As the keeper of chickens that admiration has always been tempered with a certain wariness, and this mornings approval ratings of our local resident Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox) has taken a huge downward swing!
One of their number took it upon themselves to dig a huge hole UNDER the wire buried into the ground around the chicken run and broke into the run itself. There are scrapings and scratchings all around the pen where he/she tested the defences for a weak spot before finally ripping the wire aside and forcing its way inside.
We only have one elderly chicken left to defend – poor old Speckles having passed on very recently – and this morning Belle, poor creature, has yet to emerge from her coop . She is currently cowering in the recesses of the inner hut and loathe to emerge into the fox-tainted environs of her run.
Fortunately the door was securely closed on the chicken coop and our solitary hen, Belle, has survived the night. Every scrap of food left in the feeder had been licked clean after which poor old Belle’s potential assassin departed.
As I have no doubt Foxy will be back tonight, our days’s activity will be mostly about rallying the troops to build siege defences!
And also to investigate the hole I noticed has been recently dug a the bank in next door’s neglected garden!
Being brought up on a farm I have seen first hand what a lone fox can do to a hut full of chickens and it ain’t pretty. On one occasion my father’s entire flock of thirty-six hens were slaughtered in a single night. Yes I appreciate Foxy only does what Foxy does but that is small comfort when it is your own birds quivering beneath the slavering jaws.
Yes, I do approve of foxes by and large…
Just not today!