Fox Fatally Attacks The Hens

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.

An adult male chicken, the rooster has a promi...

Image via Wikipedia

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.

Miracles Do Happen

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!!

Why Are Chickens Particularly Susceptible to Foxes In Early Summer

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?

This is always a difficult question to answer as foxes are renowned for returning to a garden until all food supplies have been exhausted.

If possible reinforce your coup, ensuring perimeter walls are high and covered with netting.  For higher security metal mesh can be buried underneath the coup to prevent burrowing.

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.

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2 Responses to Fox Fatally Attacks The Hens

  1. Adrienne Craddock says:

    So sorry, know the feeling too well. We lost all of our black rock hens in fell swoop, and just found their bodies minus their heads. Dreadful. Then India’s beloved guinea pig, Ginger, was taken from the run in the garden. She disappeared and we found some white fur in the garden, how her sister survived, we do not know. It was tragic. Poor little Fleur, give her a hug and a kiss from us. xxx

    Bring back fox hunting!

    • Thank you so much for your lovely kind words – we’re all feeling rather flat here, especially Fleur – Rosemary was so dear to her. Hope your half term is getting off to a better start than ours!! xxxx

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