Nest making ……and unwelcome fox
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- This topic has 5 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 11 months ago by 5sandown.
29th April 2020 at 6:23 am #22466
I’ve had regular visitors over the last month or two and saw what could be mating behaviour a few weeks ago. The female, I think, has been resident in one of my houses for most of this time. I put hay in the house initially and leave some additional hay nearby but it hasn’t been touched until the last couple of days when she started pulling large amounts of it into the nest at night. I’m wondering if this is a sign that she might be making a birthing nest?
Last weekend I caught a fox visiting on the garden camera for the first time. It appeared while two hogs were also pictured but didn’t seem at all interested in them. Since then I’ve secured the hog’s supplementary food undercover. I’m very concerned that, if we do get hoglets, the fox may prove to be a danger to them. Can anyone advise on this and the best way to discourage the fox from visiting without using deterrents that might be a problem for other wildlife? I think I know where the fox is getting in and thought a motion triggered light might be some use but would welcome any advice from people who’ve had this problem before. Thanks!29th April 2020 at 11:47 am #22479
Sounds promising on the nesting front. Perhaps they really did manage to get their act together! Gestation is about 4.5 weeks, so …. Although peak hoglet arrival times are June and July, so still early. But if there was a female around early, which it seems there was, then it’s possible that she could produce early. Although slightly concerned about her using the same box she’s been in for a while (re. the external parasite position). But, fingers crossed for some hoglets soon. That would be lovely.
Some foxes kill adult hogs as well. I understand a few become specialists. They wait until the hog has unrolled and then pounce. Which is why I never like to hear about foxes and hogs eating side by side. It may be a small minority, but just not worth the risk to my mind. Never know if/when a fox might get the idea for the first time. That’s apart from the leg injuries they can cause. But, even so, I would worry more about a badger being around.
Is the fox entering by the same accessway the hogs use? Or are you able to block, make smaller where it’s entering? I imagine it will be less likely to visit if it isn’t finding any food available, so it’s good that you’ve secured the supplementary feeding area. It might just give up.
Be aware, that some, although apparently not all hogs aren’t too keen on lights which go on and off.
There is talk about human urine (male, I believe, because of the testosterone) putting off badgers and possibly foxes, but not sure if there is any real evidence, but might be worth a try if the fox becomes a problem. I haven’t ever heard anything about it putting hogs off as well, but suppose it’s possible. (More research required!)
Good luck.29th April 2020 at 12:01 pm #22480
Thanks Nic, I think the fox is entering by the side gate whereas the hogs come and go mostly through the highway access to other gardens. I’d put the light outside the side gate and try and use the camera to see fox (and hog) activity. We also lost some fence panels with next door in storm Ciara which were replaced yesterday so if the fox was getting in that way he might be dissuaded. Really I need more camera evidence to decide what to do. Although not in my garden we have had foxes in the general area for years and still have a healthy hog population. So that might be some encouragement. Watch this space!4th May 2020 at 9:09 am #22666
Haven’t seen the fox for a couple of nights so I hope that a combination of measures, including the urine option(!), have dissuaded it. I really don’t want it in the garden around the hogs and will continue to try and keep it away. I did a very quick visual check in the hog house today and noticed a lot of hog poo in the entrance tunnel. I could clean it out without disturbing the nesting area but I don’t know if this is a good idea or not. Any advice? Thanks4th May 2020 at 1:43 pm #22677
Glad to hear no sign of the fox recently. I know what you mean – I love foxes, but wouldn’t really want them around the hogs.
If you can move the poo very quietly, without disturbance, I think I would be inclined to move it if there is a lot.4th May 2020 at 2:06 pm #22694
Thanks Nic, I’ll do that
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