The harsh realities of rural life


I headed off to do my chicken sitting today and was looking forward to it as i miss having my own at the moment.

When i arrived at my destination i remembered why we don’t have chickens yet.

You see we have not got an area that is ready yet to protect them from foxes and snakes.

The harsh reality of rural life is that foxes kill chickens,and they not only kill them but leave them behind,they kill as many as possible and just leave them..it’s horrid and this was what i faced today.

At sometime during the night a fox has found a weak spot and gotten in and killed 9 of my charges.

I was shattered,the remaining girls were skittish and upset and i felt so sorry for them.How terrifying for these gentle creatures,to have to witness this seemingly pointless slaughter.

I quickly fed the girls lots of fresh greens seed and grains and then had to work out what to do.

I had a rubbish bag in the car and picked up each poor darling,apologising to each one for what had happened.

I had to put them in the rubbish bin and this upset me even more..what an undignified end for these sweet girls that i had enjoyed spending quiet reflective time with.I again apologised but i knew of nothing else i could do.

You see,i would often ,when we had chickens,find myself sitting on the ground,talking to them,getting sat on by them and just taking in the quiet while they dust bathed and pecked my painted toenails.

You can’t stay angry or upset when you take the time to step into their world.

Having said sorry i went around the perimeter of this huge enclosure and finally found the spot where the fox had gotten in,i filled it with rocks and bricks and double checked the perimeter again..all the time swearing and on the verge of tears.’

I understand that all creatures need to eat,but i cannot understand how foxes kill so many with the view to come back yet they never do…9 gentle girls giving me the gift of their beautiful eggs all dead,heads taken off and just left.

When i left i went straight to the shops and bought myself a chocolate bar,i have come home,i have made a coffee and i am going to have a good cry.

You may think this is over the top,but this is me.

I am 51 i am married i have four adult kids and i cry over animals all the time.

I am i think perfectly normal.

Tribute to the humble chicken...my charges

Tribute to the humble chicken…my charges

31 thoughts on “The harsh realities of rural life

  1. But you are perfectly normal, to us anyway. The wanton destruction by foxes is brutal. If only they would just take what they need and leave but that’s just not how they are hard wired. What a deeply upsetting thing for you to have to cope with, even if they weren’t your own.

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    • Thanks..i hate it ..just so pointless..really almost human behaviour..i always believe animals only kill for justifiable reasons unlike humans so this always confounds me.I dread gong tomorrow for fear they find another spot..but i did a thorough check so fingers crossed 😦

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  2. You are perfectly normal…infact you are a very good human being who realises that each living being is important and unique and lovable. It is often said that we can judge a society (and a person if you extend that argument) by the way they treat its animals. And by that definition…you are an angel. 🙂

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  3. Oh I’m so sad for you…..I would be quite attached to whatever animals I was taking care of or keeping just as I am with the one I currently am “keeping” (or who is keeping me I suppose!). It’s nature’s way for sure but coming out to feed them and finding so many of them slaughtered has to be very upsetting. Hopefully you’ll be able to figure out a way to protect them in future so you’ll have no more truly sad mornings like this when you head out to visit.

    Pam 😦

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    • Thanks Pam..it is horrid i know it happens but none of them eaten just beheaded and it seems so pointless 😦 i have found the way the foxes got in and have fixed it so that should do the trick,the owners c:ome home friday and their daughter says it has happened before so they will understand.I hope tomorrow they are all okay.We used to lock our girls up at night in a coop/luxury mansion which hubby concreted the floor due to foxes..fingers crossed xx Bev 😦

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  4. Oh we had the same horrible things a view years ago. This fox was in a blood rage and killed all our chicken and the rooster. I couldn’t believe that the fox entered a garden where two Huskies were. I feel sorry for you and for the chicken, sometimes life isn’t really fair.

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    • Thanks easy,it was pretty awful..i always put myself in the poor animals situation and can only imagine the fear..they really are mongresl! i can’t believe they got past huskies either but they are real cunning! i can imagine how you felt too…life can be bloody unfair!

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    • Thanks 🙂 it was horrid..all i can console myself with is that the owners rescued these girls so they had at least some great quality of life before this..still not my best day..the chocky didn’t help much ..i sat in the carpark at the supermarket and ate it….pathetic really haha.Your kind words are appreciated 🙂 xx

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  5. guys…yur mom iz cryin coz her iza carin compassionate purrson…we be sorree de fox getted ta de burds….can ya put sum kinda smelly stuff round de perimeter ta keep de fox a way ??? we noe that could knot a been easy ta see….yur mum dee serves mor N one chocolate…~~~~~ XOXOX

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    • da tabbies thankyou! mum looked all around the perimeter and it is very safe..except one little spot..so mum filled it up with rocks and big bricks she found..the owners come back friday and i think they will have a plan…they know mum did her best..mum needs more chocolate indeed XXXXX

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  6. Are foxes yet another import? They don’t seem like a critter that would have evolved there. My dad has chickens, and when they get too old they go to the vet to be put to sleep, like any family friend.

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    • Yep.. along with this rooten Gorse,Blackberry,Rabbits the foxes are imports..the British bought the rabbits out for food and the foxes for hunting..Tasmania is the only state in all Australia that has eradicated foxes! and i agree with your dad ,treating them well after the joy they bring us is absolutely paramount..i think i am having a damn the British week heheh well not todays Brits but the misguided ones of settler days..i guess it shows how we need to be aware of what we do today as in 200 years we don’t know what the result will be ..proof is right here now .

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  7. You are right. Life and death are a constant fact on farms. Still, it’s sometimes hard to know where we humans fit into the whole scheme of things. I’m sorry for you that you were subjected to the trauma of a fox rampage. Let us know if you and your friends come up with a better solution for keeping foxes out of the chickens.

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    • Thankyou 🙂 yes it’s always a challenge,this is why we haven’t set up our coop yet..we had this problem at our old place,so until i can ensure their safety we won’t get any.The place i am chicken sitting for has it well set up,the perimeter is well protected but one spot had a weakness and they got in.I have fixed this and hopefully solved the problem.The owners return friday and i am sure will be glad that at least i stopped it .:)

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  8. Hello Bev: Sherri-Ellen here….I am so so sorry about the chickens….we were just talking here about them last nite & now 9 are gone….I totally ‘get’ why you are crying & eating choccie….that is how I handle stress!!! I cry over wee sparrows & the black squirrels when I find them dead. I hope the fox(es) will not be able to get back in & the fence gets a good repair soon!!!
    As much as I love foxes in general I do not like how they kill for sport it seems…no wonder they did Foxhunting in Britian for hundreds of years 😉
    I hope you will be all right. I am sending you warmth & positive healing tonight!! Sincerely, Sherri-Ellen

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    • Thanks Sherri-Ellen…yep they are a beautiful looking animal but so human in the desire to kill for sport! I know how you feel..i am a bawler from way back hehe.I am pretty sure the fence will be fine,i did a good check and this area is at least ancre so it took awhile!..and yes the Brits bought them out here way back in settlement days for hunting..they bought the rabbits to eat then the foxes to hunt them…seems everything that we are dealing with now was a British import!..just show how we need to be careful with what we do as we don’t know the results sometimes for hundreds of years.Tasmania is the only state (and because it is an island) that has eradicated the foxes.Thankyou for your care and concern it does make me feel much better! I will be off soon to the farm and hope fingers crossed i found the way to keep them safe! 🙂

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      • Oh Bev I had no idea about the rabbits & foxes being imported to Australia…makes sense…there is always a risk introducing non Native species. Cormorant birds were introduced in Northern Ontario to eat carp fish so the salmon & trout & whitefish could proliferate. Well the Cormorants multiplied quickly & they don’t actually care which fish they eat!! Now people detest those birds but it is not their faults. We have fox problems here & in rural areas the farmer s are allowed to shoot them to save their stock. We also have coyotes & they are getting bolder & even try to go after small toddlers. I hope the chickens are all safe. You did the best you could & I hope you get no more shocks.
        Sherri-Ellen xo

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        • Yep the good old early settlers had no idea the problem they were bringing,Australia has the same issue with the cane toad..it was introduced to eat beetles that attacked our sugar cane and now these are in plague proportions in the top of queensland.They are deadly to reptiles and pets,they secrete a poison from their skin that kills dogs and cats and possums,snakes,lizards everything that eats them! We really need to be careful don’t we! And yes we had carp dirtying up our waterways…boy we all have ecosystems in danger then! And like the Cormorant(we have them too but not a problem i don’t think) the cane taod doesn’t care about a beetle…Thanks for the thoughts 🙂 i must get out there…..fingers crossed,i am taking a better bag to wrap up the poor things,the one i had broke and i don’t want the owners to see the poor things like that so i will re wrap the poor things,hubby is working from home today so he is coming with me(he is a massive softie) and he wants me to not be alone in case …Bev xxx

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          • I have heard about the Cane Toads…they sound quite frightful!! Carp are just there…in fact in my culture we eat them. It is awful when different species end up where they should not be.
            I am relieved your hubby is going with you today to assist you!! I know how much this has upset you & it is good to have some loving support.
            Wishing you peace & no more surprises!!!
            Sherri-Ellen.

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            • Yep we don’t often eat carp..who know why,all was well with the chickens,thankfully,we did spot an area that must have been dug by rabbits that wasn’t there yesterday and foxes will use that so we filled that up with big rocks…the girls had calmed down and even laid some eggs poor things i did not expect them to lay after the shock.We took some empty chaff bags as the bag i had broke so we popped the girls in those so you couldn’t see them.I didn’t like the way they were all sticking out of the bag..not dignified,so we made them a bit more respectable…hoping your day is bright and full of snuggles Bev xx

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      • Hello Bev: I am relieved the chickens were all right when you returned & that you were able to rewrap the chickens who did not survive the attack. Also glad you were able to plug the new hole…..I sure hope nothing else goes awry for you!!!
        Sherri-Ellen xo

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  9. My Mom says she thinks all mew do to give mewz animals a good life is admirable and deserving of oodles of good Karma. Crying over the senseless killing of mewz gentle chickens (*licks lips* oops, sorry my instincts get the better of me at times!) is not over the top- mew are just a compassionate being with a conscience and our world is harsh. I agree with Mom- mew are quite normal indeed!
    Mewz woofies are pawsome! I have a fur sister woofie named Sophie, we have a special bond like Dinnermintz and Fozzie. I think Dinnermintz is a lovely ladycat too, we are happy to have discovered mewz blog through our mutual furiend Sammy! Purrrrrrrr!

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    • Ms Phoebe pleased to meet mews too! thankyou for your lovely wordz for mum..she was very sad at the shickenz…poor/tasty…oops sorry mum *blushes* shickenz…but i gaves her a head buttz and a drool of kitty juice and she comez back fine! Was mumz last dayz shicken sitting..i thinkz that meanz she is on the eggz as well as the shickenz…and she sayz they are all safe coz she fixed the hole! where the fox got in.Sophie soundz like my Forrest we don’t care if we differentz 🙂 So pleasezd to have you discover us and us you! all through Sammy!! furfriends around the world is great! purrrrrrrrrrr Lubs Dinnermintz

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