Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deer cam update with unexpected sad news.

Ok well, I'll leave you hanging for a minute, but be forewarned like other chicken death images on this blog before, I tend to get graphic.
Marlin and I hiked off to check the cam early this morning,

And again, it looked like nothing much transpired through the night.
Brought it the camera, hooked it up to reveal a leaping squirrel,

and a majestic crow.

Kind of lame. So we left the dead chicken up at the barn and went home for breakfast. About an hour later I went up alone to place her in a new spot. As soon as I got to the barn gate, I knew something had happened. This is what I found.

I thought, Great a hawk attack... but then I started to look around and then I knew,

A fox, or other canine had paid a visit for take out.

 I checked the hen house, and out of 11 hens, I was left with 5, a duck, and two roosters. I lost my nice big Roo.
Deja vu..

( gets graphic now)
Off in the distance I hear a lot of crow activity. I knew something was going on. I followed the sound of the birds as slowly and quietly as I could, and about a five minute walk into the woods,  I saw our perpetrator, that pesky Red Fox who has been around before..I took this sketchy video, you can kind of see the red fox run off between the trees, it's really far away. You might have to watch it a few times until you see him scamper off. try to make the image bigger. I do drop an F bomb, so if your kids are around and you don't want them exposed to that word, turn the volume down..
It had one of my chickens. That's why the crows were yammering. Crows are cool. They often make a huge racket if there is an owl, or a hawk around, so they can help you spot all kinds of things. In fact, the Inuit have this neat deal with crows. When the Inuits are hunting and an injured animal runs off, they can be hard to track. The wild crows trained over generations actually lead the hunters to the kill. They get choice pieces left behind for them. Kind of like the honey guide in Africa. Most excellent!

 I was able to recover 3 bodies. I am still missing 3. I suspect that this fox has a mate and a litter. So although I feel my loss, I understand it is survival at its finest. So there was really only one thing left to do... I did what any deranged homeschooling mama would do! I gathered up the creeklings, who are not upset by these sorts of things, collected bodies,

 and set up the camera. If you killed them Mr. Fox, you should probably take them home to your babies.

I am pretty sure he will want his dinner back, so hopefully I will have pretty fox photos to show you all later.

 Now, we have set up our incubator and have taken about 2 dozen eggs, and we will try to replenish our lost flock.  Circle of life totally in our face today, in so many ways.

I have an order of a dozen baby chicks and two geese set to arrive this week. Now, I have to figure out how to outsmart this little red devil...


Jessica said...

Does Odie not hear the fox or are his sights set only on the coyotes?

mamak said...

None of us heard a thing! I think it was fast. Odie probably thought the chickens were just being noisy if they were making much noise. I think they were just running for their lives and did not make a lot of noise. Odie was down at the front lawn at the time.

Heart Rockin Mama said...

The fox looks bigger than I thought it would. Poor hens :( I hope you are right that he is feeding his family. If he didn't have a family, Maeve says "beep the fox".

Andrea said...

Well that is not the story I was expecting today. I am so sorry you lost your hens and your Roo. I don't think my kids would be as understanding. I know the day will come when something gets into the chicken coop, so I guess I should share this with them to help prepare. I agree, mama fox is feeding the fam, so I am glad you are OK letting her do it. You have a big Creekling heart.

Helena said...

I am not sure whether to say sorry, or thank you, or just, wow. So I'll say it all :) You do have such a big heart, and your kids too. You're all kind of amazing, actually.

I am sorry your hens were sad and afraid. I do hope the fox comes back for the rest of his dinner (and I'm imagining perhaps his family and friends sitting around the table like in The Fantastic Mr Fox, with their forks up in the air, waiting?)

I wonder what will happen next? (And thank you for the warnings, so I could skim your more gory pics like the squeamish thing I am! I hope I'd be tougher in real life. Yeah. I would. I hope.)

mamak said...

Thanks Helena! I admire you as a fine being as well. I am glad to have your blog in my life too.