

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