Trouble at the Henhouse

When I was thinking that this urban farming thing was a good idea,  I was being completely naive in this thinking.  I envisioned wandering through my beautiful organic veggie garden, harvesting the overflowing  bounty of my efforts, looking stylish in my peacock blue Hunter Wellies and gathering delicious fresh free-range eggs; all while maintaining a perfect manicure.   Needless to say, it has not quite turned out that way.

Any sort of farming is hard work (urban or otherwise). It is  dirty, tiring and not at all glamorous.  It’s hard work….and I love it.  You can imagine my surprise when I was preparing to put the chickens out in their coop now that they have fully feathered and I spotted a fox lurking just a few feet away from where the coop sits.    She’s beautiful for sure but foxes and chickens don’t mix.  What made the whole situation even more crazy was the litter of eight baby foxes that were spotted coming and going from the den they had dug under the neighbours shed.  Cute and distressing all at the same time.  Kinda like when you bring your firstborn home and think to yourself “omg it’s beautiful….now what do I do?”

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Fantastic Mrs. Fox is eyeing my chickens!
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Kits…adorable baby foxes.

As I have said before, you can learn anything from the internet.  So I googled and found out how to fox-proof my chicken coop.  Not exactly how I wanted to spend my Saturday but well worth the effort.  With eight hungry babies to feed a mother can get desperate!

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Fox Proofing the coop.  A trench lined with heavy duty hardware cloth.

So following the instructions I found online,  I went about trying to fox proof my coop. I started to worry that maybe foxes were smart like raccoons and they would laugh at my attempt and just pick open the latch on the door.  Thankfully,  they are not and I still had chickens come Sunday morning (sigh).   Mrs Fox  certainly made an effort though.  I have to admit that I was a little nervous heading out sunday morning to check on the girls.  They were all there!  I out-smarted fantastic Mrs. Fox…..I love you google!  Who knew urban farming would be so dramatic!

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Fox proofing worked but she gave it a good try.

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Come Sunday, once I knew the Chickens were safe,  I set about planting.  My happy place – digging in the dirt, planning what would go where.  Early veggies are in.  Seeds are planted.  Now I just have to wait for the risk of frost to be gone to start planting the rest of the beds.  Bob and I started planning the small garden fence to keep the bunnies and voles out.  Then I realized that I hadn’t seen a single bunny in our yard for weeks.  Or any other critter for that matter.  I guess there is a bright side to having a family of foxes in the yard.  No fence required…

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Let the bounty come.  Early veggies are planted.

By the way…cool coincidence.  The Hip released the album “Trouble at the Henhouse” 20 years ago this past weekend. Where were you in May 1996?  One of my faves!  Enjoy!

Melissa