Predator Profile: Foxes

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 23 July 2020

As hard as it is to believe, there are some animals out there who don’t see your precious flock as cute little feathered friends like you do.  They see them as food! There are certain predators that can be a danger to your flock - but don’t panic! With the right preparation, your flock will stay happy and safe from foxes.

How can I prevent my chickens from getting eaten! There are certain precautionary measures you can take to give your chickens the best chance at not becoming dinner.

  • Security - insecure coops and runs are the perfect opportunity for foxes to infiltrate and snatch some hens.  The best precaution you can take is to make sure your coop is secure, and that it has strong galvanised wire mesh included in its design.  Our coops are designed to withstand predator attacks, with bolts and locks on all doors. Having a wire mesh floor is ideal to assist in preventing foxes from digging up under the coop.  If foxes are a known issue in your area, you can also put the coop on a concrete slab, no fox will be getting under then!

  • Sensor lights on your coops are also a great deterrent - when it detects movement, a bright light will turn on, scaring the predator away.

  • Your family dogs are a great deterrent for foxes - some chicken farmers even have special guard dogs just for their flock!

  • Electric poultry fencing is a strong deterrent to all predators, including sly foxes.

  • Don’t let your chickens wander in an insecure environment i.e. without a fence.

the fox is a fearsome chicken predator

What are they? Foxes are widely regarded as a pest across Australia, as they are predators of many animals - lambs, birds, reptiles and small mammals.  This puts the survival of many native wildlife species at risk, and can put a major strain on farmers livestock.

How do they hunt? Foxes often hunt alone, but can also travel in pairs when they’re young.  Foxes will mainly attack at night.

Where can you find them? Unfortunately foxes can be found in every state, and are one of the most widely spread feral animals in all of Australia. Ask your neighbours, you will know if they are in your area. If you have dogs, foxes are much less likely to come visiting too!

How are my chickens at risk? Foxes eat small to medium size animals, a category chickens unfortunately fall under.  Generally, chickens are an easy food source because they aren't difficult for foxes to outrun and catch.

What’s being done against foxes? Because they are such a well-known pest, there have been a range of methods employed in controlling them.  Poisoning, trapping, baiting and legislation on the control of foxes are all used in Australia, but they shouldn’t be relied on to protect your chickens.

This may sound daunting but don’t stress - plenty of backyard chicken owners living in Fox territory have their flocks last to a ripe old age.  If you feel like you could be a bit more prepared, try a Predator Sensor Light,  Wire Mesh Flooring and an Automatic Door Opener and Closer. If you’re worried that your old chicken housing may not be up to scratch, check out our fantastic range of super secure chicken coops!

From foxes to rats, it's no wonder that pesky predators are a top concern amongst the chicken keeping community! Who wants to deal with the upset and destruction caused to their flock family? 

If you're in need of the best advice and information to keep your flock safe, it's your clucky day! Our friends at Chickenpedia have created a fantastic Poultry Predator Protection course. Sleep soundly knowing your chickens are safe from predators. Discover ways to keep intruders out of your coop, learn how to identify predators, and become the ultimate security eggspert.

Protect your flock today- check out Chickenpedia and their brilliant courses. I highly recommend their beginner-friendly, well-structured courses to all my readers!

Sources and further reading