We moved those sweet little fluff-balls of baby chickens who had grown into noisy, smelly teen-aged chickens to the coop. A friend had said our two remaining “old hens” would mother them. Not so much.
The one hen was downright mean to them, and the teenagers cowered in the corner. When we saw the mean “mother hen” pick one up and shake it by it’s wing, we knew we needed to do something. We unrolled chicken wire inside of the chicken coop and divided the space so that the new residents have their own space, and the two crotchety, old hens have their own space. At least for the time being. We’re waiting for a week to ten days until we give them common space again.
In the meantime, we let the old hens out for their daily stroll where they scratch the dirt and eat the grubs and ticks and anything else they can find. Except this time, something went wrong. When we went to put them back in the coop – we only had one old hen. The other disappeared. There were no feathers, no note saying she ran away from home — nothing. We waited until it got dark out, expecting her to return home and say she didn’t want to run away from home after all. But she didn’t return. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was the mean one that went missing, but it was the other one — not that she was nice, but at least she wasn’t mean.
Then Saturday morning the chicken riddle was solved (no… not the age of old question of “why did the chicken cross the road?”, but our chicken riddle… where did the chicken go?).
We saw a FOX sitting in the yard eyeing the chicken coop, waiting for breakfast! Now we only let our remaining hen out on supervised recess. We’re down to getting just one egg a day until the teenagers get a bit older.
In the meantime, we took a look at our trail cam and found a good picture of our fox trotting past the bee hives. Now that I have his picture, I think I’ll put up a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster for our chicken killer.
5 thoughts on “May – MORE Chicken Drama”
Oh boy! So Foxy-loxy has come to town! I guess that’s what happened to our guinea hens years ago!
Sorry to hear the “nicer” one was chosen. Guess you won’t be needing my egg cartons any time soon!
Keep saving the cartons – we hope to get a few hens who are already layers within the next month. Then I’m sure there will be even MORE chicken drama as we try to introduce them to the flock.
I’ve been a reader of your farm emails since you started them. Most have been charming reads of your new life in the country. Today was upsetting. Maybe it was your country humor about the fox, wanted dead or alive. Or maybe you were serious. My husband & I live in suburban DE county, also own a trail camera & enjoy seeing the next day who ate the eggs or how many deer got the corn. We love our foxes as do our friends in a somewhat rural part of West Chester. We watch for signs of mange as do our friends & treat when necessary. The foxes, deer, raccoons & all the other wildlife were all here before us–& you. Our advice is buy another chicken coop, please. Leave the foxes alone.
Hi Janet – I’m so glad to know you’ve been following our blog. Yes, I suppose it was my country humor “run amok.” We too, love the wildlife around here. We enjoy the deer, the birds, and even the skunk that wanders through on schedule every evening around dusk. I’ve even gotten used to the bats that live under the porch eaves. I would certainly not interfere with the balance of nature and I know the fox needs to feed it’s pups. I was just surprised that we captured his (or her) “mug shot” on the trail camera. We have purposely left several acres as woodlands — you can rest assured that the animals are more than welcome to live here too. I was just sad to lose a hen.
Hi Jeanne, Thank you for your reply. Had a feeling that you cared too much for animals to do anything harmful to any of them. So happy that you confirmed that. So sorry about your hen. My husband just told me one of the Red-Bellied woodpeckers that we feed suets to year round was pecking the openings of one of our Mason bee houses. Wildlife goes on!