Ok, in terms of really, really bad things that could happen to us, this isn't the end of the world, but it is a tragedy for us and Marc and I are both really upset today. As if I needed something more to bring me down.
Last night all was well. Marc went to collect the eggs and the chickens were - as they always are slightly before sundown - happily picking at the ground near the chicken coop. They wander all around our land during the day, but as it starts towards dusk, they move to the coop and graze there before turning themselves in at night. The coop is really close to our house.
Marc went out after dark as he always does to close the small door that the chickens use to go in and out and discovered that all the new baby chickens and the guinea fowl were there, but there was only one chicken. He looked around outside and there had been a massacre. There were feathers all over and no sign of any of the other chickens, or the rooster.
He locked up the coop and went in search but did not find any of them.
This morning, he checked over the remaining hen and she is missing feathers but otherwise ok. He ended up locating 2 other hens who apparently were able to escape their attackers and were ok. He also find the remains of our poor sweet rooster. But that means that the rooster as well as 5 our our 8 hens are dead.
This is SO upsetting for a number of reasons. Not only for the death of the hens, but I can't believe that the predators - we are pretty sure it was foxes - would come that close to our house and kill them! Even the coyotes won't come close to the house because of the smell of our dogs!
As Marc said - what if one of our cats gets out??!! Then they would be eaten in a second! And now we can't let the chickens out to free range because we are certain they will be killed.
I don't know what we are going to do!
This morning I talked to one of my clients who has some live traps that he is going to loan me - it is illegal to kill foxes apparently - the sons of bitches...