We lost every single bird today.
I am an animal lover, but if I was face to face with that fox right now, I don’t know what I would do.
We can’t find any trace of how they got in and out, but they’ve taken Jimmy.
There’s also 1 Rhode Island and 3 Pekin Bantam hens missing – presumed dead.
It has left all the big marans headless scattered around the yard with guts all over and one bantam stuffed inside a haybale.
I am devastated.
Thankfully my neighbour saw it before me and warned me. He had already moved them in to a pile by the time I got there so that I didn’t have to see the bloodbath – but the amount of feathers all over everywhere, including in the nesting boxes where my broody hens were, was absolutely heartbreaking.
He has sent me home for a cup of tea while he cremates the remaining girls, and MrT has gone up in his work lunch break to try and figure out the plan of action.
I am supposed to be going away tomorrow morning for the weekend so have next to no time to sort anything out – not that theres any birds left to make it nice for.
Although perhaps the break will be good to take my mind off it…
Having gone up there this evening to try and come to terms with what has happened, I now have an update.
My allotment neighbours found another girls as they were cleaning up. She was Maryhen and was my nephews’ favourite. I am glad i wasn’t there for that.
I found the Red, Rihenna, buried in the corner of the run, headless but otherwise intact.
I found Morgan stuffed head first inside a hay bale, covered by loose hay. She was fully intact, but from the state of the feathers she was killed up against that bale.
One lady is still missing. She was a beautiful millefleur girl called Jerry [Jeremy Cluckson]. She was broody and was sat in the nest box at the time. All of the eggs had also been taken/eaten.
Jimmy is still missing.
His feathers are scattered around the ladder entrance to the coop.
It is obvious by the layout, scratches and mess that the fox has tried to enter the coop through that door. Jimmy has been there to greet it, and has tried his hardest to defend his ladies.
He was an angel in the day, but ferocious when night fell.
We still do not know how the fox got in to the coop, but many of the other Old Boys have had a look and cannot find obvious any entrance or exit. Especially since they have been safe for the past 2 years while all other local coops have been raided, some several times.
I need to take a break from the allotment for a week or two to gather myself and focus on the chicks at home. Mr T will find out the entry route and secure the coop from any future invaders.
I know to some they are just chickens, but to me they were my pets.
Each had a name, a personality, and a daily cuddle.
They will be missed.