We were woken at 5:30 this morning to the sound of chickens flapping and shrieking in a panic. I got up and looked out the bedroom window, to spot a dog fox which had just given up trying to get into the hen house and was trotting along the back of the garden, disappearing through the hedge to the neighbour's place.
We've always known it was only a matter of time. We have some fences, but like that our boundaries look solid but are permeable: this allows us to enjoy the visitations of hedgehogs and the odd pheasant. We've always known that foxes are around but had not seen one as far into the village as we are. But we've also always locked the chickens away, telling ourselves on the nights we think we're too tired that that would be the one night the fox would visit. That was reinforced a couple of months ago, when a neighbour told us he'd seen one on the street in front of our house.
But still. Cheeky bugger. 5:30 is a good hour after sunrise at this time of year. The new henhouse has been built for a week or two now, and I suspect it's installment on concrete slabs in its final location will be brought to the top of the jobs list...probably tonight.