We needed to take some drastic measures. Only 3 of the original 23 chickens have survived the predator attacks. We were not going to be able to fortify the whole chicken pen in time, so the Manly Husband improvised a high security bunker with double layers of wire and cement blocks.
With the main fence already being of heavy duty gauge pasture fencing, and some boards were attached to the outside of the coop. Chicken wire was then stapled thoroughly to those and over the railroad ties positioned to form a sort of chicken coop leanto enclosed porch. The chicken wire was extended 8 – 10 inches past the rail road ties, then covered with several inches of dirt. In the places not aleady blocked by the close proximity of the other fence, some cement blocks were laid over the dirt.
I have read that foxes can chew through chicken wire, but hopefully all the extra obstacles of this will deter the predators until we can get to the real chicken pen upgrade. There is no easy place for a fox to jump to. The chickens might even help by pecking on its paws, because the critter would need to sit on the wire to do any chewing and the leanto design makes most of the roof easy for the chickens to reach. If they peck at my fingers when I offer them treats through the fence, I would think a fox’s toes would look pretty good!
The temporary work should make it easier to proceed at a less frantic pace with the changes to the rest of the pen, which seems like a better long term solution than trying to trap all the visiting varmits (fox? raccoon? skunk?). We’ve had the trap sprung, stolen from, dug under, or the like, but have never caught anything. Some people may think it is cruel for me to keep my chickens enclosed, but it has to be more compassionate than feeding them regularly to wild animals!