Two days ago as I was washing dishes at my kitchen sink, I looked out the window and witnessed a large adult fox grabbing and carrying off one of my favorite chickens in its mouth. And without thinking, I just ran after it, in my pajamas, yelling and waving my arms, hoping that it would drop Marge, my Maran hen who was flailing around in the fox's jaws. Sadly, it didn't drop Marge and we never saw her again. I then did a chicken count and realized that 3 other birds were also missing: Sylvester, our sweet and brave black Silkie roo, Shania, one of two of my Americana's, and one of my new Olive Egger's. The kids and I found Shania laying on the grass where the fox had left her, probably planning on coming back for her later that day. So I put her body in the live trap and set it by the trail in the pasture where we last saw the fox. I was filled with anger and sadness, but mostly anger. I wanted the fox dead for what it had done to my chickens. We read countless articles, and web posts about how to kill, capture or deal with a fox. We got the gun out and my son and I had some target practice. It was war. I felt a strong need to protect our pets and keep all living things on the farm safe. The fox had to go. But last night, as we were all driving home from dinner, my daughter Kelsey spotted some foxes playing in a field next to a house down the road from us. We backed up the car and there they were, the fox family. Mom was sitting tall and proud, watching over her young kits, and the kits were bouncing around, jumping up on their mother, blissfully unaware that we were watching them from 20 yards away. The sun was setting and it was the most beautiful few minutes as we quietly watched her and her family. No one said a word. We just watched. My anger disappeared. My sadness for my loss suddenly didn't matter. I only felt love and awe for that pure and wild little family. We all did. I think in those moments, we all came to realize that there will always be predators, and we will lose some of our farm residents, but we are surrounded by nature, by amazing wild animals that were here long before we were, and they are only doing what they need to do to survive. I made peace with her last night, if only for the time being, I will not shoot if they come back for more chickens, but we will try our best to deter them and keep our pets safe.
"The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." ~George Washington Burnap
I am Amy, wife of Roger, mother of 3 children. I am a self proclaimed animal fanatic, hobby farm enthusiast and lover of all things natural. I enjoy writing, junking, cooking, creating, decorating, home renovation, gardening, exercising, spending time outdoors, traveling, working our farm, raising our children and living life to the fullest.
Lulu, Misa, and Pearl, all part of one happy family!
Me and the guy who makes it all possible, Rog.
Lulu with Dexter the Mini pig.