Posted: 14/06/2014 at 15:13
It is emotive and it would be horrible tol lose all the chickens. I know someone with a smallholding out in the derbyshire peaks, A very rural area, and foxes all over. She leaves a light on in the chicken shed all year. This apparently deters the foxes and the hens lay all year. Its a bit cold up there so I swap various veg from my garden for eggs.
Our foxes live in the wild (private ) wood next door. 5 acres is surrounded by housing, many of whom feed the foxes. We are encouraged to have wildlife in the garden.
We put out food for birds. They multiply and the sparrowhawk is attracted.The finches chuck food out on the floor which attracts mice and voles. The owl hunts the mice. The pond attracts frogs,toads and newts. The frog breeding session attracts the heron who fancies a quick snack. Foxes are attracted by rodents, as well as food put out for them, and the hedgehog likes an easy meal as well.
City foxes rip open sacks of rubbish put out and fast food discarded by people.
In our area we have wheely bins. We started feeding the foxes after seeing an obviously pregnant female looking very thin. They cannot scavenge from binbags, and we enjoy the sight of them in the garden. It has taken a long time to get one to trust us. far from being the brazen city foxes, entering houses etc,any slight movement and they disappear.
We had one evening that we will always remember. One adult appeared, a couple of cubs, then another adult, more cubs, more cubs. All of a sudden we had 4 adults and 12 cubs gambolling around the lawn. It lasted all of three minutes,and they had gone. I think I must have held my breath all the way through.
So, should we encourage wildlife into our gardens? or not?. I dont think you can be selective. The more you have, the more will come.