Thursday, April 15, 2010

Lookie what I found, part two

I've been hearing a strange barking sound in the woods behind the barn for about a week in the early morning and in the evening around dusk. I did a little research on YouTube and found the source of the sound.

(the first 30-40 seconds is the red fox's cry or bark)

I've surprised the fox behind the barn a couple of times and figured she is trying to figure out a way to get to my hens. Well, this evening I found out the primary reason she's hanging out there.

When I first surprised them, there were two kits. When I came back with the camera, only one of them ventured out. All that gravel you see is what the groundhogs have dug out from under the concrete floor of the barn. Obviously we should have been paying more attention to how bad it was on this northeast corner. The kit is actually inside the fence that surrounds the perimeter of the backyard and encloses three sides of the barn. The opening also goes out into the woods and that's how they made their way inside. I temporarily blocked the opening inside the fence while leaving the back open so they won't get trapped inside without their mother. Obviously the electric fence wire is not working. The kit was actually chewing on it while I watched.

Three of the hens were just a few feet away while I took pictures. Can you say sitting ducks?  I really can't believe that I haven't lost any of them. I'm sure the mama must be hungry and also trying to feed her babies. It would be hard to begrudge her a chicken dinner. I just hope there are plenty of non-egg-laying critters out there in the woods to keep them happy and well-fed.


Cindy said...

well they are adorable! not sure I'd want them so close to my girls though. Are your hens protected?

Nice photos!

Char said...

the kit is gorgeous!

Wanda said...

A few years ago we had 2 little ones rest on our compost pile during the day and an adult one would lay on a culvert pipe, that was stored in the field.
I really enjoyed the video, have never heard them I guess!
Your hens are beautiful, plump and healthy looking!

Wanda said...

I missed your previous post, Susan.
Your in-laws property is so pleasant with all the flowering trees and bushes. I loved the log bridge and could almost smell the lilac!

Sandy Nawrot said...

Oh! That little thing is SO cute! It is hard to imagine that it would do any harm to your chickies (but I know it would!). What precious pictures!

Judy said...

Darn!.... he is SO CUTE! I'd be inclined to start feeding him.... maybe catfood. I know that is not the correct thing to do.... but darm... so cute!

How about a new picture of the kitten you found! ?

Judy said...

OMG .. that is just too precious... I love it.

Susan said...

Cindy, I am a little freaked out that the foxes are that close. I thought they were well-protected until I saw that big gap between the fence and the barn. I stuck some boards in there until David gets home from his trip, but I sat out there with the hens last evening until they went into the coop and I locked them in. I really can't believe they've escaped so far. There's also another adult (DUH!), because David's seen both of them from his tree stand.

Char, isn't it pretty! It's fur looks so soft and I could actually see the breeze blowing it around. It was sniffing and sniffing, trying to figure out if I was friend or foe.

Wanda, with you living on the same kind of property as we do, I'm sure you see plenty of wildlife, too. Right after I took the pictures, there were 3 deer back behind the barn. I sort of hid around the corner and watched them for a while until they must have smelled me and took off.

At my in-laws place, they often have 8 or 9 deer at once coming to their bird feeders. Last year they had triplet fawns! You know, city life sometimes seems enticing, but I wouldn't trade what I have for anything!

Susan said...

Sandy, I know! I would just love to pet it, but I know it would never let me get close enough, and I would be afraid the mother would abandon it. It's best to admire nature from afar. Thank goodness for telephoto lenses! I'm hoping that the mother doesn't find another way in. It sounds like she has her little family pretty well established in our woods.

Judy (Split in Two), it's awfully tempting to feed them, but it's best to let nature take its course. I just hope the main course doesn't include one of my hens!

I took some pics of Sassy outside while I had the camera out there, so I'll put some up in a few days.

Judymysister, there's a reason baby animals are so cute, it's so we don't harm them. I love those little black feet!

Anonymous said...

So cute, but I know you would like to keep you hens safe. I hope everyone plays nicely.

alaine@éclectique said...

The kit is a cutie but don't they make an awful noise! I played the video and sent Tajie off barking. He has woken us up most nights lately growling at the foxes yelping outside. If we let him out, I'm afraid of what might happen.

Ruth said...

Wow, Susie! What an event, and what photos. What a good chronicle of the ageless problem of a chicken farmer. I am so glad you didn't lose any of your precious layers, and I hope it stays that way.

Anonymous said...

I've been hearing something crying in our woods at night. Sounds to me, after watching your video that we may have fox nearby too.

Thanks.. I enjoyed this.
The Blue Ridge Gal

steviewren said...

The closest I've ever been to a fox is when it crossed the road in front of me. It's amazing that they've been so close to your hens and you haven't lost one. Hopefully those boards will take care of the problem until your hubby gets home.

VioletSky said...

aw, he's cute... but your chickens are cuter.

a few weeks ago I saw our fox crossing the road (in the downtown core - it's always exciting to see them there! plus they eat the bunnies that eat the garden veggies and flowers), anyway, suddenly there was quite a commotion of crying and I wondered what was wrong with him. possibly lonely. it sounded distressing, just like in your video link.

word veri is noodle

Cora said...

Oh they are so cute and sweet looking! Maybe she will not mess with your hens, looks like she would have by now!
Loving nature all around!
Have a blessed weekend!

Susan said...

Bella, I'm with you....I hope they learned the basic rule of Kindergarten!

Alaine, that noise is downright freaky! You should see the cats go nuts when I play it here! I'm glad I don't have to hear that alone in the woods in the dark!

Ruthie, boy, I'll say! Which came first the chicken or the fox? :-) I actually think the mama got scared and moved them somewhere else. I haven't seen hide nor hair of them all day, and I've been "weawy sneaky".

Susan said...

Di, I'm glad you don't have to worry now that someone or thing is being murdered in the woods! ;-)! Glad you liked it!

Hmmmm, Sanna, wonder if foxes like chicken and noodles? :)

There must be a lot of foxes all over the world. It seems everyone has heard them this year.

Stevie, oops, got you out of order! I'm amazed that the fox had carte blanche and didn't kill one or two. There were a couple of evenings when I didn't get home until almost dark, right when they usually do the dirty deed. She must like me!

Cora, they are very sweet and I'm definitely a proponent of letting nature exist peacefully. I'm not sure how I would react if she got one of my hens though. Their kind was here first, so I'm pretty sure I would just try to secure the fencing better and say c'est la vie.

M said...

That little kit is as cute as a bug's ear. But geez, the plight of the poor hens with the foxes so near. We have seen foxes off and on over the years here at Flat Rock Creek and after you mentioned seeing deer a few weeks ago, now we've seen 3 hanging around.

Also, I took another look at your photos from the last post and they are really gorgeous. I think my eyes were a bit swollen the last time I viewed them or perhaps it was just too early in the AM for me to appreciate the detail. ;)

Flat Rock Creek Notebook

Susan said...

Mary, thankfully we haven't had any trouble thus far, but I'm keeping my eyes and ears open.

Oh, I'm glad you have deer to watch at your place. I love watching woodland's so peaceful.

Thank you very much for the nice compliment, too.

The Bumbles said...

winner winner chicken dinner ;0)

All creatures great and small are a wonder to me. Thanks for sharing the little fox's curious looks at you and your camera.

Susan said...

Molly, I haven't heard that taunt in a long time! I hope the foxes arent't the winners in this contest! I'm glad you liked the pictures. It was so thrilling to me to be able to capture that scene.

Kim Living Life said...

wow the baby is gorgeous. Amazing the mum hasn't decided to share one of your hens with her babies.

Susan said...

Hi, Kim! Yes, I'm amazed, too. There must be plenty of wildlife back there in the woods that she won't risk coming any closer to humans. In fact, I do believe she has moved them. I haven't seen them since that evening.

Oliag said...

Such a nice mama, making her cozy home right under the restaurant!...Have you seen the movie Fantastic Mr Fox yet? If not it is a MUST see...

Susan said...

Oliag, I never quite thought of it that way...clever!!

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I've read it's....fantastic! I'll put it on the Netflix queue, if it's available.

Anonymous said...

That little guy is so adorable! I can just imagine him chewing on the wires, LOL.