One of the good things to come from the fox depredation is that my neighbors have been stopping by and asking “What happened to the rooster?” They greet his loss with genuine sorrow. How many people live in a community that enjoys a noisy rooster? Last night, one of my talented neighbors gave me a gift she made for me–and while I don’t wish the foxes harm, it gave me a thrill.
In the meantime, although I haven’t seen the foxes inside my fence since my last bout of repairs, they continue to prowl just outside. I have the remaining babies in cages on my deck, 30 feet up.
I’ve ordered electric fencing to add to my existing fence. This won’t injure wildlife, but should make it unpleasant for them. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to have to give up chickens!
This morning I woke to squawking from the chickens. I didn’t think much of it; they’re often noisy in the morning. But it went on, and I went out in time to see a large grey fox with feathers in his mouth standing in the corner of the run. He stared as I approached, and then easily climbed the fence and ran off. The ground was littered with feathers, and one hen was trembling with several bald patches, but the real heartbreaking find was Malawi, the rooster, who lay alive but with his neck broken.
Here’s to beautiful, proud Malawi, who always led his flock to food and always waited and ate last. He successfully defended all seven hens from the fox, who went away with nothing for his trouble but a mouthful of feathers.
Continue reading “Death in the morning, an elegy”