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!

Saturday 30 January 2010

A SAD and REALLY rubbish sort of day..

Carp morning of utter carpness here, topped off with a second and third helping of even more carpness later in the afternoon...

I am rather sadly minus 6 hens today..a visit from Mr/Mrs/Miss/Master Fox,I think alas ....

I realised something was up after spotting a load of white feathers at lunchtime, searched for a body and found one dead hen( head removed and gone)who was Pearl the nutty White Leghorn, her decapitated body was still warm....

then gradually realised a number of the other hens were MIA... all this in daytime! near to the house!

Henny my biggest, softest, oldest hen, Ginger, Cinnamon the two newish Isa browns ( and ace layers), Bunty the newish Black Rock and another sweet hen, and Ruby the mad broody Silver Dorking, mum to the Legbars.....were all missing....

Not a feather anywhere from any of them, but no sight or sound all day so am assuming they have been got by (probably) a vixen and her teenage cubs....

Am very sad and dispirited by it all....

Have been to pub tonight, eaten and drunk far too much, have returned to open a bottle of wine, have watched "The day after tomorrow" and am going to go to bed soon..

My poor , poor hens......I shall miss you all SO much.

RIP my lovely feather friends.


  1. Oh how sad. Foxes are one reason my hubby doesn't want to get any hens (there are others as well). I'm still working on him.
    Hugs to you.

  2. Oh, how horrible! I understand completely, too, how you're feeling. We got visited by a raccoon two nights in a row when my husband was out of town, and I couldn't figure out where it was getting into the coop. All the cleanup duties fell to me, plus one injured too badly that I had to put out of her misery. I'll buy the next round.

  3. Oh No....How awful and yes in daylight!
    I have'nt lost a hen yet from a fox but worry often .
    I am glad to hear you drank some of the sorrows away.
    Hope no more return visits from the fox.

  4. Poor chickens and poor you, ((hugs)) I have only had my chickies for 6 months but would be absolutely devastated if I lost them all in one fell swoop like that.How sad :(

  5. a tragic day compostwoman. so sorry to hear of your loss. i have yet to experience the fright and wretchedness of losing a hen --though i have had a close hawk call. a friend lost 3 to the hawks this week. makes this kind of old-fashioned notion of "winter survival" take on new meaning with these chickens. i'm constantly worried about them freezing. i can't hardly stand to see their glum cold little faces each morning. but it's now *finally* the end of january so let's hope that spring comes soon and we can all be happy again.

  6. Oh, this is terrible news! Too many times I've witnessed what is left behind when a mink goes on a killing spree to have any sympathy for the predators. I'm so sorry you've lost so many members of your family at once.

  7. Dearest CW.. so sorry but I am only just catching up with the blog's and forums today... slowly... have a nasty chest and sinus infection and feel carp to be honest... I was heartbroken to read about the loss of your gorgeous beautiful girls .... foxes are very cruel....I know how much you loved the girls and all their little ways... its such an awful shock!!
    Huge Hugs to you!!!!
    Much Love, Jane xxxxx


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.