It was a spring morning when I heard Rick yell "Jean, quick! come see what's coming down our driveway!" Two fox were running up the driveway in the middle of the day. Just before the house they cut across the field and we watched Mr. Fox chase Miss Vixen all the way across 40 acres. No doubt she was in heat, but it was kinda neat to see them so close.
Fast forward to early summer........seeing them up close neat?.....not so much. Mr. and now Mrs. Fox set up house somewhere in our neighborhood. I'm pretty sure they had a lot of mouths to feed too. Our first encounter was a hole dug under the summer chicken coop door. He/she killed the whole flock except for one hen. My husband set a snare in the hole in hopes of catching her. She never went through it again.
She then dug under the coop door at the neighbors and wiped their flock out. They even had a 3 foot wide stone in front of the door. It was a regular tunnel that she dug! So now we are on big time fox alert. The new meat and layer chicks were getting pretty good size. I love letting them free range. The problem is they don't end up back in the coop to roost before I want to go in the house. I'll remember to come out in a bit and close the door.....ya...right. I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to distressed chickens squawking in my open window, and opened my eyes up just in time to see the fox carrying one away. We had feathers and about 6 dead chickens all over the yard. What a bummer feeling.
We built a new run this last summer. We made sure to extend the chicken wire down the wall and out about 2 1/2 feet onto the ground. Then piled lots of field stone on top of it. If she decides to dig a tunnel, we could still be in trouble. We haven't seen them at all this year. Did someone else trap them???
Ok --- enough critter stories. Tomorrow we rack the elderberry wine :-)