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Eglu run is NOT foxproof

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I am sorry to have to say this, but the Eglu run is NOT foxproof.


I have done everything I should and have made the run impregnable. But at 8.30 this morning a fox bit the head off my gingernut. She must have poked her head through the mesh to see who was out there.


The mesh is TOO BIG. I have no way of making the run safe and have to go to work now, so there may be more headless chickens tonight. The fox was standing in the garden waiting for another one to pop its head out when I went out this morning.


I think that Omlet as a matter of urgency should consider how to make the run foxproof, instead of designing bigger and better Eglus. I bought this run because it was foxproof -- but it isn't.


I haven't got time to post pictures or to change my signature now.




I am now at work and can give a better picture of the situation, as I stayed to clear up the body: I couldn't bear the thought of my other hens getting bored and messing around with it.


I had been assuming it was the hen's head that had been taken off. But her head was beautiful and intact. hiding under her body. What must have happened is that she heard the fox, thought it was me, and did her usual thing of pushing her breast up against the mesh. The fox must have put its top jaw through one gap in the mesh and the lower one through another, and pulled her gizzard out through her breast because that is where the hole was.


I am angry rather than sad at the moment. I have no guilt whatsoever, as I did nothing wrong. The hens are shut in the Eglu every night, I get up horrendously early every morning to let them out, I check the skirt of the run every day as we have light soil, and I have weighed down the skirt with everything heavy I have in the garden. They are only let out if I am in the garden.


I am lucky that that my neighbour was a witness to the event, and I am certainly going to write to Omlet. I have also taken photographs of the scene of crime.


The other three hens do not seem traumatized, and I would give three pieces of advice to you all:


(1) Never, never feed titbits through the side of the run, as this makes them press themselves up against the sides. My hen died because she was too friendly, and was hoping for something nice.


(2) Cover the run with fine-mesh wire.


(3) Get more than two hens. At least I don't have a lonely hen left.




I think what happened to me was unusual in that the fox succeeded in getting its teeth into my hen's breast rather than just into feathers. My hens have lovely plump breasts which they push up against the sides of the run in their eagerness for a titbit.


This fox appeared for the first time in my garden two weeks ago, and is absolutely fearless: it has sat on my next-door neighbour's patio while they are in the garden. I was not worried: I have always known that we have urban foxes, and I naively thought that if Omlet said the run was safe, then it was true.


The fox is not able to get into the run: he achieved nothing this morning, as the hen fell to the ground inside. But that isn't enough: it is obvious that the fox can still kill my chickens without getting in.


I think we should all express our concerns to Omlet, as it is important for their good name as well as for the safety of our hens. All that is needed is a much tighter mesh.





Click the link if you want to see the scene of the crime, with everything left untouched edit - this may be upsetting to some - Kate. It is viewed from on top of the Eglu. The join in the run is over to the left: this happened away from the join, I initially thought she was headless, but now I can see her head over to the right on the photograph. The wound was high on her breast and fatal.


I think the fox must have continued to attempt to pull the chicken through the mesh after she was dead, hence all the loose feathers and the bare patch of skin on her side.


I cannot understand how the fox gots its jaws through the holes in the mesh. The mesh is undamaged.




The other hens are fine, especially the two newer ones, who have immediately moved up the pecking order. I looked in the Eglu last night, and they both had a better position on the bars. I am so glad I had four chickens, as seeing three lively birds behaving as normal cheers me up. I may get a new one eventually.


My neighbour did not really see what happened. When he heard the noise, the deed was done. When I said I was glad to have a witness, what I meant that there is someone else in the world who knows that the hens were inside the run and the fox outside, and there was no tunnel and no gaps. I would not have believed it possible myself if it had happened to anyone else.


I have let the hens out this morning and am hoping for the best. The two new ones have never been as tame as the Omlet hens and will not approach the fox, and my Pepperpot is very much brighter and faster than poor old Cilla, who never seemed very intelligent. Only an extraordinarily dumb cluck would have approached a fox hoping for food.




Johannes has just telephoned, and we agree that it was an inexplicable freak incident. I don't want to go on discussing it for ever more: I know it was a fox that got my chicken: this fox has been lying in wait in our garden for several weeks. It is often on top of our shed, and leaves its footprints on top of the Eglu run. The fox did not find a chicken that was already dead and pull it through the bars: it killed it.


I am willing to accept that I had a stupider-than-average chicken who did not realize she should be afraid of foxes. She was extraordinarily dull in other ways, but was good-looking and my best layer.


If you want to take this thread down, I don't mind. I think I have made my point that I believe that the mesh needs to be closer together.


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