Jamie and I returned home on Sunday evening to find Lady Sussex and Audrey running free in the backyard. Initially I laughed in surprise that they had somehow escaped. With a quick glance at the chicken coop I realised the situation was far less innocent. The chicken coop was destroyed. One wall had been completely demolished and the floor of the coop had broken and the metal all bent out of shape.
I couldn't see Betty or Maggie anywhere! I called for Jamie and he came to check. We found piles of feathers around the yard and paw prints up the side of the house (I matched these to fox paw print examples online). I was devastated when I realised my chickens had been killed. I stood in the yard crying while Jamie raced to patch up the coop in what daylight was left.
I had spent hours when we first got out chooks blocking every hole along the perimeter of the yard. I chicken wired the gates and secured their coop. It appears the fox has squeezed under the gate and pushed the chicken wire away. We live in a suburban area so I still can't quite believe we even have foxes here! We had only been gone for one night. We looked all through the yard but couldn't see their bodies anywhere.
~ Betty & Maggie ~
Last night we had a big storm, which uncovered their bodies buried shallowly IN the chicken run (so sad!) I cried again. Jamie and I cleaned it all up, and buried them both next to the pond. I have never had a pet killed in this way before, it came as quite a shock, and I am still really upset about it. I know this is 'nature' but I just feel so bad for them :-(
I am really thankful that we still have two chickens alive, and mark my words, we are upgrading this chicken coop set up to be fort knox! Jamie is already drawing up the plans.