A week ago our flock of chooks were attacked by a fox. We had gone over to a neighbours place to drop off some garden produce and by the time we got back the sun had set behind the mountains. Unfortunately this was more than enough time for the fox to do some damage. I first saw evidence of the attack with the heaps of feathers around. Then after getting a torch, I was able to locate Rusty our rooster. He has lost a large area of feathers in front of his beautiful tail feathers. We were able to locate two of the hens, one of which was quite injured. However after lots of searching the other two hens were no were to be seen. We thought that they were fox food.
Thankfully the missing hens had the good sense to make a very long dash to one our other neighbours. This would have been a good 600m or so. They had put them safely in a cage and called later that evening. So we were able to collect them and bring them back home where they slept in the shed.
The next day, three of the hens were no worse for wear, even with some feather loss. Rusty however was very lethargic and did not eat or drink much. The injured hen was even worse than Rusty, having problems standing up and moving; let alone eating or drinking. So she was kept in a box inside.
We moved the chicken house inside the shed for the next few nights. Rusty rapidly recovered and started working the girls and crowing again. This included early morning crowing from within the shed (not a good way to wake up). So for the last couple of nights the chook house was put outside again.
Things were not looking that good for the injured hen as it was only in the third or fourth day that she started eating and drinking again. Her movement improved, but it is still messed up. I suspect that the fox got her by the neck and did some nerve damage. Anyway we will continue to attempt nursing her back to health. However she only has a month to recover tops, after that it is the stock pot. Hopefully it will not come to that.