Thursday, May 30, 2013

A terrible tragedy...

Ok, in terms of really, really bad things that could happen to us, this isn't the end of the world, but it is a tragedy for us and Marc and I are both really upset today.  As if I needed something more to bring me down.

Last night all was well.  Marc went to collect the eggs and the chickens were - as they always are slightly before sundown - happily picking at the ground near the chicken coop.  They wander all around our land during the day, but as it starts towards dusk, they move to the coop and graze there before turning themselves in at night.  The coop is really close to our house.

Marc went out after dark as he always does to close the small door that the chickens use to go in and out and discovered that all the new baby chickens and the guinea fowl were there, but there was only one chicken.  He looked around outside and there had been a massacre.  There were feathers all over and no sign of any of the other chickens, or the rooster.  

He locked up the coop and went in search but did not find any of them.

This morning, he checked over the remaining hen and she is missing feathers but otherwise ok.  He ended up locating 2 other hens who apparently were able to escape their attackers and were ok.  He also find the remains of our poor sweet rooster.  But that means that the rooster as well as 5 our our 8 hens are dead.  

This is SO upsetting for a number of reasons.  Not only for the death of the hens, but I can't believe that the predators - we are pretty sure it was foxes - would come that close to our house and kill them!  Even the coyotes won't come close to the house because of the smell of our dogs!  

As Marc said - what if one of our cats gets out??!!  Then they would be eaten in a second!  And now we can't let the chickens out to free range because we are certain they will be killed.

I don't know what we are going to do!  

This morning I talked to one of my clients who has some live traps that he is going to loan me - it is illegal to kill foxes apparently - the sons of bitches...


  1. I am saddened by your loss,I am so sorry for you two. All animals in our care become pets of sorts to us.
    I feel that way about..tomatoe worms and ground squirrels..sons of bitches!

  2. We have chickens for many years. We only have 3 left out of 25 and they will be 6 in Aug. We too have come home to chicken feathers everywhere and missing chickens. I am sorry you guys had to go through that. It is awful !!

    I would be EXTREMELY careful with the rest of your flock. Whatever it was that killed the others WILL be back. No doubt about it!! Our chicken pen is close to our house too and we had a very brave fox come right up on the lawn and sniff around the pen.

    Our chickens have been penned up for quite sometime now and are very happy. I would consider building a pen for them.

  3. I know how you feel. We had fish in our pond for over a year, and one day I came home and they were all gone. The next day Chuck saw a heron flying out of the pond when he came home. I wanted to break its neck, but they are protected, too. I felt so bad, even though they were just fish, I had named them and they had grown from 2" to about 6" in length and looked so pretty swimming in our pond. Since then we have put more fish in the pond, but apparently the heron keeps coming back because they keep disappearing. When I feed the fish now, I feel like I am fattening them up for the kill! Someone told us to string fish line across the pond to keep the heron out, so I guess that will be one of our next projects. Good luck finding a way to protect your remaining chickens.

  4. Karla,

    I didn't know about your fish! That's awful!!

    Chris, the chickens are staying in their coop until the culprit is caught and "solutioned" right between the eyes!


  5. Jennifer,
    Check with the DEC about killing the fox. They told me that if a coyote comes on my property and I consider it a threat to any of my livestock: horses, chickens, etc. or even to my barn cat, that I have the right to kill it. This may also be true of foxes. On a side note: in the past I have been with foxes that I've wanted to get rid of, but they have always left on their own accord in the morning!!! Uncle Kevin.

    1. Kevin thanks SO MUCH - I'm going to contact the DEC and see what they say! It seems that foxes should be no more protected the coyotes! It's not like they are endangered!

      By the way. You foxes comment took me a minute but now I get it LOL


  6. Thats horrible, but nature. I am sorry your fowl friends had to go that way.