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Fox Attack!!!

June 14, 2010

feathers1

Any chicken keepers’ worst fear is a fox attack. Perhaps a vixen sneaking into the coop by night to murder and steal the sweet hens resting within. Yesterday morning, I woke to a squawking I had never heard before. I rushed to throw open the window, and looked out into the yard. My eyes met those of a large red fox with a mouthful of fluff (or foam or featherless chicken form?!).  I screamed and as fox rushed off, F.  & I tore outside to search for our flock.

At first, I thought they were all gone. Feathers were everywhere, in large swoops across the whole yard. My worst fear that they were all dead screamed in my head as all I could see were their feathers littered everywhere in the yard. As F. called that Bella was in the coop, I spotted Madame Poule huddled in a nook corner of the house. Madeleine was about the yard. All the chickens were still with us.

Madame Poule, aside from looking more round due to losing all but one of her tail feathers, sustained a few injuries. It appears she was the only hen attacked. Those who prefer not to hear the details of her injuries may want to stop reading now and rest assured that we are taking care of Madame Poule and are hoping for a quick recovery.

Madame after attack

It seemed that hers were all the feathers in the yard. She was bloody, and it looked like she suffered a puncture wound underneath her wing. A long stream of blood streaked down from beneath her wing and even colored her feet. F. & I researched what to do. She was hurt, and her wounds needed attention… yet, we couldn’t catch her. It was only the other day that I picked up any of our chickens for the first time. Though we were hesitant to pursue her for fear she would further hurt herself, we were persevered to catch her as all of our sources advised us to wash and treat her wounds.

So, we after headed off to Rite Aid for gloves, cleaning spray, and antibiotic ointment we kept trying to catch her. Finally she became overwhelmed and sat in a corner by the shed. I was able to lifted gather her up and from the wonderful advice of Kendra (a North Carolina wildlife rehabilitators) we put one of my ankle socks over her head to blind and calm her. We carried her to the porch and with the hose’s nozzle on the gentlest spray, we washed her wounds. F. sprayed Bactine the gashes on her back.  I lifted her wing to reveal thick clumps of blood and feathers that F. tried to clean. We sprayed more Bactine underneath her wing and then slathered her wounds with Neosporin. At that point, we let her back into the yard with her sisters.madames wound

I have faith that animals are resilient. And our hens have proved hardy previously. We were shown that when Madeleine broke her leg and healed herself without intervention. I’m hoping Madame Poule will be just fine.

Below is a photo of her a couple hours after we treated her. She had been preening herself quite a bit in the side of the yard.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Alfred permalink
    June 13, 2010 8:00 pm

    What an intensely harrowing story! Your writing style is riveting! I never comment on blogs but I couldn’t help myself!

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