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I have killed our last chicken-what now?

(5 Posts)
hellymelly Wed 10-Jun-09 22:23:24

to be brief, fox took chicken no.1 weeks ago,as dh had forgotten to close the coop.On Friday they were out pottering about at about 7.30 p.m. (not going in until 9 ish)and a fox came and took no.2. We were left with one lonely chicken and we decided to put her in a run,but she hated it.She was fine in the garden as usual but in her run she kept pacing,and trying to push her way out,or sulked in the house,so we thought it would be safe to let her free-range for the middle part of the day and put her in her run late afternoon.Dh went out with the dds and I went to bed today as I have a virus.I had a funny feeling that it was so quiet and I thought maybe I should go down and check the hen and keep her company but I was feeling hellish so I dozed off and woke up thinking I would go to the garden just as I heard squawking and then silence.The fox had come at 2p.m.I feel terrible,I am resposible for her demise! Our garden is so quiet and empty now,my dd is devastated.
Do I risk getting more and keeping them in a run? Are bantams better in the respect?Or should I call it a day?

overthemill Thu 11-Jun-09 08:44:54

so sorry, its horrid losing chucks!

get more but ime bantams last longer (cos they fly up in atree when foxy comes). but it is miserable keeping them in - we had a huge massacre last year and now just have 2 kept in a run. it doesnt seem right, does it?

hellymelly Thu 11-Jun-09 21:06:01

No ,it is depressing me,the thought of them being in a run all the time,but I have got a love for chickens now and I would really like more,but obviously not if it means condemning them to an early death! Next door gave up on them a few years ago after the fox dug into the run and killed all six without taking any away.At least mine were eaten,probably went to feed hungry cubs-the fox was spotted running down the road with it.Does anyone have any tips for happy and safe hens?

LittleB Mon 15-Jun-09 13:55:18

I keep mine in their run, its a large run with plenty of room, perches, shelters etc, 5m long. Except when I'm around and can keep a close eye on them, so they come out for an hour or 2 every day. But haven't seen any foxes near me. I would wait a few weeks though as the fox might come back, and make really sure that your run is secure. Don't blame yourself though, you can't have known it would come so early in the day.

Danceswithchickens Tue 16-Jun-09 11:11:43

sorry to hear about your hens. I am having a similar dilema with my 2 (+ 2 new ones who aren't yet introduced)

The solution for us, hopefully, is a 5m x 2m run (which we are about to order). Some netting to confine them to a certain space with a device called foxwatch. This is movement activated & sends out an only audible to foxes noise to scare them away.

My netting is due to arrive this week from Knowlesnetting.co.uk so my 2 are pacing up & down their run.

I think there are a few exbatts rescues on at the moment, so perhaps you can collect some from there. Any chance of freedom is fantastic for them.

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