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…