What did the fox say?

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,153
964
Lancashire
He said, "hello!"

We moved in Tuesday and our son was doing his homework yesterday(Wednesday) before dinner, yes that's an unusual event too! When he looked out the window at something that caught his eye.

What he saw sent him into a spin of hyperactive excitement! He came in saying there's a brown fox thing and it came to look at me doing my work!

We didn't see it but he's not able to kid anyone when he's so excited about what he genuinely saw. Our garden steeply banks up a hill from our house. There's a 2.5m patio then a retaining wall and lawn overlooking the dining room. The fox would have been about 3m away on the same level checking out the strangers. The house had been empty so anything local could easily have been using it without being disturbed for a long time.

Anyway, it's an amazing thing for him to see so close. I'm stoked for him and wish I'd seen it. Glad our terrier didn't though. Btw he's only 8 and he's only lived in a small town not the edge of a small village before. I hope we see more.

Also, I really do need to get my act together and buy wildlife cams asap.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
5,109
4,455
Mid Wales
Pleased to hear you've got moved; exciting times :)

Great sighting for a youngster; upon such encounters are whole life interests created.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,015
1,182
Berlin
If the fox comes back, I recommend to sit down and talk to him, if you don't plan to grow chickens, ducks or geese.

They do sit together with humans as well as cats and sometimes dogs too. They also live with badgers.

But I wouldn't feed him. If you do it, he will sit sooner or later at your barbeque table, and with bad luck he will bite you because he defends his sausages.

I had very long a pretty domesticated fox in my garden, we were friends but didn't share food.

Don't feed your dog outdoors!
 
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Dogoak

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 24, 2009
2,156
173
Cairngorms
Foxes are pretty active at this time of the year with the Cubs being born. A friend, who runs a rescue, has one that's about 6 weeks old in at the moment, born very early, she's coming on well and absolutely gorgeous :)
 

Robbi

Full Member
Mar 1, 2009
9,479
541
northern ireland
He said, "hello!"

We moved in Tuesday and our son was doing his homework yesterday(Wednesday) before dinner, yes that's an unusual event too! When he looked out the window at something that caught his eye.

What he saw sent him into a spin of hyperactive excitement! He came in saying there's a brown fox thing and it came to look at me doing my work!

We didn't see it but he's not able to kid anyone when he's so excited about what he genuinely saw. Our garden steeply banks up a hill from our house. There's a 2.5m patio then a retaining wall and lawn overlooking the dining room. The fox would have been about 3m away on the same level checking out the strangers. The house had been empty so anything local could easily have been using it without being disturbed for a long time.

Anyway, it's an amazing thing for him to see so close. I'm stoked for him and wish I'd seen it. Glad our terrier didn't though. Btw he's only 8 and he's only lived in a small town not the edge of a small village before. I hope we see more.

Also, I really do need to get my act together and buy wildlife cams asap.

Glad you're in the new place, sounds like a great adventure for all but we really need photos :)
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,153
964
Lancashire
Nothing tonight, not even the black cat we've seen in yore garden a few times. Glad the dog hasn't seen the cat or the fox. It's seen off cats but I'm not so sure it'll see off a wild fox. Not having heard if what once did to ducks and chickens a friend owned. 15 birds attacked in one night and only a handful survived. Nature though so not sure you can be more than annoyed in such a situation. Amazing animals.

I think the garden has potentially been empty for best part of a year. Being on the edge of a village I reckon nature got used to it. Would be good to keep that but still use it for our needs. If a fox becomes a frequent visitor then I'd be happy for sure. Not sure the local hunt would be. It's still quite active. Obviously not really hunting fox with hound for real, right?
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,153
964
Lancashire
Reminds me of my grandparents Jack Russell when I was a kid. It once saw a fox eating chicken bones in a garden their garden completely overlooked. Every day at that same place and time every day they're dog would be barking away for a good few minutes. Just like it did that first time when the fox just sat there watching that dog going mad at it but couldn't reach it. There was another part of the garden at a different time that also had that treatment but for a big ginger tom it once saw off. Dogs are funny in what they remember and continue like a tradition.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,015
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Berlin
Here we have a little cat that waits every evening next to the fox path and if the two times larger fox comes along the little cat hits him.
You can protect chicken and ducks with electric fences. That works relatively well as long as the chickens accept the limit. Additional automatic electric gates that close when it becomes dark.
That is financial effective. But if you love your chickens you need a large fox proof cage. Nonsense in my opinion, because the chicken can't promenade enough.

I think for a private person it's better to buy the eggs and to domesticate the fox.

Ducks and Geese are nonsense anyway, because you will love them like your dog and they become more and more but you need to care for them and protect them against the fox.
I currently do here nothing else than ducks, ducks, ducks. They are incredibly nice and funny, but they really are a full time job if one has an ornithological interest and a heart for animals.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,153
964
Lancashire
Or you wait out for the fox and get lucky like a farming former colleague did. She saw it coming back and someone managed to get a gun to her so she was able to take it out cleanly in one shot actually close up. No more duck and chicken attacks after a that clear kill.

Not that I like that it happened but I understand it. Farms are livelihood for people including ducks and chickens. To want to stop them defending their livelihood because the fox affecting it is such an amazing animal is a little unfair. Afterall I bet humans have been doing that out of necessity for longer than they haven't. I'm a realistic nature lover if that's such a thing.

However we have only a dog and an 8 year old son. No livestock to be put at risk by a visiting fox. So may it come and visit many a time. Become part of our extended family like the albino blackbirds I grew up with.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,684
2,611
S. Lanarkshire
I have foxes and badgers visiting the garden too :)
They become very familiar and seem confident around human dwellings. They don't even mind us standing at the window blethering away when they're under the birdfeeder less than 2m from us.

One vixen used my garden as a kind of creche for her cub. The cub would sit and whine then curl up under the potentilla bush when his mum jumped over the fence. Rarely did she leave him alone for more than twenty minutes, but he grew quickly and within a couple of weeks he too could jump the fence :)

I hope your son has as much fun having wildlife part of his life as I do :)

M
 
Apr 8, 2009
1,133
117
Ashdown Forest
Possibly putting a little bit of a dampener on the subject, we have long had foxes in the gardens of our various houses over time, and after a while the nuisance of having to go and inspect the lawn prior to the kids being allowed out into it to remove their faeces, half eaten animal carcasses (one including someone locals deceased family pet they had dug up and dragged to the garden!), and shredded nappies etc. rapidly removes the shine of seeing what is otherwise a cracking animal. I'm afraid to say that we do our best to chase them off whenever we see them, and try to discourage them coming into the garden with various other tricks.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,684
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S. Lanarkshire
I think I've been lucky. We haven't had any of those issues. I suspect that because my garden lies adjacent to the woodlands beside the burn and the nature walk that it's just part of the scenery for them though.

M
 

Tengu

Full Member
Jan 10, 2006
11,482
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48
Wiltshire
And do your neighbours keep poultry?

Walk down most streets here and you will hear `cluck cluck` from some back garden.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
36,684
2,611
S. Lanarkshire
One neighbour does. Lives about 100m away from us across the street. Her chicken house is a total overkill though. Nothing gets into it. I don't think she lets them out to be honest, I reckon they're pretty much 'barn hens'. Folks are more worried that she might be attracting rats than they are about foxes, tbh.
 
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slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
1,339
349
Devon
When I lived in town I remember leaving leather work gloves in the garden overnight. In the morning a fox had moved one to the back doorstep and left a message in it. Sinister critters. They can get used to dogs as well.

Personally I'd suggest just enjoying them as wildlife but don't domesticate them by feeding them.
 
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TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,883
860
Vantaa, Finland
I once read an article about a Russian researcher who took to domesticate fox. If I remember correctly in about 20 generations the foxes were quite "doggy" and suitable to be pets. I don't think I have heard how it ended.
 
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Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,635
583
Between a rock & hard place
I once read an article about a Russian researcher who took to domesticate fox. If I remember correctly in about 20 generations the foxes were quite "doggy" and suitable to be pets. I don't think I have heard how it ended.
Last I heard it's still an ongoing project for a Russian science institute in Novosibirsk.

FYI: Interesting academic spat developing over claims from another group that the observed "Domestication" is a result of psychological conditioning and not related to genetics.
 
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santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,851
1,068
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Florida
We’re lucky and unlucky here regarding foxes. Unlucky I’m that the only times foxes are bold enough to let humans catch a glimpse it usually means they have rabies.

On the other hand we’ve been lucky they haven’t been much of a nuisance since the coyotes arrived to eat them.

Tuen again unlucky that the coyotes eat the same chickens and other fowl plus your pets. Also a loss of trapping revenue (fox pelts were worth more than coyote pelts)
 

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