The sound of panic.

Last night, I was settling down for a little tv, when The Man, dressed for the cold, asked me to come outside. Quietly.

He led me to the corner of the front porch, and silently indicated that I should be patient, and listen. After two or three cars went by, I heard what he heard: an eerie, spine-chilling, canine vocalisation, somewhere between a bark and a scream.

“Our red fox is back”, was my first thought. “Or a coy dog”, added The Man. The screams were moving away from us, in a southeasterly direction, but they had been coming from our own Fox Woods earlier, said The Man, the wood where we found the fox hole the day Angelina was taken (which we now fill with Great Dane poop periodlically), and one of our girls’ favourite hangouts.

Oh, crap. Here we go.

I ran inside to do a search on youtube, and found this. Yup. Our red fox is back. We need to do all we can to be sure she doesn’t set up residence in that old fox hole and breed hungry kits with a taste for free, easy chicken. Nighttime marauding, when the girls are locked in their coop, is one thing; a daily, daytime buffet at their doorstep is entirely another.

When we had that freak snowfall in October, I thought I saw small canine prints circumventing the run, and my heart went cold. The run is secure, but not entirely impregnable, at least, not in my vivid imagination. (The Man will tell you it’s Fort Knox, which sends me running for wood to knock, every time.)

I am seriously thinking about hotwiring the run. We have electricity in the barn, and the hotwire could be set on the same timer as the pop door. I’ve read that a good zap or two will convince predators to look for food elsewhere.

Sigh. It’s going to be a long winter…


4 thoughts on “The sound of panic.

  1. Oh no! D=

    My coop is called Fort Cox, but it is definitely not as safe as it could be. We are lucky we don’t live near any woods or places where foxes or ground pray could get at my girls (and boys). I wouldn’t be able to sleep thinking a fox could get at them!

    Are you going to keep them cooped up for the winter, or still let them free-range? Do you let them range when you are not home?

    You should get a good bird dog to watch your girls. My dogs are so defensive. They watch those chickens like hawks (not in a bad way though :P )

    • I have no idea how this winter will go, but I suspect we’ll let them free range as much as they want, provided we continue to have no losses. Found fox scat on the compost pile, this morning, though. Our great dane has been with us three months now, and can be trusted not to charge the chickens (for sport), and I’m sure she would chase a predator if she saw one. But I suspect her most valuable role, at this point, is as a HUGE poop provider, and I mean that in size as well as volume!

      • Ahhaha :) You must post pictures of her with the chickens in a post. I just love great danes!

        Could her role just be to keep the predators from coming at them in the first place? I wouldn’t want my dogs to charge them either, but I’m sure just them being there would deter them.

        I really hate to say this, but I can NOT get my dogs to stop eating the chicken shit.

      • Oh, DUDE. Billie is all about the chicken poop. I give up. Short of having her muzzled every single time she’s outdoor, there’s no way to control it. And it doesn’t stop there: deer poop, rabbit poop… The fresher, the more voluminous, the better. Of course, today, they’re chicken poopsicles.

        The one nice thing about Billie eating chicken poop? Awesome for cleaning up the barn floor when the girls have spent a day inside…sorry. It’s true.

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