Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Tuesday 23 June 2009

Late night fox activities

At 9 pm on Sunday I went out to shut the chickens in the Orchard, they won't go to bed for at least another hour or so at this time of year but are content to be shut in the Orchard until they deign to go inside their runs and houses.

But.....there was no Capt Flint, no Ginger, no Henny and no Long John Silver.

This was serious as the two cockerels are NEVER away from the hens and Henny and Ginger, as joint top hens are always together and always waiting for their food, or have taken already up their spots in Peckingham or Cluckingham Palace.

The other hens were all very agitated and I finally found Ginger, unhurt but shaking, inside the Eglu, where she hasn't lived for 1 1/2 years.

No sign of Henny or the cockerels, though....:-(

I went to look around the garden, and then went out into the wood. By this time it was dark and I had to use a torch.

I very quickly found Capt Flint, lying on his side with his neck twisted, wheezing and eyes closing over. Feathers all around him, he couldn't even stand up and was obviously not going to make it.

I left him lying on the ground, to go and get Compostman as I needed some help in sorting all this out and finding the others. When I came back, Capt Flint had gone...he had managed to get up and get himself into a load of nettles and brambles and try as we might, we couldn't get hold of him...he was mighty lively for a "dead" bird.

So...after wading through nettles and brambles for a very long time in the dark, we finally had to leave him to the night...

So...next morning, I go to open up the hens and who is sitting on top of the Dorking run? yep, Cap't Flint!

he is absolutely fine, eating, drinking, mating (!) and generally being, well, a Cockerel.

I am astonished, I really am.

Henny and Long John Silver also re appeared, which was good!


  1. Blimey, talk about fleeing from the jaws of death! Glad to hear that Henny and LJS also made it back.

  2. Crikey!! Capt.Flint is a hero! did Ginger cop it then :o( glad the others were back ok. I would think foxes have young at this time of year so are out maybe places they dont normally go.
    Long live the Capt!
    GTM x

  3. Phew! My heart almost stopped reading that post. Glad to hear they're all ok.

  4. SO glad to hear he's doing well, sounds like they protected their ladies as only the best cockerels do.

    Sue xx

  5. I am so glad that Cap't Flint made it through the night, what an awful ordeal for the poor boy! And as for the Henny and Long John Silver reappearing, well what a happy ending!! I hope they are all happily over that awful shock including Ginger poor sweet girl! Lets hope that Mr Fox will leave them alone from now on... !!
    Love Jane xxx

  6. Glad all your chickens turned out to be OK. That must have been a worry for you. Have you thought of electric fencing? The foxes do go out in broad daylight at both ends of the day sometimes, and quite unexpectedly. We don't let ours free range for that reason and because we don't have electric fencing, but we let them out into a wider area when we are around.

  7. Karin we DO have electric fencinf! all round the Orchard, but they are allowed out at the tag end of the afternnon to free range. Normally they are back shut in well before dusk, bit this last week it has bee very hard to get them in before dark.

    Not since Sun though.....

    Ginger is quite poorly and I had to take her to the vet today, the fright made her egg bound and she now has an infection as the egg ruptured inside her..I guess due to the chasing she had on sunday night...

    I will post more soon...

  8. I see. That explains why you haven't been losing them to foxes on a regular basis, living where you do.

    The foxes come out from over the road about 8 pm at the moment, but the other day, last month there was one coming down from the houses at the back between 5 and 6 pm, and last summer there was one in the garden quite late in the morning. Foxes are unpredictable things.

    Sorry to hear Ginger isn't totally unscathed. Hope she pulls through.

  9. I do hope Ginger is OK - we lost my favourite hen to a fox a couple of weeks ago and now they get shut in around 8pm. They objected initially but do now go to bed fine - although they have got their revenge with eggs laid almost anywhere EXCEPT the nest boxes.

    Rosie x

  10. Poor Ginger, I do hope she gets over this infection soon.... she was obviously terrified because she was trembling when you found her in the Eglu,... please keep us posted!
    Love Jane xxx

  11. i am glad your chickens are safe :-)

    Rose XXX

  12. That was a frightening post to read! Best wishes to Ginger.

  13. Wow, Capt. Flint is a survivor! I hope Ginger gets better.


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