This one came with no warning and it came from the other side of the garden. As I am being very vigilant since the last attack I saw it take Sonny and chased it down to the field. I think it was in Sonnys favour that she is so heavy as it left her in the field and ran off. I was able to get her very quickly, no wounds thank goodness but she is obviously very traumatized. I have put her in the hen house where is sat quietly on the floor. I have rounded up all the others and put them in the pen.. I have made tin foil streamers that I have nailed all around the fence of the pen. The fence is over 6 foot, is chicken wire that I nailed on leaving a foot of over hang at the bottom which has heavy stones all around to stop a fox digging. I have also nailed a bin bag to the house that the wind is blowing and rustling. Apart from never leaving them alone I don't think I can do any more. I hate keeping them in the pen but I cannot risk leaving them to roam as they are too vulnerable. Typical that has happened whilst I am on my own!
Oh Aly how awful for you. Your life really is a series of ups and downs just now isn't it. Poor Sonny, I hope she recovers from her ordeal. How big is the pen? I know mine do not have free range now, but seem to be very happy in the smaller area they have, although they still have plenty of space and trees to go under to scratch around in.
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It is a big pen attached to a small barn that was a sheep house. The barn needs renovating, currently having no roof. This will now be a priority as will putting more shelter into the pen for rainy days. I have hung up a cabbage, placed some garden chairs in the run and spread some oyster shell on the ground. Now the fox knows they are there I know it won't give up. Sonny is my special chicken who comes for daily cuddles and it made me panic when I saw the fox take her. She is around 8lb in weight and the size of a small dog which is what saved her I think. I am hoping they all go into the house in the pen tonight as the cockeral and a hen usually go to the big house that stands alone up by the duck pond. The main pen is outside my lounge window, with my bedroom above. I am rapidly going off foxes
Oh Aly, it's a good job you were there...we've had our whole flock wiped out in the past, once while we were at home . We've been lucky for the past couple of years, but are extra vigilant at this time of year. I think last time it happened was when a friend house sat for us while we went on holiday, so that would have been December 2009.
just to update, Sonny has just come out of the house on her own and is scratching about with the others. They are all looking a bit stir crazy but I guess it is hard when you are used to being free range. Squeak is pacing about probably because she always lays her egg in the top house. Hopefully she will use this one. Someone has given me an egg today which is a miracle.
my duckling has eaten, drunk and pooped! It is now in the brooder snuggled up with a little snow leopard!
We've had a bit of a traumatic start to the day, Mike went to let the chickens out about an hour ago, and something...probably a fox has ripped up the chicken wire and got in overnight. Everything is either dead or gone. Can't face the idea of going and starting to clean it all up, but suppose I'll have to.
At least it was overnight, I remember when I went to bed last night, the security lights came on over by the barn and chicken hut and I spent several minutes at the window at the top of the stairs watching to see what had set it off, didn't see anything though.
I am so sorry Jan, foxes do such terrible things. I know they have to survive too but find this hard. I really feel for you, with my poor Clyde in such a bad way after a Buzzard attack I have thought about changing my practice. My chickens are fortunate to have a secure barn to sleep in with a compound around it, the ducks often go into it to mooch too but they are all free range. I am alone here with them free range as all the farmers keep them fenced in.
Thats a horrible thing to discover. We once were looking after someone elses ducks and chickens whilst they were away, and a ferret of all things got in to the coop and killed a number of chickens. It was obviously an escaped pet as it allowed us to catch it eventually, but it is a shock when you see it. Must be much worse when they are yours as well.
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