So you've headed down to the coop to find all your precious ones have been beheaded by a fox? Nothing is more devastating to a keeper of poultry than such a sight.
You've lovingly tended your birds throughout their lives so far, given them the best of food, the best and safest of accommodation you can afford and endeavored to have them locked up and safe by dusk!
My first flock of glorious Wyandottes were taken by a fox, so I know how devastating the experience can be.
Luckily I called my nephew to help me deal with the corpses, little realizing, as a chicken keeper himself, he kept a fox trap in his shed.
Having dealt with three of the four little bodies, one of my darling girls was selected to become fox bait. Her final act of service was to entice Mrs. Fox into the trap. I remember feeling extremely sad at the sight of her strung up by her feet, hanging in the back of a humane fox trap.
We set the trigger door, ready to do its job and left before dusk, hoping the guilty fox would return for its feast.
I was woken by my dog, barking frantically the next morning. He led me straight to the chicken coop.
The trap had done its job.
I had not just the guilty fox party trapped here, but a good serve of revenge for the tragic end of my Wyno girls.
I called my nephew to come and collect the trapped fox and take her back to his farm to shoot. He would be collecting a government bounty for the fox and was more than happy to do the deed. However, it would not be until much later in the day.
The day was a scorcher. I had this live fox, in a small trap. She had killed my chickens, but she was likely raising young herself in late spring. She was amazingly docile as I carried her out of the hot sun and into some shade near my driveway. Although she had caused me a lot of grief, I cannot bear to see any animal suffering.
Now there is no way I was putting my hand into the fox trap, to give her some much needed water. Instead, I found the watering can and poured a stream of water. Like any domestic dog or cat, she lapped it up gratefully.
Later when my nephew and great nieces arrived, we gave her more water. My great nieces had wanted to see the fox, but to see her drinking was something else.
I have recently had a visit from another fox, but this time I was lucky. I must have disturbed it as only one of my girls was taken. The other two were perched on top of the fence, just out of reach of the dreaded predator.
Since then I have my own fox trap. They are not expensive, easy to set and bait with dog food, or the carcass of a victim. I am setting it up during the foxes breeding season. Urban foxes are plentiful this year!