However, experienced you are at Hen Keeping, nothing is worse than losing one of your brood. This morning our worst nightmare came true when Rosemary, my daughter’s Light Sussex hen (pictured at the top of the photo) was snatched from our garden by the fox, and taken home to be devoured by her cubs.
As it’s half term, our morning routine has altered slightly with my husband releasing the chickens into the garden with the dog at around 7:30am.
How did I know my hen had been killed?
As I opened my son’s curtains at 8am my eyes were drawn to the tell-tale sign of an abundance of white and black feathers scattered on the lawn and flying in the breeze.
As I rushed outside, my heart sank further as I saw a large clump of Bluebell’s blue/grey feathers outside the front door.
After running around the garden calling for my hens, I telephoned a neighbour whose Bantams gave birth to chicks yesterday to forewarn her. Whilst on the phone I spotted my son’s hen, Matilda, sitting on top of a hawthorn hedge and quickly carried her to the safety of our chicken coup.
Next, while on the phone to my mother, I spotted Augusta (my red Plymouth Rock) returning home and placed her back in the coup, and finally by some miracle an hour later Bluebell reappeared looking dazed and bedraggled but mercifully still alive!!
Foxes are extremely rife at this time of year, as they’ve weaned their cubs and need to provide them with a ready supply of food.
How Can I Keep My Hens Safe?
Foxolutions are a company providing fox repellents, fox deterrents and fox control expertise. They stock cages to trap foxes alive as well as sprays to deter them from coming into your garden.
I’m enlisting the help of our local Game Keeper!
Good luck keeping your brood safe.