This rusty replica is all we have left of our chickens. It looked quite realistic at times, from a distance and in low light. In the background is the chicken house from which our three hens emerged at 0630 a week ago, to be pounced on by a large grey fox. We saw the fox in the pen but thought that the door was still closed – on its timer; but when we reached the pen we had three bodies on the grass, one still alive, just.
We shut the one remaining hen in the chicken house and put the door on manual, not realising that the fox would return and open the nest box and despoil the poor hen as she lay, mortally wounded.
This might smack of melodrama, but we are very sad to have lost these hens. The one that died last, in the chicken house, had been with us for 4 years (I think); she was a good girl, a sturdy Sussex hen. The other two were a White Star, skittish but fun; and a Goldline, a friendly young hen who gave us a lot of pleasure.
We will most probably not keep hens again; the foxes are very bold around here and we have lost a few over the last couple of years. I felt quite sad just now removing the Chicken Guard door timer (see the extra photo) with a view to selling it locally – in a few days' time. We'll give the chicken house to someone local as well, in a few days' time.