Just as we enjoy chickens and eggs as a tasty meal, so, unfortunately, do predators such as foxes and rats.
Where there are chickens, there will always be foxes. Now that urban foxes are as numerous as their country cousins, they are a major consideration for the urban chicken owner. Your chicken coop must be both secure and robust enough to resist a determined attack by a fox armed with sharp teeth and claws. Despite popular belief, foxes can attack during the day as well as at night, so only let your chickens out loose in the garden if you are there with them, or risk losing one.
The best protection against a fox attack is to return your hens at night to a secure, sturdy and robust hen house. Foxes are also highly effective diggers, so they can easily tunnel under a coop wall and into the run. So it is a very wise idea to lock your hens up at night inside the actual housing area of the coop.
Another way to prevent a fox from digging under the coop is to lay a line of pavers or bricks around the outside of the run. A fox will soon get tired of digging in from a half a metre out and will probably move on to find an easier meal.
Some say that human smell around the chicken coup discourages foxes, and we have read that urinating along the perimeter of your chicken run will mark it as ‘your’ territory, and discourage foxes. Not sure what the neighbours will think, but it’s a theory… 😉
Remember to always inspect your chicken coop for signs of scratching or teeth marks, and make any repairs quickly to prevent a small hole becoming larger.