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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Saving Private Blueberry (Chicken)

So, I'm a crazy chicken lady, it's true and here is clucky tale of woe...
Once upon a time we had four little Bluebell chickens and for two happy years they frolicked in our back garden and enjoyed a happy existence that was blissfully unaware of that dastardly villain, Mr Fox.   Actually, they spent the first year in their lovely run as I was too nervous to let them free range because of Mr Wilf and Miss Looloo; they are hunter pointer retriever type breeds with a keen instinct for chasing  exciting flappy birds whilst on walkies in the woods.  

But then Miss Blueberry, Miss Mabel and Miss Vera Lynn decided to start picking on little Miss Layla chicken in quite frankly, a brutal fashion.   Watching the pecking order in action is quite unpleasant and they relentlessly bullied her until she had to be separated for her own safety.

This was the point where I decided to let them free range; better to have their inquisitive instincts occupied in scratching up my garden and looking for tasty insect snacks than taking it out on poor Layla.   They had a happy year ranging freely in the garden and I very naively harboured the misconception that Mr Fox was not aware of their existence.   The dogs were used to the chickens by now and so behaved themselves and were in the garden so often that I assumed that their presence was fending off any lurking fox.  

Wrong.  A couple of weeks ago we were visited by a fox on two consecutive days and only Miss Blueberry survived; she is my curly girl's chicken and lays the loveliest speckled eggs.  Curly Girl is now obsessively checking that her chicken is safe each day and sadly Miss Blueberry has to spend the majority of her time in her run, which she noisily objects to.  I am letting her free range under supervision but if she goes out of sight whilst I am weeding my heart lurches and I curse myself for taking my eye off her.   She likes to watch out for worms as I dig over the soil and 'helps' me by scratching up the area I am working on.

We introduced her to a new friend, little Jackla (as in 'Gavla' from Gavin and Stacey), an ISA Brown chicken. There were two newbies but unbelievably the fox visited again, bold as you like in the middle of the day whilst we were around and managed to drag Molly Weasley chicken out from a smaller run on the grass.   

So I am doing my best to save Private Blueberry and feisty little Jackla from enemy attack; plans are afoot for more chooks to join the feathery sisterhood and for a safer Fort Knox type area for them to roam in.  I feel guilty and very sad to have lost my girls, but I have learnt some valuable lessons. 

Over and out from Major Galx

PS This post is linking up with #AllAboutYou 



  1. aww what a shame :-( id love my girls to be out full time but id be too worried. we settle with having them out when we are so far.

  2. awww how sad, I hope Mr Fox keeps away now :)

  3. Mr Fox, Mrs Fox and all the little Foxes are the only reason I don't keep chickens.
    My neighbour has them, her Husband is a builder and their whole garden is like Fort Knox.
    So sad that you have lost so many of your girls.

  4. What a pretty egg! Its so nice! Sad about losing them chickens. I jad some at home. They keep my mother company but we stopped caring for some after they die as its a but hurtful. Sorry Im not making any sense but I love those egg nonetheless =) #PoCoLo

  5. I found this really really sad my lovely :( I hope the brave remaining ones survive. That egg is so beautiful. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo xx

  6. Oh I feel for you. How upsetting, poor chucks!

  7. So sorry to hear this. I'm a crazy chicken lady too and we have had the same visitor. He took all 10 of my chickens and my 3 ducks early one evening. They now live in fort knox and I wish they could have the whole garden to room but just can't risk it. Popping over from #PoCoLo

  8. What a sad post - and how vicious nature is, isn't it, that fox has no way of knowing or caring of your emotional attachment to his prey.


Hi, thanks for taking the time to comment. GAL x

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