View Full Version : Foxes and horses?

May. 11, 2011, 12:21 AM
Should I be concerned that a couple of foxes have been hanging out by my horse pens?
They're not too concerned about my comings and goings, feeding and mucking, though they will skee-daddle at sudden movements or when the dogs bark.
Here's a video I shot this evening (I don't expect anyone to watch the whole thing, but you can get an idea of how close they are. It was shot with a Flip which has pretty poor zooming capabilities)

I have 2 Aussies but they have the utmost respect for their invisible fence (thankfully) so they will not chase them past their boundaries.

I am guessing they have a den in the neighbour's yard (seen on the video) and they like to hang out (and nap and play) on that little berm. The fence you see is between my property and the neighbour's, but I have seen the foxes in front of my house also.
I will double check with my vet that the horses have their rabies shots - anything else I should worry about?

May. 11, 2011, 03:55 AM
Foxes won't bother the horses. I wouldn't worry.

May. 11, 2011, 08:45 AM
We have dens in the woods behind our back fence line and have for years. We've never had problems. They do come inside the fence line to walk/trot to where ever they are going - think it's just easier than woods, tall grass. The babies are to die for! Horses couldn't care less. Enjoy them.

May. 11, 2011, 09:51 AM
I used to rent a barn that came with a resident fox pair. One end of the arena faced a wooded area; they would often come with a freshly killed mouse, mole or whatnot and sit and dine while watching us ride ... dinner and a show, I guess! It was fun when Mama Fox would start to bring her kits and teach them how to behave properly at the dinner theatre.

They were never any trouble, stayed away from the barn cats, helped keep the rodent population down, and always appeared fat and healthy. Rabies can be a concern among some fox populations, so watch for aberrant behavior and unthrifty appearance.

May. 11, 2011, 10:30 AM
Good to know -and I am thrilled they might bring the ground squirrel population down. I hate those things!

May. 11, 2011, 10:46 AM
I've heard that even the coyotes won't bother horses.

May. 11, 2011, 10:55 AM
I love having them on our farm. My neighbor, who breeds Thoroughbred racehorses, calls his farm Red Fox Farm and takes foxes from other farms who would otherwise kill them -- I have no idea why:( We just saw a mom and her three cubs Sunday morning in the field -- it was really neat.

I never worried about coyotes with my horses, either. We had them in Oregon.

May. 11, 2011, 11:18 AM
foxes are AWESOME and beautiful. the babies are die for!

if they are healthy, they are also a benefit. they are great at varmit control. and DNR told me foxes and coyotes will not co-exist. I dont know if thats true or not. but, according to them, if you have foxes, you most likely will not have coyotes.

if they are sick though you have to take of that. and they could go after your barn cats

i have a big male out here. we call him "Solider-Fox" hes very healthy/beautiful, doesnt bother the barn cats, but really goes after offending varmits

May. 11, 2011, 11:33 AM
Don't worry about the foxes unless you have chickens you need to protect. Just make sure everyone is UTD on rabies. They look like a breeding pair, if you keep watch one day soon you may see them bring their kits out to play.

May. 11, 2011, 11:51 AM
I agree with the others, I've never known foxes to be any bother to horses. At a previous barn, a fox built her den on a hill near our arena, and the kits were super curious as they got older. On several occasions they would actually come into the arena while we rode and literally just sit there and watch us!

I say enjoy 'em, so long as they are healthy and everybody has proper rabies vacs, I think they are a lot of fun to have around!

May. 11, 2011, 12:41 PM

I think she got 3 newborn kids this winter when I got complacent but all in all I've had no trouble

May. 11, 2011, 03:27 PM
I've heard, but not seen foxes at my place.
The horses don't even go into Yellow Alert Mode - which they do for coyotes. :confused:

Place I boarded years ago had a resident fox that used to pop up on sunset trail rides & run with us for a while.
Tally Ho!

May. 11, 2011, 05:52 PM
we have found them no threat to even the cats


May. 11, 2011, 06:03 PM
no problems with em here. The dens are not in the middle of the fields either unlike the &^%$ groundhog holes!

May. 11, 2011, 06:07 PM
Put up a trampoline, fox love those:

May. 11, 2011, 06:09 PM
I was wondering this too! I did a late night check on my guys the other night and there was one hanging out around the barn. He was cute!

LetsChat--Ive heard most coyotes wont mess with horses, but at my last boarding barn, 3 horses (including mine) were attacked. my horse was so badly attacked that he jumped the fence, injuring him further. There was a nice coyote hunt for many nights after that. Successful....and profitable! We get $75 for each coyote we kill here.

May. 11, 2011, 06:16 PM
We have a gray fox on our barn property. It climbs the fruit trees to eat the fruit. Absolutely no danger to the horses, and leaves the cats alone.

May. 11, 2011, 11:31 PM
I have a mother fox with 4 babies in my hay barn. She had 4 babies last year too. They're so fun to watch. She takes them out in the pasture and watches over while they play. Last week, my two yearlings were both sprawled out sleeping with the momma fox curled up between them and the babies frolicking around the whole lot. I can't believe how well they all get along. The only downside pertains to the hay barn. Sometimes I go in there to find feathers everywhere, or dismembered animals (including cats). Last year, fleas took over and I got fleas every time I went in there for hay. I'm baiting them with oral flea medication this year :)

May. 11, 2011, 11:52 PM
At the place I boarded at in MI we had a fox den right over the fence line. We would see the fox cross the pasture to get a drink out of the pond and found the den while walking the pasture one day. Fox will not bother the horses and they are kind of cool to watch. We had a pig roast once a year and we would take the carcass and dump it over the fence in front of the den. Carcass includng all bones were gone in a couple of days. Only caveat is to make sure everyone is current on rabies vaccs, Fox are a huge vector.

May. 12, 2011, 12:44 AM
Put up a trampoline, fox love those:

OMG, that's hilarious!

No foxes here on my farm anymore, they didn't like my dogs I guess. They're fun to watch and IMO absolutely no threat to horses.

May. 12, 2011, 08:24 PM
If you are worried about rabies, consider getting the pre-exposure rabies vaccine. We live in an area with lots of rabies. Periodically, the local foxes and raccoons have an outbreak. Unfortunately, we cannot get the oral wildlife vaccine in our part of the county due to some sort of bureaucratic problem. Therefore, a lot of my neighbors have had rabies vaccine. We also make sure all of the dogs, cats and horses in the neighborhood are kept up to date on rabies vaccine.

Foxes are lots of fun. We love watching our fox family play. They are such characters.

May. 13, 2011, 03:24 AM
Years ago I went to check on my gelding one evening in the barn. There was no electric in that barn and the light was very dim in the huge stall. The previous owner had built a hay crib running along the back wall that was open underneath. I was in there for a good 20 minutes messing around with my horse and heard a noise. I bent to look under the crib. Just then a huge cat came slinking out, or so I thought. When it got to the doorway I realized that it was actually a red fox. Simah never once acted jumpy or nervous or let me know that there was a fox visitor in the stall with us the entire time. I never saw him or her there again after that. Simah was a very laid back horse. My mare would have had a tantrum to be reckoned with over that fox being in her barn.