A fox in the chicken coop

July 25, 2017

A fox in the chicken coop

July 26, 2017

Last week there was more drama on the farm than there has been in a while. The deck belt on the mower snapped, once I fixed it the mower then got bogged, a sprinkler line exploded and a fox got into the chicken coop at Springwood and wreaked havoc.

Very sadly, there were four fatalities - two White Leghorns, one Australorp and one of the Araucanas that had just started laying beautiful green eggs. Another of the Australorps seemed to have been attacked and I had little hope for her but she has bounced back wonderfully.

One of my favourite chickens, of the very friendly Rhode Island Red breed, has a sore leg and no tail feathers. However, I have separated her from the other chickens who started bullying her and she is eating and drinking and resting. Hopefully she will recover as it seems to only be a sprain and she can still walk. At the moment, she is enjoying eating out of my hand and gets special porridge once a day to boost her strength.

This fox attack has prompted me to fast track the plan to move the chicken flock to the farm at Richmond, where I will eventually expand it to about 30 chickens. There is a more secure coop at the farm and I will put a chicken wire roof over the entire enclosure as an extra precaution. Eventually there are plans to get a mobile chicken caravan that can be moved to a fresh bed every few days on the farm. This will allow me to use the chickens in parts of the veggie fields that have had green manure crops on them. This will boost their diet and play a small role in fertilisation and pest control. The major benefit will be fresh pastured eggs high in Omega 3 fatty acids available for CSA members and something else to see when you visit the farm.

I will keep you up to date of the chicken’s progress and once they all make the move down to the riverbank they would love to meet you. Do you have a favourite chicken story? Share it on our Facebook page.

Yours in veg,

Alice



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