Too many emotions are experienced when a small scale farmer such as myself comes to find a collection of beautiful, soft, silky young chicken feathers on the driveway, feathers of young hens you know, young hens you raised from chicks.
Once again, another predator has made off with 2 young hens.   Both of the girls were born on March 23rd this year and were just starting to test their mature hen voices.   In another couple months, they may have started laying an egg here or there.   But, really, they were still babies.
Over the past few nights, twice I have seen a fox trot down our driveway around 2 am.   It sets off various alarms, including the dogs.   What a great way to wake up suddenly.   Anyway, it looks like that fox has been scoping out the farm, smelling chickens, and learning they hang out around the manure pile, where they eat fly eggs and various bugs.   One kill was done there, in the hen's own safe zone only yards from their box stall where they roost at night.   There is no sign of the other hen.
So, he came.   He found a plentiful source of food.   He killed.   And now you can bet your bottom dollar he will be back.   Most likely tomorrow or the next day.
This time, I will be waiting.   Yes.   This is war.   Again.