Friday, July 2, 2010
Yesterday, I awoke to the muddled screeching of chickens (If you've ever heard a panicked hen, you know exactly what I'm talking about) looked out my bedroom window to find a FOX-- long, lean, surprisingly tiny, angling after Dionysus, one of the non-cooped roosters. An inhuman warning issued from my throat, sort of a growl-bleat-scream, and the fox swiveled its beautiful head, fixed those yellow eyes on the house a moment, and melted into the tall weeds. Gone.
So now-- 30 some chickens later-- we know for sure. Our predator is a fox.
We've considered trapping it but have been told it's likely feeding pups and, being incurable softies, we can't quite fathom displacing a mama. (Yep, I know this says something unfortunate about our farmer-ness as does the fact that we can't slaughter or even sell off our old ewe, Copper, because we've had her so long.)
The other option is keeping the chickens cooped. We've done this for a few days-- the Maggie's Farm version of "Move along folks, nothing to see here." but felt so sorry for the free-ranging flock that we let them out again today.
And guess what? There she was, the not-so-fantastic Mrs. Fox, creeping along beside the back fence. The guinea fowl saw her first, started up a racket as only they can. (Up until now, we hated those %$$#$@ guinea hens, but they've been worth their weight in eggs now that there's something beyond crows and dogwalkers for them to screech about) Dan went to check on the situation and the fox melted away into the weeds again.
"I think," said our 8 year old, "Our chickens are going to go extinct."
Posted by Perri at 5:49 PM