It is prime fox attack season with many farmers already reporting significant losses to their flocks. But did you know there are alternative ways to prevent foxes from entering your property, that doesn’t involve a gun?
Read some of them below:
There is actually quite a few fox repellent sprays already on the market, with some reporting that they work very effectively. These sprays deter foxes from marking their territory and will stop them, hopefully, from returning again. It is recommended that you find a non-toxic brand, as the last thing you want is animal rights activists at your door.
1) Human hair: Yes, that’s right, human hair is actually a natural fox deterrent and it is free! One can easily obtain large quantities from local hairdressers and its unlikely they will look for payment! When using the hair, simply place a quantity of it, in something which will allow its scent to exit, such as stockings, and tie it to the fences protecting your poultry and flocks. The human scent of the hair discourages the foxes from approaching, as they are naturally afraid of humans and associate the scent with danger.
This method has been widely used to good success and the hair only needs to be replaced every few months!
2) A radio/noise: Foxes, as you know, as sneaky animals and are successful when hunting in silence. They are known to dislike and be frightened. Therefore, it is a good idea to leave a radio on, near your animal’s enclosure. This not only soothes the animals, through music but also scares away the clever foxes. This will heighten electricity costs, though a safe flock of sheep makes it worthwhile.
3) Mirrors; Yes, this is another one which has proven successful. Foxes are known to become threatened when they are in fear they have strayed onto a rival’s territory. Cleverly placing mirrors around your coop or enclosure, creates the illusion of a rival, thus deterring the fox from entering.
4) Other Natural Repellents:
From completing research, various platforms report that many natural ingredients can be used to keep foxes away. These include garlic, chilli pepper and capsaicin. These ingredients, when boiled and mixed together, act as a natural repellent, when sprayed around the farm.
It may seem an unusual one, but like the hair, foxes are naturally put off by the smell of urine. Not only human urine but also urine from other predators of the fox, i.e. larger animals. It has been reported that it is the best to use the urine of a male candidate for the best results. What have you got to lose? It is free!
The above humane fox control methods are very successful, though there is no point unless you do all you can to ensure your farm is secure. All fences and enclosures should be checked and mended, if needed, on a daily basis. Just remember, a fox will find its way into an enclosure anyway it can. As the saying goes, “As clever as a fox”. All rubbish should be regularly cleared and disposed of from around the farm. Rubbish will attract foxes to the area, the last thing you want. Keep all bins secured and keep all pet food out of reach of potential visitors.
There is a wide range of other options available to farmers, though they can be costly. There are water deterrents available such as the Scarecrow. These work using sensors and spray the fox with water, once they are detected in a close proximity.
Other options are sonic fox deterrents, which let out high pitched sounds, which can only be heard by animals. Like the dog whistle, this does work, though it requires a farmer to be always on watch. Electric fox deterrents, also work but are expensive with mixed reviews. They are also known to widely affect pets and other wild animals.
Each of the above options should be trialled firstly, at the end of the day, what have you got to lose? For those of you who thought you had little option but to grab the gun, let's hope life has been made a bit easier this spring.