The foxes have been busy, with their minds on the matter of spring. A big golden dog fox has been seen quite frequently and we have been worrying for our free range hens. He is a handsome, countryside fox, who looks you in the eye, unafraid.
Yesterday, as we set off on the hike to school, we heard a squeal from the woods and identified it as the fox. We nipped back and put the hens into their run. We let them out on our return, and they fluffed up their feathers, shook indignantly and set off purposefully up the track towards the cottages; on a mission to raid bird tables I rather suspect.
Dear Speckedly Brown, my trusty broody hen, seemed to be the one leading them away. Stuart, the cockerel, considered coming back to my call, but his duty was to stay with his girls and he followed them away. I watched them leave. I felt at the time their journey was high risk and intended to find some treats to tempt them back home but once indoors I was distracted by other matters.
Poor Speckedly Brown did not return. We hunted for her at dusk, but there was no sign. We looked for evidence of her demise, but there is not even a stray feather.
Cinders, Ashes, Fenny and Suart .... stay close please.