I swear, we are being watched. Before you think I’ve really gone over the edge of paranoia, let me explain.
I went out to run errands this morning and was gone for four hours. It was drizzling when I left so I kept the dogs in. They’d been out all day over the past several days. And sure enough, the one day they are in, we had a fox get one of our chickens. Anyone with chickens knows the telltale sign – areas of feathers on the grass where a struggle occurred.
Important to note, we have a perimeter fence that we’ve even taken the added step to reinforce with logs around the base of it but as I walked around it to see if maybe the chicken had escaped the attack and was hiding in our woods, I saw a small 3′ section that had a gap between the fence and the ground of about 3″. There was a small pile of feathers where the fox dragged the chicken under the fence. I went on the other side to see what I could find – I followed a diminishing feather trail about 15ft and came upon the carcass. And this is where I get really angry. The body was in tact but the head was gone (later found in our yard by our toddler). It’s such a waste and this is what I don’t get. If it were about food and survival, I would think the fox would eat the prey but no, it is about the chase. Once the struggle is over, the fox loses interest.
So, this is why I feel as though we’re being watched: It is as if the fox has surveilled the area, found the weak spot in the perimeter, and just waited for the day when the dogs weren’t outside.
It’s frustrating but mostly I feel as though I’ve let the animals down – there was a predator running around the interior area where they should feel safe. We love the image of our chickens free ranging on the property and it would break our heart to keep them penned up. Therefore, we will reinforce the rest of the fence line with logs and hope that, in combination with the dogs, will keep the foxes out.
Rest in peace, Silver Laced Wyandotte.