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Do I kill chicken injured by fox or try to save it?

 
Jesse Newcome
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A fox grabbed two of my birds this morning and I caught it taking a third. It dropped it and ran. I almost put the chicken down, but it didn't seem to be suffering and I examined it and put it in the coop. It has a pretty decent wound on its back, but wings are both still flapping. A leg seems to be either broken or dislocated. It can't walk, but it did manage to hobble its way into a nesting box.
To make matters worse, I have to go somewhere right now and I won't be back for 4 or 5 hours.

By the way, my dog helped me track down the fox and it was by its hole, but she ran out in the field and I couldn't risk shooting at it with her in the way before it disappeared into the hole. I will be waiting for it in the morning for a revenge kill. I have a story to tell on that too, because my dog has no hunting experience, but it kicked in today, but not much more time to type now.

What would you do?
 
Kevin Elmore
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Jesse,

We have a tube of Neosporin antibiotic creme that only gets used on the chickens. We too have had some fox moments and have been able to nurse them back to health with deep puncture wounds, open skin, etc. So far we have not dealt with broken bones. I would say to give it a try and if all else fails you can still kill the chicken. I would not eat a bird that had been recently wounded and would not heal.

Good luck on the fox in the morning. Once they get the taste for chicken they will clean your clock -- even with dogs.

Kevin
 
Jesse Newcome
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Yay, one of my yellow birds just came out of hiding... I thought the fox took it... still one missing.
 
Jesse Newcome
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Well, I decided not to stalk it this morning because I'm not sure who owns the property. I talked to the neighbors yesterday and they told me there have been many chicken murders and most have given up on true free ranging because they lose too many birds. For about a month now, I had been letting them out to roam from about noon to six without a problem. The past week or so, I let them out in the morning and then disaster struck. Do you think if I go back to the noon to six routine, they will be safe from hunting times?
 
Jamie Heaney
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Location: Southern Maine
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Broken legs can be bad. Give it a day or two to be sure if you want but you'll probably have to put it down unless it is a pet and you're going to spend money and amputate, etc. I wouldn't eat it, I don't know, but rabies scares me.

When we've had predator problems, we went on a 10am opening and made sure we closed up at dusk when they cooped up. We too noticed they will hunt a bit into the morning past dawn, though don't seem to show up until after dusk. They will get brave with success and will become easier to eliminate.
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Jesse N. : When I was growing up the parents thought it would be a good thing for me to raise Rhode Island Reds,* My fraternal grand parents had had chickens before
and were all set up for it and veto'd any other breed, my memory many times removed is that Any Injury on a chicken was almost guaranteed to cause the other chick-
ens to attack it and peck it to death !

What breed are you raising ? Anyone else have similar experiences ? The property stayed in the family and now every time I pick greens and fiddleheads 'out behind the
barn' I remember the old chicken coop and getting up Frosty cold mornings to break a trail through the snow to tend to the chickens needs before school.

Just an off topic thought to share ! I hated school, and showed it in so many ways, but I do remember that when I showed up at School, with my pants legs frozen to mid
thigh Ol' Pat Hart and Ol' Edna Hughes made sure I had a seat next to the steam radiator ! 50 years to late, but thanks you Ol' Biddies ! BIG AL

* The other side of my family voted Red ! Today I'm proud to say my maternal grandfather, a U.S. Navy Veteran refused to take the loyalty oath and voted for Eugene
Debbs for President !
 
Jesse Newcome
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allen lumley wrote:Jesse N. : When I was growing up the parents thought it would be a good thing for me to raise Rhode Island Reds,* My fraternal grand parents had had chickens before
and were all set up for it and veto'd any other breed, my memory many times removed is that Any Injury on a chicken was almost guaranteed to cause the other chick-
ens to attack it and peck it to death !

What breed are you raising ? Anyone else have similar experiences ? The property stayed in the family and now every time I pick greens and fiddleheads 'out behind the...


I have plymouths and orpingtons. The injured one is a plymouth. I have found the opposite with the pecking thing. The others seem to be concerned about it. The injured one can't move very far and stays at the coop. After grazing a while, the others actually come back to chill with it. Every now and then they come lay down with it and I have seen no hostility. These birds are pretty friendly. If one gets left behind at the coop laying an egg, it will call out when its done and the others will actually come back for it.

On the other hand, over the winter there was blood spatter on the walls. They do get a bit pecky if they are bored and cooped up for too long. I dumped bags of carrots in the coop for that and they peck on those instead.


On another note, I assume I should be discarding the eggs from this thing since it was bitten, since we don't know where this fox has been, right?
 
Jay Green
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I'd be more concerned with her sharing a common drinking dish...rabies is transmitted through the saliva and I've heard of farm animals contracting it through field stock tanks that have been used by wildlife with rabies.

My rule of thumb for animals that have been injured...three days. If they cannot walk, eat, drink with the rest of the flock after three days recovery time, they are culled. Anything more than that is excessive suffering, IME, and I have to weigh the reasons behind letting the bird suffer~is it for the bird or is it for me? If it cannot bear weight at all(broken leg), it is culled immediately.
 
Clifford Reinke
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Chickens can not get rabies because they are not mammals. That said, if it was me I would put the thing out of its misery.
 
Ken Peavey
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I adore all my birds, even those awful way-too-early-in-the-morning roosters. Poor Alice got attacked by a fox a couple winters ago, barely survived a wound that would probably kill me. I brought her in, kept her warm and dry, water close by, and an assortment of snacks within reach. For 2 days her wound wept fluids, but finally scabbed over. The scab was the turning point, allowing her body to heal itself. It took another couple months of separation from the flock before I dared let her out, lest the other girls peck her wound. She made a full recovery and was laying eggs again before summer was out.

My hens are pets right now. Perhaps later I'll take on some livestock chickens and not get so friendly, in which case culling would be a practical means of preventing disease. Just because I nursed one of my birds back to health does not mean it is the right thing or that culling is the wrong thing. I understand the purpose of culling. I've done it before, and support the practice.
 
Jesse Newcome
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After a little over a week of not moving from the nesting box, it hobbled out and hopped around the yard a bit. Its wounds are scabbed and it can get up on the sleeping perch again. I think it will make it.
 
Jesse Newcome
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So the injured bird has recovered and is now called gimpy because of the hobble. I have been letting them out only between noon and 7 PM and I was starting to think that I had beaten the fox by avoiding its hunting times. 2 in the afternoon on a blazing hot day with the neighbors kids outside making noise and the dog barking, this bleepin fox comes flyin outta the woods, grabs a chicken and runs. So I guess there are no restrictions on hunting times for these things. I guess I will have to try an electric fence. Maybe I can put up laser motion sensors that trigger rap music.
 
Jesse Newcome
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I cannot believe this shit. After I arm myself and chase this thing with my dog, it still has the nerve and the stealth to come back and grab one more to go right under our noses. That one was only 12 weeks old. After almost two complete fox-free peaceful months, and having deceived myself into thinking it would not hunt between noon and 7, this has been two days of fox terror and three birds lost... one at 2PM and one at 4PM today. It sucks too because I was having great success in a little free ranging experiment I had going on. The birds seemed to become lazy once they got used to free ranging and they started eating more feed again and hanging around the coop a lot. The yolks went from the nice orange that I was getting when I first let them out back to the winter yellow. So for the last several weeks, I had completely cut them off from any feed whatsoever. They went out hungry and became much more aggressive hunters, eating more greens and bugs. Their egg shells became much stronger and healthier and the yolks were the brightest orange I have ever seen. They are quite more delicious than any I have had. Well today, I sadly filled the feed container and put them away early because the fox has won this battle. I guess I'm about to eat my last 100% free range egg until I figure something out.
 
Renate Howard
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Did the fox look mangy? Usually they'll only be so bold if they have kits or mange. If the fox has mange they usually die from it and you may be able to get the wildlife officials to come shoot it (if it's illegal for you to do it yourself). Officially they say the mange is not contagious to dogs but my dogs have gotten mange twice from foxes and so did my neighbor's dogs. Mange is a slow terrible death for them, so shooting them is merciful.

If it has kits, I'd just pen the hens for a few weeks until they've moved on. Foxes are overall good to have around - they eat lots of mice and other pests, they just have trouble meeting the demands of a hungry litter sometimes.
 
Jesse Newcome
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I didn't get a good look other than it was red just like before. I think if it was diseased it would not have been so stealthy and ninja like. I guess it just had some young to feed. But with the abundance of bunnies everywhere to munch on, I'm still surprised to see it out at that time.

Instead of shooting it and having to deal with the body, I might try havahart traps and electric fence, but since I only have 2 layers left, I think I will wait to experiment until more of the replacements are old enough to lay. I don't really feel like going back to store bought eggs for any period of time at all.

 
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