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Foxed this morning :-(

 

The Girls raised the alarm at 5.15am, just before foxy got in to their run. We were out there by 5.17, but s/he'd already killed 3 chickens and mortally wounded another. Her injuries were too severe to be treated, so DH had to cull her.

We have one survivor, my most favourite Girl, who is currently in a dog crate in the kitchen.

 

Cube was not in any way at fault. We have it attached to a walk in run, and the walk in run has an automatic pop hole opener. Ironically, if the girls had been out in the garden they would have had a much better chance of surviving - they could have scattered, flown up high, had more hiding places.

 

I know that foxes are always a risk. I debated whether or not to watch the garden cam footage as I expected to see Fox sitting waiting for the opener to open. In the end I decided it was better to know what happened, and it wasn't like that, which is a relief. (I don't kow why I should feel relief at that, I just do).

 

It was so quick, less than 2 minutes between fox entering the run and leaving it because we got to the back door. He didn't manage to take any of them away.

 

My poor, lovely girls. I'm mourning the loss of each one of them,their quirky individual characters. They were such poppets and were so very loved.

 

Poppy, the survivor, has had some fish and a bit of corn, and is drinking AviPro-laced water from a syringe. I've given her a quick look over and can't see any obvious wounds. I'll inspect her more throughly a bit later.

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Oh what a sad and horrible shock for you :( I suppose it was quick and as you now know how ( wow you were brave watching the cam footage :shock: ) you can adapt/take mesures to prevent another attack?

 

Best wishes for your remaining Poppy to have a speedy recovery :D Then maybe ...... add her a couple of friends?

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So sorry to hear it. How did the fox manage to get into the walk-in run?

It's very upsetting, it just shows how quick and opportunistic they are. :(

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I'm so sorry to hear that Hazel :(

 

Keep the survivor indoors in the warm and treat her for shock as you would for a human... darker, warmer environment, and make sure that she is eating and drinking. NutriDrops are good in these circumstances, as is Aconite, which treats shock.

 

Hugs to you both.

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Thanks everyone.

 

Olly, we have a pop hole on a timer which lets the girls out of the walk in run into the garden, so that's how the fox got in.

 

We've always known it's a risk, but it's worked well for us and the neighbours and the girls - up to now of course. It could just as easily have happened if we'd let them out ourselves.

 

Thanks for the tips on what to do, it's really helpful.

 

I gave Poppy some NUtridrops as soon as we brought her in, and thenwater with Avipro. She's also eaten some fish and some yoghurt, and some corn, and she's now drinking water with Avipro in from a drinker. She was in a state of shock for some time, but snapped out of it a little while ago. I've popped her in the spare Go-up in the garden (she was getting stressed at being kept in the dog crate), by the back door so I can see her and she can see me. She was on the verge of going broody, and she's currently sitting on the nestbox. I think I'll bring her in overnight - partly because of your advice Clare, but also in case Foxy decides to come back. He wouldn't be able to get to her, but he might scare her possibly to death.

 

Now that she is out of the immediate shock I've been able to give her a proper examination, rather than the gentle quick once over when she was huddled up. I can see that she has some teeth marks on her back (although no blood or wounds) so she needs antibiotics. I've made an appointment for the vet this afternoon.

 

I'll keep her in the Go on her own for a bit, then I'll bring one of our allotment girls home to keep her company.

 

We're putting eggs in the incubator this weekend anyway, so I guess I'll be able to offer some of them a permanent home here.

 

When Poppy goes back into the main run, I'll disable the auto opening of the pop hole (at least for a few months). When the Fox visits, he'll get used to it being closed.

 

The one thing I do feel guilty about is that the Foxwatch is sitting in my kitchen. We were rearranging the fruit bed that it normally goes in, and cut the wire. It's in the kitchen waiting to be fixed. There's no guarantee it would have worked, but I suspect it has been very effective in the past.

 

Thanks again for your kind words, thoughts and hugs. I really needed them.

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At least you know that your walk-in run is safe, that was my concern. It's always a balance, every time I let my hens out to free-range I know that an attack could happen in seconds - and being just round the corner, or inside putting the kettle on, wouldn't be a deterrent to an urban fox. I do hope Poppy recovers.

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Oh that's really sad. I feel for you. Will you be getting her a friend or two, they don't like to be alone. If you were near me I could let you have 3 growers. I was planning on keeping them, but even if you just wanted to keep them til your chicks are old enough I wouldn't mind :(

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Thanks for the offer Chickabee, that's really kind of you.

 

Because she is still very stressed (and the Vet says may yet succumb to stress induced pneumonia), we're not going to introduce a companion immediately. We are lucky that we have a number of her hatchmates from 2012 in the Harem at the allotment, and I have one of those in mind to be her new friend. We'll play it by ear and (re) introduce them as soon as it seems safe to do so.

 

We're also setting eggs on Saturday, so it's likely I'll keep some of the resulting Girls to bring the Garden flock back up to a better number.

 

I swept all the flooring and feathers out of the run this afternoon. Horrible, horrible job. I decided I'd rather get it done today than have it hanging over me and having to deal with it later. (Even with that mindset, I still ran out of steam before I cleaned out the Cube and the floor underneath!).

 

Thanks again everyone.

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So sorry to read this. One of my girls survived a fox attack even though it had made a two inch gap in her breast for which she had surgery (I had to; I felt so guilty it was entirely my fault). Because there was no blood I didn't spot the injury until the next day either and so hopefully Poppy will pull through ok x

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One of mine was bitten and needed surgery. She lived a long time after. I did loose 2 that day though. My poor little Silkie was just a baby, she managed to hide, she lost her voice. She's still here though 4 years later :)

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So very sorry to hear this, it's something all us hen keepers dread and to some degree it's down to pure bad luck. I know I have had foxes in my garden because trainers are strewn across the garden nd other more obvious evidence but they have hever...touch wood...tried to get into the run, again pure luck!!

 

Please keep us updated on Poppy

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Fingers crossed for poor Poppy - hope she makes it ok and I am sorry for the other girls you lost - it is not nice to lose any to those blasted animals.

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Morning all

We brought Poppy in last night, gave her some Nutridrops and some water with Avipro. She sat quietly in the crate, and was still sitting quietly this morning.

 

I gave her some more NUtridrops, opened the crate door and the kitchen door, and encouraged her out, and she went into the garden for a little wander round. She's shut in the Go at the moment and has taken herself upstairs.

 

She was on the point of going broody before the fox attack, and I suspect that the urge to go broody is still kicking in I don't know if it's that, or if she just wants to sit quietly!

 

I'll leave her in peace for a bit, and then encouageher out into the grden again a bit later.

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