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Monday, 18 June 2012

Fox in the Hen House!

Sunday morning started the same as every morning around here. Everything seemed quite normal. It was raining, again, or should I say still, but other than that everything was quiet. I had just finished milking and was finally having my tea and breakfast. Mountain Man was fast asleep. He has been working rather hard lately and he needed a bit of a lie in this morning. Not that it was very late but rather I get up fairly early to milk. I love those quiet mornings.

So, there I was relaxing with my tea when all of a sudden there was a terrible racket outside and I quickly looked out the window. A fox was in the chicken run and had one of my girls in his mouth!!! He was trying to jump the fence with her but the rooster was attacking him so ferociously and the hen fighting so hard he couldn't get over the fence. It only took a half second to realize what was going on and I yelled (OK, I screamed) at Mountain Man, "A fox has a hen!" and ran out of the house. 

Didn't stop for shoes, didn't stop at all, just ran as fast as my legs would carry me towards the run. By the time I was halfway there yelling my fool head off for all I could the fox had dropped the hen, scaled the fence and was bounding away. 

Then I saw him, out of the corner of my vision a streak ran straight for the fox. It was Mountain Man. Butt naked with gun in hand running for all he was worth through the mud and grasses to try to get a shot at the fox. The grassy fields are thigh high now so it was almost impossible to see where the fox was but the gun came up and "boom!" Sadly we didn't get the fox, but the sight of Mountain Man running to the rescue will be burned in my mind forever. My hero!! Its a good thing we live in the middle of nowhere of the neighbors sure would have gotten an eyeful!!

As for the chicken? She is still alive but in pretty bad shape. The skin is puncture badly on her back and she can't walk very well. She also as most of her feathers missing on her breast and left leg, but she is alive. I carefully put her in a quiet place in the barn where she won't be disturbed and hopefully she will heal. This morning she slowly made her way to the water and feed and was eating while I milked so I'm hopeful that she will be OK, unless an infection sets in.



Our brave rooster is mostly unhurt and much more alert now. He did lose a few feathers but otherwise is none the worse for the experience.

I'm not sure when or if the fox will be back but I am every conscious of the need to secure the chicken run. The cost is prohibitive but surely we can come up with something soon. Meantime my glance is constantly going to the run and I am hesitant to let them out for more than an hour at a time.

Also linked in to The Morris Tribe and The Prairie Homestead blog hops.

5 comments:

  1. Howdy, We have a fox problem too. We have had several wounded chickens. I clean the wounds and spray Vetricyn (really good stuff)on the wounds and keep the chicken isolated in a "hospital" cage in the coop.I have had them in there for a week to two months for leg injuries. But chickens are tough and can really bounce back.Find the fox den and you will solve your problem.Live traps are great too.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ruthlynn, I will look for the Vetricyn here but unfortunately it is difficult to get any medications up here.

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  2. Glo,

    If the wound is red, you may want to open the wound, and clean with a peroxide and water solution and apply neosporin with Q-Tip.
    I bet that was a sight you will never forget with Mountain Man running butt naked to get that little fox. I would keep my gun handy and ready, your fox will be back.
    Be careful girl, some fox can have rabies.

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  3. Hi, we have had a few run in with the fox each year we have been at the farm, in our case, once the fox figured out that the birds are there, they will keep coming back until the birds are locked up or gone or the fox is gone.

    I got a chuckle because I have seen my own man do the same thing, but with sword instead of gun and he also got the hen back safe and sound, she lived another three years so far, but with her scars we call her "fox bait"

    I agree, I use my rabbit hutches as chicken sick rooms, they get fresh air, easy access in and out for cleaning, feeding, with a indoor sleeping area, but safe to heal, and if I want to do different green/herb treatments or creams/salves makes working with them very good and keeps them high and dry in regards to weather, have had great luck on them healing themselves.

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