"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bold Red Fox, Dead Red Hen

Fox have found our chicken coop and they've been taking them out in broad daylight, one by one. A neighbor alerted us to the dead chicken in their yard and fox in the driveway. Fox on the prowl. The egg count is down and now we know why. We wonder how long it's been going on, From a flock of one hundred, you could lose a few and not realize it. We close up the coop at night once the birds are all inside. They are safe at night. But daytime is killing time. Now we know.

The fox slip through the poultry fence like eels through sea grass. Nothing can stop them except a ten gauge, a keen eye and a steady finger.The loaded gun sits by the back door, though I don't like it there. We guard the poultry fence towards dusk when the chickens are still outside foraging. We watch the field, the woods, the fencerow.

We can't go to town, or down the road to dinner, can't weed the asparagus or trellis the tomatoes. Here they come across the open field, bolder than fox should be. There one goes out of range at a brisk trot with a chicken in its mouth, disappearing into the woods. Feathers on the ground. Carnage in the fencerow. Buzzards overhead, cleaning up after the fox.

We mull the fate of the birds we've raised, nurtured through winter with heat lamps to ward off the frigid wind, and now move around on open pasture, water and pamper for the eggs they give us. They are just now beginning to reach their peak egg production. All the hard work through winter was just beginning to pay off.


6 comments:

Wendy said...

Oh dear. There's always something to bugger things up.

I hope the fox finds alternative dinner arrangements soon and that your chickens are safe.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Wendy,
Thank you so much. I love that term..."bugger things up." Boy that nails it on the head. Hubby ran electricity through the poultry fence so we'll see if that helps. At least it might deter them. I hope. Thanks.

Mama Zen said...

In broad daylight? That's weird.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Mama Zen,
Believe me, we thought so too. They are usually shy and nocturnal. But as the chickens are locked up at night, I guess they figured they'd half to get outside their comfort zone for a tasty meal. Thanks. Good to hear from you!!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

oh, no! I hope the electrified fence keeps them out. How to out-fox a fox?

Glennis said...

Keep chickens locked up during the day too for a few days and the fox may give up. Just throw in plenty of greens for the to forage in - better safe than eaten.