Archive for August, 2014

A Hawk Drops by to Visit the Chickens

Author: Meera, August 4, 2014

Nightmarish as it seems, I didn’t fear the hawk swooping down from the pine tree onto the fence. Nor did I worry when it perched next to the chicken run this morning.


A sharp-shinned hawk on top of a nearby pine tree keeps an eye on my chickens

A sharp-shinned hawk on top of a nearby pine tree keeps an eye on my nine chickens



The poor chickens, who have been visited by foxes and other predators of late, deserve to be safe. To alleviate my own worries about the eight young layers and Mystery (the old Cochin), I’ve stretched poultry wire over the top of the run and strategically placed sheets of corrugated aluminum over potential entrance holes that animals could climb down, dig under, or fly through.


The brazen sharp-shinned hawk wasn’t deterred to see me this morning, but it didn’t approach the top of the run because there is no entry point from above.


Just as quickly as the hawk had landed on the fence, it flew away. The chickens went back running around the enclosed run, testing their own wings as they usually did each morning after being released from the hen house.


My girls are heritage breeds, so retain the flying ability that has been bred out of farm-factory chickens that are meant to only to lay eggs or be sold as meat to consumers.


I’ve lost chickens before to predators and ending up crying for days. I take full responsibility for raising my animals in a humane and loving way and I protect them. It’s the best way. For me, it’s the only way.

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Outfoxing the Foxes

Author: Meera, August 1, 2014

The chickens made such a ruckus this morning, I thought they were having trouble with a rodent in the hen house. My architect husband built the sturdy hen house off the ground.





He installed windows for air circulation and to cool off the chicken house at night. Good idea, we thought. Maybe not.




One of three foxes that have been checking out the chicken house at dawn

One of three gray foxes that have been checking out the chicken house at dawn and in the late evening



The windows open (to let out the heat) through screens. But foxes and open windows present a clear and present danger for the chickens.




We believe one fox is mom and the other two are cubs

We believe these two are gray fox pups




When I first spotted the foxes on the uninhabited acre of land behind our farmette, I put extra poultry wire over the chicken run and over the hen house windows.




Fox cubs play while their mom keeps watch

Fox pups play while their mom keeps watch



Each night, I secure the iron gate between the properties. The foxes were close this morning. I couldn’t say whether or not they’d go over the fence, but I took some shots with my camera before they spooked and left.




To outfox the foxes, I added extra roofing to the chicken run and inspected the fence all around to make sure there were no holes or weakened areas where the foxes could dig under.




We’ve placed a call to the local wildlife shelter and are hopeful that a representative can help us understand why the foxes are in an urban area (maybe in search of water and food during this intense drought) and whether nor not they will rescue the lovely little gray fox family, which is our hope.




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