For two days I have been building a brooder cage for my broody hens inside the coop. To keep them on their nest with their chicks away from the flock in peace. Sometimes hens hatch 1 chick and abandon the rest of the eggs. I want maximum chicks hatched without me resorting to an incubator. My game hen hatched 2 chicks in winter but abandoned her last 2 sets this spring. Very frustrating to lose eggs and chicks from a flaky hen. The broody cage idea was recommended by the old timers to force the hen to sit on her nest.
This morning as I worked I heard peeping from under one of my barred rock hens. This is her first brood this year as she was born in October of 2010. I knew she would need to be moved into the brooder box ASAP. So I finished and moved her, the chick and the unhatched eggs. Mama hen was pleased and setting in peace. Then I heard squawking and upset hens in the horse pasture. Hens were running all over the place and out pops a red fox with a mouth full of feathers right in front of me and my horses.The horses ignored the fox so I yelled and the fox ran. I grabbed my dog who was asleep to get the fox. Useless, she ran back into the kennel back to sleep. I thought about releasing my other dog, but he would have just gone after my hens too. I was warned the fox will return and kill all my chickens, and the locals were right. Foxes are smart and hungry. This fox only wounded my red hen and got feathers.
This is going to be a busy summer for me and that fox.