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

| 29th May 2012

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.

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Have a good week yourself…

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