Blood flows, feathers fly,
on the ground their bodies lie.
Reynard has come by.
As I walked towards the chicken coop this morning, no birds came running towards me. All was silent and still, except for the feathers drifting in the breeze.
It took me a while to locate all the bodies, lift them from the blood stained ground and pile them up, stiff and cold, outside the gate to the coop. It took longer to locate the hole, only about fist sized, where the fox had gotten in.
Of nine hens, I have one left – an old Araucana who hasn’t laid for years, but has avoided the pot because she raised so many chicks she has earned her keep indefinitely. There were 7 corpses – my lovely hefty black Minorcas, the amazingly productive Isa Browns, and the little white bantam leghorn. Only one hen missing – Geoffrey, a white Araucana cross, the only one with a name. I’ve never seen a fox in a killing frenzy, just the results, always the same – one single missing bird and lots of dead birds. Not all the dead hens were injured, some just died of fright.
I buried them in a shallow mass grave in the new raspberry patch.