Fox was back last night to take the 3 bodies. He had drug all 3 almost to the cover of woods on west side when hubby opened the window to check with the flashlight. Well, he couldn't hold light and gun, so he yelled at me to "Come now. Fox is here." Of course, fox immediately bolted. I went out in jammies, and retrieved the 3 bodies, brought them up to just below bedroom window. Stuffed one in the coon trap, and staked the other 2 to the ground with my garden forks. Then... I turned cellar light on where the light from the window illuminated the 2 staked bodies. No activity as of this morning. I then moved the 2 bodies down near burn pile, so that if neighbor does shoot, he'll have a good safe place to do so.
Hubby saw the fox at around 8:30 last night, and I saw it at 4:30 AM, but neither sighting was for long enough to get off a shot at it. Neighbor called this morning, and saw a dead chicken in the road. So, we now know that this fox belongs to THAT neighbor. She lives across a major state road from us. I have one more body to stake out tonight. After that, I may call a friend who's son does some trapping.
The 2 hens in ICU are moving this morning, and I saw one of them drinking. That one may survive her wounds. Jury is out on the other one. But, her condition is guardedly better today, so I'm gonna give her the benefit of the doubt.
Busy day ahead. Hope to at least begin sorting through supplies to electrify coop and run.
Also have some asparagus crowns that must be in ground today, waiting for Stark's order
My back is singing tonight. R SI fetched up. Sore muscles also, but that's to be expected. Tonight is an Ibuprophen night for sure.
I spent almost all day long digging with the broadfork, plus a bit of shovel work, pick axe, pulling rocks, grubbing weeds. Buried 2 chicken bodies left from fox kill. Dug a 2' W x 10' long trench in the garden.
Got burn permit, picked up an other load of cardboard. Filled the trench with all the raspberry canes and roots. Hubby and I lit it up tonight. It burned very well, but we had to add a bit of fir towards the end b/c some of the big gnarly raspberry roots with soil attached weren't catching fire. It took about 30 minutes of burning to get everything reduced enough to call it the beginnings of bio-char.
Hubby then helped me pull the remaining CP trellises from the north side of the garden. They will go on the south side where there are some huge rocks at that fence line which prevent setting the T posts deep enough to adequately support the CP. By using spirals to attach the CP trellis sections to the fence line (so that they run perpendicular to that line) the fence should be well enough supported so it no longer sags. I'll plant tomatoes in that area. Plan to leave the trellising in place, and rotate tomatoes with cukes, squash or peas.
Any other plan I could come up with to stabilize that fence line involved placing a deadman perpendicular to the fence, with 1/2 sticking out into the lawn under the sod, and the other half sticking into the garden. That would be more of a pain b/c I'd then have to plan rows and beds around that deadman.
Thanks, Sumi. No. we were not able to kill the fox. It came back numerous times, and we did see it. However it moved so very fast, and the one time hubby got a good bead on it, the gun jammed. The 2 wounded birds are eating some, not moving much. I have them in separate quarters.
In the mean time, free ranging days are over for my flock.
Maggie, "not, but should be the chicken dog" has a new job. Since the chickens have been penned up after the fox attack, she has taken over as the "Grub Master." She will intently stare at the ground, then start furiously digging in that spot, unearthing one or more grubs. These get attacked, and tossed around like a mouse. She will either eat them, or continue in her search for more grubs. I've picked up about 20 of her left overs this morning to toss into the chicken yard
Yesterday, hubby and I were on our way to town in my ancient and dying CRV. Long story short, we never made it to town, but had to turn back b/c the L front brake had seized up.
If we hadn't been forced to come home when we did, we wouldn't have interrupted yet an other fox attack. The minute I opened my car door, I knew a predator was in attack mode. The entire flock was in the run, screaming their heads off. I bolted out of the car, yelling at hubby to get the gun, and I ran for the coop. Behind the run, I came face to face with our problem fox. He was trying to figure out how to get into the run. I got within 10' of him before he decided it was time to go. Huge fox, I assume a male.
I know the run is not fox proof. It is chicken wire. The top of their winter run, where they are currently confined is 1/2 covered with 2 x 4 fencing, and other 1/2 covered with tarp, with plenty of room for any critter to squeeze between the 2 covers. Chicken wire on sides, and chicken wire skirt. We all know how non functional chicken wire is as a predator preventative.
Of course, hubby did not arrive with the shot gun in time, and the fox was not in a location where he could be safely shot. So, last night, we went back to town, and bought an AC fence charger, then... we were out after dark, in the rain, getting it hooked up. It's not at all set up the way it needs to be, but... for now, it would get the fox attention if he decides to come visiting again.
If any good can come from having my CRV crap the bed, it is that it forced us to come home before that fox killed the rest of my flock. I am currently without transportation. I am thankful that the car problem was figured out before it caused an accident. I am thankful that we interrupted the fox. I am thankful that he did not break into the chicken run. I am thankful that we have some funds available to go a long ways towards purchase of a replacement car. Now... I pray that we will get a replacement car in place before I have to work Friday, AND, I pray that we can kill that fox.
I was out at 2:30 AM this morning. Light mist, beautiful night. The 'yotes were singing in the distance, and an owl was serenading as well. Maggie was intently gazing across the garden towards the woods, and not at all happy that she was bound by her range collar.