Fox Neighbors

Often, when we think about wildlife, we imagine that they live in deep forests, and would rather not be near humans, but many  wild animals prefer manmade fields on the edges of woods. The meadow across the street from my home borders a 700 acre woods. It has a path through it that dog walkers use daily. Recently another type of canine has also been enjoying it. In fact, because of that combination of overgrown field, near to sheltering trees, these canines have decided to take up residence.

The path is an ideal place to survey its hunting grounds.

fox neighbor

Lily is beside herself. She can see the fox from my office porch. She barks. She announces what an affront it is to have this fox in view, in her neighborhood.


The fox doesn’t care. And clearly, in his body language, lets Lily know.

fox scratching

Scooter hears Lily. He has no interest in tangling with a fox. But, it is an opportunity to claim Lily’s bed.


I’ve seen this fox’s mate. I believe that their den is under the tumbledown stone wall at the corner of this field. Poor Lily, when the kits come out to play, it’s going to make her bonkers. She would chase these animals down, but I won’t let her. One has mange. They both have teeth.

Meanwhile, the hens are being kept inside of their secure pens. I’m calling the fence company to install a perimeter wire fence around my property. It’s the price one pays when you have fox neighbors living side-by-side with hens and a little dog. The fence won’t guarantee that my animals will be 100% safe, but it will lessen the chance that they’ll be snatched while I’m watching over them.

It could be worse. At least the bear that lived here a few years ago hasn’t been back.


  1. Great pictures. You got snowed in again from the storm. Not what you want to see on the cusp of Spring. Stay cozy!

  2. i had a bear one time. i told henry keller’ my neighbor i was scared of it. he said ‘you don’t have to be afraid of a bear. just whop him on his nose with a long stick and he’ll run right away!’ i said, ‘henry, they haven’t made a stick long enough i could be one one end whopping a bear with the other.’ later, i saw the bear again – he wasn’t the biggest bear out of the woods, and he was leaving for other parts, so everything was fine!

  3. Love the fox pictures. They’re so bold, aren’t they? We had a fox most of February sniffing around our hen houses. We only saw him once, but boy did we smell him every day! Yikes. Also saw lots of little fox prints in the snow, which, incidentally, has my permission to now melt and not come back till next December here in WI. A little sunshine would be a nice change, too.

  4. I love foxes-one of my favorite wild animals. As long as they stay far away from my chickens. I am glad to see you are doing everything you can to safeguard your girls-as you always do.

  5. Good luck with the perimeter fence. We have a 6′ cedar fence here in town and they gracefully sail to top, perch while checking out other side, sail down. Needless to say, we have no stray cats here. But the foxes move gloves, dress, work, baseball, and leave behind, as well as balls, bones, etc. I had drip irrigation down for trees but the kits used it for a toy and it ended up being useless. They are pretty and fun to watch but even a dog inside the yard does not do much to discourage them. And I do not have chickens for an enticement – allergic to eggs in my old age.

  6. Foxes are good neighbors to have to keep the rodent populations in check. I am blessed with both foxes and stealth weasels, who have found an entrance to my attic and help me control the number of winter field mice visitors I host.

  7. Your poor dog, I can imagine she is about to lose her mind. One of our neighbors has a white cat that sits at the back of our property and drives my dogs a little nuts. I don’t imagine a fence will keep out the parents, but hopefully the kits won’t be able to come in and wreak havoc while they’re young. My horse trainer had some adjacent to her property and they would go into the barn every night to make a mess with whatever they found. I love Scooter’s little game of Finders Keepers with the bed.

  8. re: bears. i never popped the bear – wouldn’t yet – and they do show up around here, ocasionally. . usually in spring when the adolescents are kicked out of mom’s nest and have to go find their own diggin’s. i did meet a wolf one night, just at evening, on a road thru two groves of trees. thought my dog was going to break the windshield when she caught sight of him. i asked her later what she thought she’d do if she’d caught him.
    not so oddly there was no reply

  9. The continues blurring of the human/nature interface. A good thing but trouble for nature. We had a cougar in Downtown Berkeley recently. Bad ending for her. And I heard of Moose in the middle of Natick? Bear in your neck of the world? We have foxes, racoons, possums, cougars, red tail hawks and cooper hawks here in crowded El Cerrito. On and given day deer can be seen waiting for he cross walk lights to change. Always one eye turned to the hens and their alarms.

  10. Does Lily have some fox hound in her mix? A part of her may be bred to go after those foxes. Fending off Mother Nature takes vigilance. Speaking of which, I must go shovel…(enough already).

  11. We also have a dog that doesn’t appreciate intruders. Thankful we don’t have neighbors like that (at least as far as I know!).

  12. Your photos and accompanying commentaries are great!! Since my next door neighbor got a new roof (hooray!!) the racoons who used to sit in his chimney and look through the window at me have gone. Perhaps they don’t like the smell of a new roof.

  13. Scooter, that is my dog!!! Everyone or dog needs a good cheering section and I can tell Scooter is up to the task.