Free Ranging the Chickens, Part Deux

June 4, 2012 at 5:10 pm (Random Thoughts) (, , , , )

So I’m sitting in my chair having enjoyed Chinese food my daughter had brought home, chickens are happily in their pen in the yard, and all of the sudden, I hear some magpies start screaming. (If you’ve ever heard magpies scream, you know what I’m talking about.)  They keep it up, so I get up and head to the door, and I can see a chicken jumping in the corner of the pen, like she’s trying to get out.  Then the dogs start barking.

As I head out the door, I see a fox standing on the far side of the pen, staring in.  I yell at him to get away, and run down the stairs.

Fox goes part way across the yard, but then stops, looking at me. I’ve clearly interrupted what he thinks of as his box lunch.  But then the magpies start in.  Two of them start dive bombing the fox, driving him out of our yard and into the neighbors.  Husband comes out and points out that they are divebombing him like crazy.  Daughter comes out moments later and asks what’s up- and even though they are clearly acres away, you can still hear the magpies screaming faintly in the distance.  She conjectures that the magpies have a nest up in the tree above the pen.

Either way, they saved some chickies today.

I decide it’s time to take them back in, so husband gets in the pen, lifts it up enough to clear the ground, and starts herding the chickens back to the garage that way, until a couple escape and we let them all loose while getting the pen ready for the night.

We try the rocks in a container thing to get them to come – it’s not effective – yet.

Everyone is caught and put in for the night and clearly just in time – as we come in the house, a big bang of thunder comes across the hills, followed minutes later by a heavy downpour.

And thus end happily the chickies first encounter with a fox.  Chickens – 8, fox-0.

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