Thursday, July 30, 2009

I hate foxes....

The majority of our poultry are in their own colourbond sheds at night, with two smaller cages being used for a single pair and Leopold the Old English Game bantam who is kept for his good looks despite sensibility dictating I don't need a spare rooster and certainly not an OEG when I breed Wyandottes. His cage is on our verandah, only about 5m away from our bed. After having pretty well fox proofed everything as well as possible, yesterday at 5:30am we were woken by the sound of screaming and crashing coming from our front verandah.

This is the damage... the fox had taken ahold of the mesh with it's teeth and pulled until the screws that hold the slide bolt broke, letting it swing upward and the door open. We bolted awake and dashed out knowing exactly what the sound was but too late, the fox was already gone into the night and so was poor Leo. I'd snapped these only a few days before, Laurent was cuddling him and giving him a frontrow view while we had a handyman out.

I am rather seriously considering getting a Maremma to protect the birds and sheep as well. Not just because of this incident... I am sick to death of the number of foxes we have around here and the fact that being on smaller parcels of land (nothing much larger than 50 acres, many being 5-15 acre blocks) means we can't do boo about the foxes really. I've opened the door to find them sitting on the porch, even the doormat and see them all the time trotting across the fields in broad daylight completely unconcerned about human presence. I've got research to do, I'm not jumping in uninformed but other options I've looked at either aren't good matches for our situation or are impractical, so I think a livestock guardian dog may be in our future. With breeding season approaching and an incubator (finally!) on the way, we should have lots of babies this year and I don't intend to loose any to foxy loxy.

1 comment:

katepickle said...

argh bloody foxes!!! That sux!
We are lucky enough to have a larger farm behind and beside us and they get professional shooters out twice a year - they tell us when and we give them permission to shoot on our land if needed and it seems to be working - we've barely seen a fox in the last 6 months... but with spring almost here I bet that is about to change!