A Fox on the Farm

Mid-morning, as I was making brunch, the Banties on the porch started making a ruckus, wildly bock-bock-bocking all together. We laughed at their antics wondering what had gotten them so stirred up.

Suddenly, Paul called out, “There’s a fox!” pointing out the living room window. Sure enough, there was a red fox standing a few feet outside the protection of the woods, studying the ducks in their fenced in yard not more than 15 yards away. I scrambled for my camera, but in the commotion, the dog woke up barking and scared the fox back into the woods.

As foxes go, he was beauty standing there in stark contrast to the snow. He looked healthy as if he hadn’t missed too many meals. Since duck is not on the menu today, Hannah raced out and escorted the ducks back into their protected pen.

I grabbed my camera and headed outside. In my jammies and boots, I snapped these pictures of the fox’s tracks retreating into the?woods.

fox tracks retreating into the woods

This is where the fox was standing while eyeing the duck coop.

this is where the fox was standing

By this time, the Banties had settled, but The Girls suddenly started a ruckus of their own. I slogged my way through the snow to the big coop where I found these fresh tracks. They circled the coop and then crossed the ravine. I followed the tracks the other direction down the driveway and through the woods to where they emerged at the house.

fox tracks around the chicken coop

That quickly the fox had abandoned the idea of ducks and headed straight over to the chickens. It seems to me as if he knows his way around Downeast Thunder Farm.

We’ve seen fox during the day before, skirting the edges of the clearing. We saw signs of a predator last week. One year when we had quite a run on wild snowshoe hare, I saw a fox wander through the front garden. I appreciate the beauty of these animals, and I find it exciting to see them. However, now that I’ve entered into the world of livestock farming on a tiny scale, my joy at seeing the fox is waning.

I suggested to Paul that he go outside and pee around the duck pen to mark his territory. I’ve read that it works to discourage coyotes. Why not fox? He laughed and suggested that it might be time for an electrified fence.

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