Fox or marten in the chicken coop. It is the horror for all chicken owners.
A fox or marten has entered the coop and attacked the poor chickens. The next morning you find only injured and killed animals.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have peace from the voracious predators once and for all?
In this article you will learn how to protect your chickens against foxes and martens. Promise. Let’s go!
Fox or marten in the chicken coop signs
What signs do martens and foxes leave in the chicken coop? I have experienced it myself at my neighbor’s house.
One morning we found lots of feathers outside the coop. We knew immediately what it meant. A predator entered the coop at night and caused a “bloodbath”. All 10 chickens were killed that night.
When martens or foxes enter chicken coops, it is very likely that all the chickens will be killed.
Fluttering will be the chickens’ undoing. The predator’s hunting instinct is triggered again and again …
Signs that a fox was in the chicken coop
1) Foxes carry off chickens in the “whole”.
2.) Many chickens in the coop are killed.
At what time of day does the fox come?
The fox is a nocturnal predator that appreciates hunting alone.
But be warned: even during the day the fox can show up and get your chickens.
Due to the excited fluttering of the chickens, it is quite likely that the fox will kill all the chickens, as its hunting instinct is triggered again and again.
The fox prefers to carry off the chickens and eat them at its leisure.
Signs that a marten was in the chicken coop
1) The heads of the chickens were bitten off.
2) The blood of the killed chickens was sucked out.
3) The chicken body is externally intact.
What kind of marten eats your chickens?
The stone marten likes to invade your chicken coop.
The predator often lives near human dwellings. It often nests in quiet attics and roams the property at night in search of food.
At what time of day does the marten enter the chicken coop?
The stone marten is a nocturnal predator. It usually strikes in the very early hours of the morning.
Protect chickens from fox and marten – What are the means of defense?
1.) Flashing devices for fox defense.
There are automated LED lights on the market for fox defense. If the infrared sensor detects a movement, this device triggers ultrasonic light flashes.
The VOSS.sonic 2000* convinced me with its price-performance ratio. It can register movements at a distance of up to 9 m, in absolute darkness.
One should place 2 devices in the proximity of the stable (e.g. front and back of the stable.). This will ensure sufficient protection.
2) Electric fences for the protection of chickens.
Special poultry nets/electric fences are very good for protecting the chickens. With these electric fences, your chickens can stay outside even at night without being endangered by foxes or martens.
The poultry net is energized by a pasture fence device. If a fox or marten tries to climb the fence, it will receive an electric shock.
Thus, the predators no longer have a chance to get to the chickens.
The VOSS.farming electric fence complete set* is available at Amazon for the lowest price.
It has an integrated ground protection that prevents the predators from digging through.
3) Ultrasonic driver against martens and foxes
Ultrasonic drivers provide very good repellent results.
My neighbor has two of these devices in use near his barn. Since then, there has never been another fox or marten.
The ultrasonic waves of the ultrasonic emitters cannot be perceived by humans.
In contrast, wild animals such as martens and foxes can perceive them very well and find them extremely unpleasant.
The visual center of the animals is sensitively disturbed by the waves.
The fox repeller from PestByte has an effective range of 10 m and emits ultrasonic waves in a radius of 80 degrees.
In the scope of supply 2 devices are contained.
4th) Scaring agents
Scaring agents are based on essential oils and irritate the fine sense of smell of foxes and martens.
This agent is also effective against raccoons and dormice.
If the predators roam around the outside of the barn, the deterrent will get caught in their fur and on the soles of their feet.
The predator is thus confronted for a few days at every turn, with the for him foul-smelling scent.
An experience that the predator never wants to make again.
Super Expel repellent can be applied to the outside walls of the barn using an atomizer.
This agent is used by professional pest controllers.
5.) Wildlife camera
Are foxes, martens, raccoons or tanuki out and about at night?
With a wildlife camera you know if your chickens are in danger. You should set them up on your property at regular intervals.
With the help of a wildlife camera you can also check whether the deterrence and defense measures are effective.
Too often, people make the mistake of using predator deterrents without checking to see if they are having the desired effect.
Many chicken owners lull themselves into a deceptive security.
I use Secacam Premium HD* in my garden and can recommend it with a clear conscience.
6) Dog house near the coop
If you have a dog, then you have a very good “guard” for your chicken coop. Foxes and martens will not voluntarily go near a dog because they know that the dog can hurt or even kill them.
A marten attacks chickens.
Make chicken coop marten and fox proof
How to make a chicken coop fox-proof!
Chicken coops are the protective zones of chickens. When the hungry fox creeps around the coop at night, the chickens should know that nothing can happen to them in the coop.
The following aspects should be considered to secure a chicken coop against foxes.
1) Doors and windows should be secured with bolts, which are also secured against sliding open. It is best to secure them with a lock.
2) The materials used should be solid (thick wooden boards, etc.). The boards should be well and securely screwed.
There should be no gaps between the boards. Foxes and tanuki are real powerhouses. They manage to pry up boards or push them aside.
3) The chicken flap should be secured against being pushed open.
4) If your chicken coop has an “outside area”, then hot-dip galvanized aviary wire must be used. Only this will provide sufficient protection.
You should not experiment with rabbit wire or “cheap” solutions. If in doubt, your chickens will pay the price.
This aviary wire here* is suitable (mesh size 12 mm):
5) Safety measures should always be taken against digging in. Depending on the design of the coop, however, at least 20 cm of aviary wire in depth against digging in is mandatory.
Foxes can dig, but do not have great endurance.
6) When it is dusk, the chickens should be in the chicken coop and enclosed.
7.) A wildlife camera should be set up at regular intervals. If you detect predators on the footage, repellents should be used to protect your chickens.
How to make a chicken coop safe from martens!
To make a chicken coop marten-proof, you first need to know about the abilities of the predator. Small, nimble and agile, it slips through the smallest crevices. Due to its enormous climbing skills, a marten quickly overcomes any obstacles.
1) Its biting power is legendary in the animal kingdom: a common fence made of wire is simply bitten through and thus does not serve as a marten defense. Chickens from the onset of dusk must be kept safely in a coop that has no loopholes.
Use of proper fencing material: aviary wire hot-dip galvanized, spot-welded, mesh size not larger than 12 millimeters should be used.
There are ready-made aviaries from Pets Imperial here, which are equipped with marten-proof wire and offer the fowl enough free run.
2) There should be no gaps or openings between the boards or elsewhere. The chicken coop should be checked regularly to see if there are any loose boards or the like.
Martens can fit through openings the size of a chicken egg (This can be used as a guide in building a suitable chicken coop).
3.) Otherwise, you should follow the tips on fox-proof chicken coop.
Martens and foxes – All the info you need to know!
Does a fox go into a blood frenzy?
No, the fox does not go into a blood frenzy.
The fact that this chaos occurs at all is due to the fact that the sleeping chickens are awakened by the fox during the night.
The animals run through each other in panic, crow and want to escape.
In this commotion, the fox injures and kills more feathers than it needs to eat.
Once the situation in the chicken coop has calmed down, the fox lets go of the feathers. It is not killed in bloodlust, but out of instinct: The flapping triggers the hunting instinct.
Do chickens kill foxes?
Yes, chickens kill foxes.
Incredible as it may sound, in March 2019, a fox broke into a chicken farm in France. The chicken farm includes about 6000 animals.
When the lovely fowl spotted the fox, the animals rotted together and hacked at the predator together. The fox did not survive this attack and succumbed to its injuries on the spot.
Rooster versus marten?
Roosters are not to be underestimated. Often, chicken owners could report that when a marten visited, the rooster defended its hens by death-defyingly throwing itself at the predator and pecking.
Even though roosters are physically inferior to a marten, they do everything they can to drive off the attacker.
In most cases, roosters die during such actions. It cannot be ruled out that martens are more likely to leave the chicken enclosure than they would like due to the injuries inflicted.
Does the marten also come during the day?
No, as a rule, the stone marten does not come during the day. Martens are very shy and nocturnal predators. Under the cover of darkness they feel safe and roam their territory.
If martens have offspring, there could be a possibility that martens also go in search of food during the day. Since fox attacks must also be expected during the day, chickens must also be protected from predators during the day.
Do rats kill chickens?
Yes, rats kill chickens. Although adult chickens do not belong to the rat’s prey pattern, the rodents like to eat chicks and chicken eggs. An additional threat is that rats are disease vectors.
Chickens can become fatally ill by the mere presence of the rodents. Rats contaminate the chicken feed with their excrements (urine and feces). Therefore, it is advisable to keep rats away from the chicken house.