Someone made a boo-boo

An area for discussion of problems with pests and predators. WARNING: People are discussing problems with predators, that includes things such as fox and bird of prey attack. Such posts may not be nice viewing, but are acceptable.

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drfish
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Someone made a boo-boo

Post by drfish » 18 Feb 2013, 12:33

Let the chickens out Saturday morning, as normal. Noticed the coop was a bit wiffy with the weather warming up a little, but didn't have time to do it Saturday, so thought I'd leave both back and front doors open to the coop, let some air through it. Bet you can see where this is heading already can't you...?

Yep, like a total douche, I forgot to close the rear door to the coop. The one that isn't protected by anything at all. And wouldn't you know it, we had a visitor. The Mrs woke me about 4.45am to look out the window, as she thought she heard cats fighting (we have two, who aren't getting along currently). I look out, can't see anything, the noise has stopped. Got back in bed, 2 minutes later, an almighty kerfuffle, squawking, quacking, growling...jumped out of bed...ping...the penny drops. Shit, door open on coop.

Put my pants on and went bombing downstairs, threw a coat on and legged it down the garden. Could already see white feathers everywhere, one of the ducks doing the wall of death round the pen, couple of chickens being extremely vocal and flapping round like mad...but no sign of any intruders.

Rounded the birds up, got them back in the coop (with slight reluctance), and locked the doors properly. Went back in the house and figured I'd deal with head counting etc in the morning. Couldn't get back to sleep from worrying about them, so ended up getting up around 6ish. When the light finally dawned, went down the garden, to a scene resembling a pillow fight. White silkie feathers everywhere. The white silkies, Spike and Gizmo, are our original birds, so I was a bit gutted that one of them had clearly met it's maker. Opened the coop up, 2 ducks, 1 SLW, 1 bearded silkie, 1 pekin Frizzle, 2 white silkies, all came stumbling out the pop door, straight into the food, completely unfazed. Only one missing, the bottom of the pecking order bearded silkie, that was in mid moult so probably low on energy. Traced where the fox had come through the hedge, the one major weak point in my defences. Looks like it had made off with the first bird, then came back for the rest, so probably got the nearest to the door at the first attempt.

Onto the mystery white silkie feathers. Picked them both up, checked them over. One totally unscathed, the other got tagged just under the wing, which pulled a good chunk of feathers out about the size of my fist, but doesn't appear to have broken the skin anywhere. No blood anywhere.

So, in conclusion, either my birds are double hard mean fother muckers, or the fox was a bit amateur. Definitely a fox though, the paw prints up the fence gave the game away.

So, I have temporarily boarded the fence up, and deliberately left a small gap so it has to go through there if anywhere. And smeared everything in vaseline. That way, I can track when it's coming and going, and if it's a persistent pest, and make arrangement with a friend of mine who has kindly offered his services.

So, on the grand scale, got away with that one quite lightly, and major lesson learnt. The chickens and ducks both seem totally fine, all eating well, got 4 eggs yesterday, so I reckon they are just rock hard lol. Time to get fox proofing. =D>
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1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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crazypianolady
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Re: Someone made a boo-boo

Post by crazypianolady » 18 Feb 2013, 12:58

Wow! :shock: Sorry for the one the fox got, but as you say, very lucky not lose the whole lot!

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Lindsay
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Re: Someone made a boo-boo

Post by Lindsay » 18 Feb 2013, 17:40

That was lucky! I wonder if that means that the fox has been coming round every night 'just in case'?

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son of eddy
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Re: Someone made a boo-boo

Post by son of eddy » 18 Feb 2013, 18:27

Sounds like its you who got the biggest fright and upset. :shock: Have you gone off lay? :lol:

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drfish
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Re: Someone made a boo-boo

Post by drfish » 19 Feb 2013, 10:13

I did struggle this morning, but managed to pop one out :P

Still no return visit from foxy. Put some sand round the coop to show up footprints, but nothing so far. My birds have scared him :evil:
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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CP
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Re: Someone made a boo-boo

Post by CP » 19 Feb 2013, 10:51

Phew! Lucky to get off so lightly! :)
Happy in Hampshire!

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