CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A fox is on the loose in Chippewa Falls. Early Thursday morning, Gabriel Slayton woke up to a red fox attacking his chicken coup.
First News at Nine’s Max Cotton spoke to the homeowner and shows us the damage.
Gabriel Slayton found a new hobby during his time in quarantine, raising chickens at his Chippewa Falls home.
“A lot of people were laid-off, as I was, so I need something to keep me from going a little bit crazy,” said Slayton.
Slayton says fears of food shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic also led him to get hens. They lay plenty of eggs making them a good source of food. The animals quickly became part of the hobby farmer’s family.
Slayton said, “It’s something to look forward to every day. You know, just go outside and, you know, say hi to them. And they’ll come right up to you, you know, usually looking for food but they’re very social creatures and really interesting to have around.”
But, nightmare struck, when a silver fox snuck into Slayton’s backyard early Thursday morning. Security video taken from Slayton’s backyard and hen house shows the fox attacking his ten chickens, killing four and taking two more.
“It took me a while to realize what was going on when I saw the fox on the camera, but it wasn’t the first thing on my mind that it was going to come into my yard and have a feast on the chickens,” said Slayton.
The fox took off. Leading Slayton to warn his community and set up traps hoping to capture the animal.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says red foxes are common in the state. People are allowed to trap them if they’re causing property damage. The DNR adds they’re shy creatures but also opportunistic predators.
“I was shocked initially but, you know, I realize that there is a hierarchy on the food chain and it’s just part of nature,” said Slayton.
Slayton says he’s fortified his chicken coup but hopes if he catches the fox. It can be relocated in a place where it won’t cause too much trouble.
“It was really curious to see, you know, what the phrase ‘fox in a henhouse’ really means,” said Slayton.
In Chippewa Falls, Max cotton, First News at Nine.
If you come across a red fox, the DNR says not to get too close to one. The DNR also says making loud noises or shouting at foxes can get them to leave a certain area.