Rabbits, foxes, pasture question? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-11-2020, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Rabbits, foxes, pasture question?

We had a variety of wild animals here, then a couple years ago coyote appeared and I assume decimated everything.
Then we haven't seen coyote in a few months, and started seeing wild turkey, deer, etc. as well as lots of rabbits.
One large brush pile I intended on burning but haven't since rabbits like it.
Yesterday when I went by on tractor a fox ran out from brush pile area.
This is in the horse pasture. Now the question?
Should I shoot the fox?
I've always thought nature has a way of balance, except two things: About 20 years ago my Mom was helping Dad (rip) at their lake irrigation pump when Mom was attacked by a rabid fox! Dad killed it with a large stick he picked up, they both had to go through having the rabies shots.
Second thing is Remi has been acting jumpy in evening, looking at brush pile area, running, etc.
We don't want Remi getting bitten by fox or possibly of rabies.
Thanks any thoughts.
Oh...this was underneath my truck yesterday, but the black snakes I like (mice I don't).20200710_184605.jpg20200710_184749.jpg

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-11-2020, 02:59 PM
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No. I wouldn't. Fox are not after nor out to get horses. As for rabies unless there is an active population carrying it I wouldn't worry. We've lived with them here for as long as we have been here. Bred and raised babies most of those years. Never an issue. We have fox, coyote, bobcat, deer, raccoon, possum, armadillo, rabbits, mice, rats, snakes, hawks.... pretty much if it is around we've seen it. The uncle kept the coyotes in check for years. Then the neighbors moved in and if it moved they killed it because they were losing hens left and right. The culprits most responsible were their own dogs but they didn't want to admit that. Killed off all the fox, coyote and bobcat as well as taking out most of the hawks. The next several years saw the rabbit and rodent population explode to population sizes that couldn't be sustained. If it was in reach they ate it. Destroyed landscapes, natives... the boys grew up and moved away. Now the coyotes are back. I've seen a couple of fox and one bobcat. Everything is back in balance.

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Last edited by QtrBel; 07-11-2020 at 04:16 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-11-2020, 05:03 PM
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Fox won't hurt the horse...
Coyotes normally won't either unless working in a pack and you would hear the commotion.
We have coyotes and fox cross our pasture often..they mind their business and not mess with the horses.
The horses though keep a wary glance.
I have no fear they will stomp to death a attacking coyote.
Fox...just moving through never seen them even look that direction.

The snake...a black racer is a good snake to have.
Decent sized that one is he will keep down your rodent and frog population among other animals.
Best is if you have a black racer they patrol and keep away venomous snakes making your yard safer to be out in... That is what I was told by a snake expert and believe it..
We had rattlers...since "my" black racer arrived no more rattlers in my yard and I do look and watch closely for them...
I do see the rattlers on a neighbors fields, but they don't come in mine...

I am not a fan of snakes but they do a job and not bother me so not bothering them.
The racer actually were friendly to my dogs when we startled them one day sunning themselves on my back deck...nose to nose and everyone walked away unscathed and I did not have a heart attack like I anticipated...but no snake is my preference, but if a snake make him a gooder one to have around.
Think my dogs also have to do with some of the wildlife keeping their distance too.

I do have a yellowish cream colored rat snake in my barn, he too does his job of rodent control.
He just scares the crud out of me when I not notice him and he is close by and suddenly moves he makes me jump and run like heck...he's pretty big at near 7 feet long and thick as my forearm...but totally harmless to me who doesn't harass him either.
Both snakes know about each other but have staked out their territory and that seems to work for them...
My black snake would be a dead one if he ticked off the rat snake for shear size difference alone.
...

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-11-2020, 05:53 PM
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Coyote are a menace here as we have cattle and between the calves and fawns the yotes are tough on them. Everything else gets a free pass ( except deer in season) we always like to have one or two to put in the freezer in the fall. We never burn brush piles as they are good sanctuaries for all wildlife. Around the barn all snakes that are non poisonous are welcome. They help so much with the sparrows and rodents that we don't have a problem with them. I have shot a couple of coons that were showing signs of rabies or distemper. Our horses and dogs get full shots and rabies just in case.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-11-2020, 06:53 PM
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My rat snake loves to drop things on our heads when we go in the shed.

We have never had issue with the coyotes and cattle. Other game numbers are high enough to support them and their population is kept in check by the Uncle who takes out a few when their numbers start climbing.

Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-11-2020, 08:24 PM
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Seems the wildlife goes in cycles for a few years. the wild rabbits were running everywhere. They took up residence in hay barn making a mess.

Coyotes are around when the wolves aren't in area. Seems these two don't coexist in the same area. Either it's wolves or coyotes but never both. Right now it's the wolves has been for a few months now.

Fox are around but rarely seen once in awhile I see one going across the pasture. Neither of the above cause a problem for the horses.

Rabbit population is way down this year not many around. We do have several big black & yellow striped snakes. Two live under our deck and several more live under a brush pile. All I know is I see them every now and then.

Have raccoons ,bobcats ,skunks and weasels. I keep my horse vaccinated for rabies. Hubby has shot plenty of skunks that acted real odd ,also has shot coons who were acting rabid. All our animals are always update on rabies and other important vaccines.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-11-2020, 09:27 PM
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Please don't shoot a healthy fox!!

We have a mated pair of foxes that has a den nearby our place. I see them crossing the horse paddocks and the horses don't even raise their heads. The foxes help keep groundhogs and rabbits in check, which is wonderful IMO as that means less chance of holes where the horses are.
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