Well honestly things haven’t worked so well with our poor backyard chickens. We were pillaged by a red fox. Ol’ Red got 2 out of 4 of our remaining chickens. My two favorite chickens. Miss Henrietta Featherbottom and Miss Minerva Louise McGonagall. They started laying much earlier than the others and their eggs were big and brown with nice dark orange yolks. Oh and they would come when called and ate out of my hand. So of course the fox went for those.
My husband woke me up with a hard shake telling me a fox is eating a chicken in the field but it’s too close to the horses. So I couldn’t half see, I was still confused from waking up and I grabbed my 9mm that resides on my nightstand for home protection. Wrong gun. I proceed to shoot and miss by about 2 feet(says the husband) at about 40 yards. The fox drops the hen and she jumped up and started running for her life towards the house and the fox took off chasing her. I shot again at about 35 yards and the husband said it must’ve hit right under him because he turned and ran hard. He speculated I might’ve grazed him because he was pretty desperate. I certainly hope I did. We couldn’t find any blood at all but he hasn’t been back either. If I see that fox again I’m ready.
The fox apparently attacked Miss Henrietta Featherbottom and she escaped and died pretty quickly. Miss Minerva Louise McGonagall was the one who was having her feathers ripped out in the field. I brought her inside set up a chicken emergency suite. Just trying to keep her warm, fed, and watered. I gave her probiotics and electrolytes and anything she wanted to eat. She loves really sharp cheddar cheese and all natural Rosemary crackers(a classy lady to the very end). The next day she was disinterested in anything I offered her and that night she died in her sleep. She just couldn’t pull through the shock.
|You can see where the fox was ripping out her feathers while she was alive in the field.|
So those girls will be remembered and missed. I would like to point out I have a worthless rooster and a super shy hen left. I’m going to eat that rooster as soon as the hen has suitable replacement companions. Which are currently in the brooder. New post about them coming up soon. 🙂 They won’t be completely free chickens but they will be in a very large area with heavy fencing, a net over the top, and a security dog at night. Oh and we are have a light pole installed so it will be lit up all around to deter predators. Fingers crossed. It kills me to not be able to protect my animals. It makes me feel like the biggest failure when I haven’t kept something perfectly safe and healthy. I know things will happen it is what it is. That doesn’t mean we didn’t immediately buy a varmint gun, set traps, and reinforce everything we could.