Saturday, 29 May 2010
I'm raisin' a posse...pard'ner! Wanna join? (please say in John Wayne accent)
The bloody fox came last night!
I should have known there was something wrong. I could hear rooster when it was still dark, but I couldn't quite fathom it and turned back to my pillow.
We lock the chickens in their coop, at about 9:30pm each night. We really only shut and lock the door: They're sweet, trotting in as the light fades, arranging themselves on the perches. There's usually a bit of a bun-fight as to who sleeps in the three nest boxes, but eventually the pecking order is established. Shut in their home, you can only faintly hear rooster, as he calls out through the night.
Last night was different. The fox came.
He first tried the back door, we could see the teeth marks. The lock held. So instead, he/she completely destroyed the nest box, attached to the side of the coop. He pushed up underneath, dislodging the wood. He must have been able to get his head and front legs, inside the body of the house.
Can you imagine how scary it must have been for my chooks.....like a scene from War of the Worlds, (the new one with Tom Cruise,) they must have wondered which of them was to be taken.
At 6am my brain finally woke up and I realised that rooster was way too loud, to be IN the coop. He was obviously free, roaming the garden. I instantly accused husband, who had locked up chooks.
'You can't count. Rooster's out!'
Having been awoken so early by mad wife, he assured me, in quite strong terms, that he could count, and moreover, that rooster was in the coop when he locked up.
Frustratingly I couldn't find my keys to unlock the front door so, in my haste to see the chooks and still in my pj's, I climbed out a sash window. Only six of the nine ran to me. But when husband joined me, two more girls appeared from the undergrowth - clearly traumatised.
We had eight hens and 1 rooster. We think we've only lost 1 hen, which is really, really lucky. Often the fox goes on a total killing spree and kills them all - without bothering to eat them! My friend recently lost eleven: Murdered bodies strewn everywhere!
Sometimes Rooster annoys me, he's aggressive. In this instance he was clearly defending the girls: Husband pointed out that there are masses of his feathers in the box. Hopefully he gave fox some of his choice pecks.
The 7yo and the 5yo aren't awake yet. I'm very sad to say, that I think their favourite hen has been taken: Laura hen R.I.P. The 7yo will confirm this later, when she wakes. She knows them all personally.
Load up, we're riding out.
Picture, courtesy of http://www.eohc.ca/cas.asp