Agriculture, Barns, Chickens, Ducks, Eggs, Farm, Fences, Freedom Rangers, Gardens, Peacock, Peafowl, WordPress

Captured

There’s a fox lurking on our road these days. Two of our ducks disappeared in the past week and so we needed to put all of the freeranging poultry under lockdown.

Their safehouses are clean(ish), spacious enough, and above all, safe.

Our spoiled chickabiddies are without access to the great outdoors in the sense that they’re used to the run of the property, including the meadows and woods where foraging and dustbaths are plentiful.

I hate putting them behind bars.  It’s temporary until the fox-scare abates.

Getting everyone into the coops and garden is a trick.  It takes a couple of days sometimes.  Also, Escapees are frequent in the first days after collecting them.

Yesterday morning, when I was supposed to be baking pies, I spent a couple of hours trying to catch up some rogues before they became breakfast for the fox family.

So far, this morning has been uneventful though when I was doing the chores earlier, man did I sense the evil eye.  I’m not popular with the feathered prisoners.

I apologized and told them it was tough love.  I also promised them treats.  I’m really good at mother-guilt.

Tangerine, our little Rhode Island Red Bantam, is about 6 years old.  Her point of view within the coop yard.
Tangerine, our little Rhode Island Red Bantam, is about 6 years old. Her point of view within the coop yard.
a nice place to hang out and stay safe from the fox
a nice place to hang out and stay safe from the fox
too small to play with the others yet
too small to play with the others yet
Wrong side of the fence, still
Susannah & the little bantam, free, but not really
On the wrong side of the fence
I’m a master at capturing Susannah by now – I have a tricky system of luring her into the coop while the others are locked out.  She eventually goes inside to get some grain.  I then run out from my hiding place and lock the door.  Quite enthusiastically, in case you were wondering.
Encouraging the others to breakaway from the garden compound
Escaped Indian Runner Duck, encouraging the others to breakaway from the garden compound
One of the escape holes that the ducks used
One of the escape holes that the ducks used
Back to the garden compound for you, dearie!
Back to the garden compound for you, dearie!
Back in the safety of the garden compound
They’ve got all day to scheme up new breakaway plans.

4 thoughts on “Captured”

  1. Too cute, Tammy! But honestly – in the one where you are carrying the duck, he seriously looks like he is smiling. I think he likes the thrill of the chase!! And did one of the Susannah’s have a baby already? So quickly? Makes me think the Marriage of Figaro may have been a shot gun wedding?? LOL! So glad to see all the love on the farm. Hope the fox is captured soon, and brought somewhere far, far away where there are no poultry buffets for him!

    1. Thanks, Cathy! No, no babies yet. I think we’ll be seeing them next year. Figaro has gone into his molt now, mating season is most likely over. And have I got a story to tell about him for another day(in short, he’s unkind to the other Susannah, whom we’ve renamed Viola.)
      Yes, ducks do seem to smile! They are our favorite poultry as little ones. Ducklings always look happy! These ducks, though, are nervous wrecks. Everytime I’ve had this breed, no matter how much time I spend with them as ducklings, they tend to be very, very shy of humans. So she was definitely grinning and bearing it!
      I’ll probably let everyone out again in a couple of weeks. The fox will likely move on. When they can’t come by an easy meal, they go back to their wild hunting ways. If I didn’t put everyone in lockdown around here, the fox would be fat and happy, living the easy life all summer long while my flock numbers dwindled. Can’t have that! Happy Weekend, Cath!
      Hugs,
      Tammy

  2. There really must be something in the air. We had a varmint problem as well recently. We lost our goose (long story … happy ending), two ducks, and at least two of our layers. I’m sorry to say that we finally took swift and severe measures to abate the nuisance (something like Shock and Awe). What are you doing other than shutting everyone away? Have you seen the culprit? Fox or Raccoon? I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having this problem – such a pain. But, if you’re gonna raise poultry, you’re gonna have predator problems from time-to-time. I hope this all ends well. D

    1. Yes, it’s rather cyclical the way the fox trolls. This is a fox because it has been spotted – a fellow chicken-friend had a hard spring with a raccoon, though, and just finally trapped it/transported it. Safe again for her hens. But I’m sorry about your losses. I think I recollect your goose being something of a fixture on your farm, also? I’m happy I only lost 2 ducks – last year the fox had killed every last one of my ducks. This year I determined to be agressive in my lockdown, even if it means overreacting.
      Usually the problem goes away if I remove the food. You’d think my three dogs would keep these things at bay – but with poultry, there’s always something, right?
      Thanks for the stop–by! I have some catching up to do on your farm, as well. I look forward to finding some more time in the coming week to blog and read. Happy Sunday!

Comments are closed.