Posted by: hencorner | May 29, 2012

Good News, Bad News…. (between-post special!)

I know our last post was only days ago, but we wanted to update you with today’s events…

What a surprise to find this very young fox so close to the hens at 7.45am this morning…

Was he hiding, sunbathing or just waiting for the Eglu to be opened up for breakfast?

As I approached him, he jumped to escaped but I could see that he had got caught in the henclosure netting, so every twist and turn to get away tightened the wire around his waist. This picture was taken through the run of the Eglu Cube and you can see how close he was to the chickens and the netting he was tied up in. Fortunately, the hens seemed quite nonplussed that he was sitting only inches away from them and continued to eat, peck and fight the broody for a spot in the nest box. Their reaction to the fox confirmed my suspicions that they must be very regular visitors, but the hens have nothing to worry about when safe in their Eglu from Omlet.

I got on the phone straight away to the RSCPA and wondered who might be able to get into London, what their response to foxes would be and how long it would take…

In just over an hour I opened the door to Animal Collection Officer Jill Sanders. She was amazing! Calm and friendly, wanting the best for all the animals, she donned her thick gloves took hold of the fox and cut him free. Jill was pleased that I was happy to let him go free (some would ask for foxes to be killed). The foxes were in London before my hens were; we just need to find a way to live happily alongside each other. I was so impressed with the service from Jill and the back up team at the RSPCA, and as we all know they are a charity that, like many others in these times, rely on donations to keep their valuable work going. We may all require their help at some stage and they do a sterling job. Thanks so much!

So the bad news…

Whilst Jill was still here at Hen Corner, I was showing her the chickens, bees and strangely couldn’t find Spandau the new chick. I searched around Butternut’s feet, in her nest box and then sadly found Spandau floating in Butternut’s drinker. I don’t know how the chick got up that high to fall in, but I’ll know for next time to keep it even higher, or if low, to fill it with stones to reduce the risk of chicks drowning. Sadly Spandau was only with us for less than a week.

The silver lining of this tale is that we now have an empty nest box to try hatching again (maybe it’ll be more successful next time?) and Jill said that they regularly rescue chickens that need re-homing, would I help?

Lots to think about, but I’ll leave you with our film about foxes and how to keep your chickens completely safe in an Eglu from the lovely people at Omlet.

Have a good week yourself…

Join us on the Journey!

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Responses

  1. Sara, what an amazing post – fabulous picture of the fox. So glad the RSPCA were so helpful. Really sorry to hear about Spandau – how sad to hear the little chick didn’t make it.

    • Thanks Michele,

      Yes, it’s so sad that Spandau was only with us for 6 days, but we now have space for even more hatching eggs or rehoming some resuced hens from the RSPCA…

      A rollercoaster of a morning!

      Sara

  2. Good news about the fox, I am a fan of foxes – but how sad about little Spandau, so sorry to hear this.

    • Hi Emily,

      Yes, the little fox was beautiful…

      A shame about Spandau, but we’ll try again and hopefully have a nice little group of chicks..

  3. hi my chickens are now a year old and very healthy. they lay lovely eggs and have given us endless enjoyment. lucyloo struggles to see through her crest as it hangs over her eyes but its sooo funny watching her x thank you so much again. lucyloo is a cream legbar and we thought princess was too but she is white with black speckles. both lovely though.

    • Hi Sugel,

      Is it just the two hens that you have?

      What colour eggs do they lay?

      Sara

  4. A really interesting post. My son aspires to be a RSPCA inspector and enjoyed reading this too.
    I’m really sorry about little Spandau. Wishing you lots of luck with your quest to have a little group of chicks.

    • Thanks for this, Ariella, the RSCPA officer was wonderful and a welcome solution to our challenge that day. This morning we saw an adult fox on the lawn sniffing around the chickens as late as 8.30am…

      Must be careful with the chickens!


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