We had a bit of a tragedy weekend. Our chickens are all gone. Friday night into Saturday morning the dogs were restless, sometimes the feral cats we have across the road to us kick off (Cats are funny things, you hear them shrieking and they might be fighting or they might be loving up. I know some human couples like that. Lol) in the wee hours and can set the dogs off, so I just went out told them to be quiet and then had to let the pups out for ablutions, because they also had been disturbed. This happened twice and then I was up to milk Saturday morning at 5 am, home 8.30 am to at 9 am hand over Harry to the Morgan family. Luckily I have a very helpful husband and as I returned from milking at 8.30 am and turned in through the gate I could hear the dulcet tone of the vacuum cleaner.
Once Harry was on his way, I went and run the dogs out and went to check the chickens water and food, and if any eggs to pick up. The chicken run out in about a quarter of an acre of paddock and we made a hole on the back of one of our stables just enough for a chicken to pass through, so the chicken also have a twelve by twelve foot stable with laying boxes, and perches for them to roost at night. We keep the feeder and water in the stable and on checking the food and water, and if any eggs, I thought it a little strange that no chicken were in the stable, as they normally come in when I'm there to check if I might have some tasty scraps for them, but it was nice weather and I was in a bit of a hurry, so did not make to much of it and noted to do a head count when I checked for eggs later, as I had promised to go to town with our daughter Molly.
Going to town with Molly was her birthday treat, I could not do it last weekend just after her birthday due to work and had promised that this weekend we would go together to town for a couple hours and have lunch out. When you have six children, getting these moments alone with a parent are very precious to a child, I know because I was once in Molly's shoes being the last of six children myself.
So I got ready for town with strict instructions from Molly, that I could not wear my dealer boots and I was to wear earrings and a necklace. Also I was to brush my hair, I protested at this request and told Molly how Mr Pillow had taken all night to create what she saw before her.
The photo is Molly and me just before setting off to town. Our little Tilly took it, who is six years old and I'm sort of crouching, as I was pretty sure by the angle of the camera Tilly was cutting my head off, but she managed to get it in. My oldest son thinks I look tired in the photo and the truth is I was, after a broken nights sleep and an early start.
I got back from town around 3 pm changed and checked the chickens. First I went to the stable, no eggs, strange. no chicken, even stranger. So I walked around the stables into the paddock to find the chicken and all I found were several patches of feathers, not a chicken or piece of chicken any where. Old Foxy Loxy had paid us a visit it seems over night and that explained the dogs being unsettled.
That old fox had taken all seven of our hens, even old Rosie and although I can cuss the fox up and down the true culprit to this tragedy is myself. I had turned the electric fencing off the day before and forgot to turn it back on again.
The hens did not stand a chance with nearly all being inlay. When a chicken is inlay, you get pressure to their back or just catch hold of their tail feathers, so strong is their need to procreate that they automatically sit down still, ready to mate, even if you are obviously about to harm them. That is why they are such an easy picking for a fox. You can't blame old Foxy Loxy he/she is a predator, an opportunist of the highest order and I gave her/him the opportunity.
At this time of year this act of chicken genocide was probably carried out by a vixen with cubs, hence the reason there has been no waste. The only thing that annoys me about Foxy Loxy is she had to take the bloody lot. A hard way to learn a lesson. I'm now going to need to find myself some new chicken.
The photo below is my husband's requested dessert for his Fathers Day lunch, treacle pudding.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!