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The last time was in 2016. It was during deer gun season when a fox carried out a broad daylight attack on my free ranging chickens. I know many of you will remember the story. For those who are new, the story can be found in my blog at this link: Opening Day of Deer Season: The Fox

And so it happened again this past Monday. Monday was a long day. It started with a doctor's appointment at 8am and turned into getting an order for a stat CT scan which lead to an all day adventure getting the CT scan. That whole medical adventure continued and spanned 3 days and is worthy of its own story so I will just say that I am perfectly fine post-adventure. But this story is about a fox.

I didn't get home until 5pm that day and had not had anything to eat since Sunday evening. I was tired. My husband had had his own busy day. My doctor called me at 6pm with the CT scan results. At 6:30pm I was finally relaxing on the couch and mr bluedog and I were chatting about the day's events. The last thing I needed was more chaos but that is not how things work sometimes.

I was looking out the front picture window when a laying hen walked across the front yard. Weird. The chicken barn is 3 barns down from the house and it is beyond rare that the chickens are out and about at 6:30pm. Usually at this time of night they are starting to gather in the pasture right outside the chicken barn door in preparation for going to roost inside the barn at night. But whatever, chickens do weird things sometimes. A few minutes later, two more laying hens walked through the front yard. They were calm and just walking along but I just knew something was not right. Mr. bluedog did not think anything unusual was going on but I know my chickens and this was not normal. I grabbed the .17hmr and told my husband I was going outside to see what was going on.

I was not even all the way down the house sidewalk to the driveway when I saw it. Through a gap between the back barn wall and one of the tractors sitting in the pasture, I spied what was happening. Out in the pasture behind the closest barn to the house there was a fox with a chicken in its mouth. Ugh!! History was repeating itself.

I quickly walked to the driveway where the big bank barn blocked the view into the pasture. I made my way around the front of the barn and peeked around the corner. I could not see anything yet. I crossed the gap between the big bank barn and the next out building and the fox with the chicken in its mouth came into view. My nerves were shot. Fortunately I was able to kneel down by that 2nd building and used the corner of the building to help steady my shot. The fox was only about 30 yards away but his attention was completely on the chicken. I took a deep breath and shot. The fox dropped. The chicken in the fox's mouth was my old red rooster that was still alive. I picked the rooster up and it ran off. He is perfectly fine today. Unfortunately the fox killed one rooster and one hen inside the barn and one more hen outside the barn. As you can see from the picture, this fox was in VERY VERY bad condition. Once again I was fortunate to be at home when the attack occurred. I've had quite enough excitement this week.

Plant Grass Groundcover Terrestrial animal Tail
 

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Yikes- rough start of the week for sure. Glad the CT scan went well. That Fox looks pretty bad off. Any idea what was wrong with it? His condition may have caused the chicken coop raid?
 

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That's the sickliest looking red fox I've ever seen...poor thing. I won't shoot a fox, but you did that little dude a favor...in addition to the rest of the hen house!
 

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Yikes- rough start of the week for sure. Glad the CT scan went well. That Fox looks pretty bad off. Any idea what was wrong with it? His condition may have caused the chicken coop raid?
Most likely mange. When you have sick or injured predators, if livestock are nearby, they're the easiest meal to get.
 

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Definitely looks mangy. What's up with the nasty eye bulge? Is that from the 17 hummer smacking him??
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yikes- rough start of the week for sure. Glad the CT scan went well. That Fox looks pretty bad off. Any idea what was wrong with it? His condition may have caused the chicken coop raid?
Yes as SNIPERBBB said. He had severe mange. Years ago I saw one on trail cam that was this bad but this is about as bad as it gets.
 

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Many years ago my father called me and said a fox was hanging around the property and was acting strange. He said it would walk around in a daze and actually start walking toward you as you approached it. I said stay away and went over later that day. It was still there and as I approached it, it walked to me as well. It was a Red. Wasn't afraid at all. This is not how they acted when I trapped them when I was younger and they typically avoid human confrontation. I suspected it was sick(possibly rabid?) or hit by a car but didn't see any damage externally from being hit. I called the local warden and wanted them to come get it to test it and he called back and just said to go ahead and dispatch it.
 
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