I’m heartbroken this morning. A fox got one of our ducks in the night. Whilst we constantly worry about losing lambs to foxes, we feel pretty secure about the fowl as they are locked away each night in a high walled ‘fort’ almost impossible for a fox to breach. But this morning I found one of our beautiful Pekins headless in the garden, still warm. The latch on a little side gate to the run, which we never use, must have been loosened over time by the wind and had blown open, so Brer Fox had easy access to a pen full of geese and ducks. Incredibly the four remaining ducks and all the geese were unharmed, though highly stressed. Luckily I had let Sam out earlier than usual this morning so he must have frightened the fox before anymore damage was done. We’ve had our five Pekin ducks for years and they move about the garden and ponds as a unit, travelling everywhere together in a comical little regiment. So it’s particularly distressing to lose a member of this tight knit group. But that is life on the farm. It’s all of us against the blasted foxes. As I walked back from feeding everyone and cleaning up after the kill, I saw the culprit in the distance – as bold as brass. But even though my father taught me how to handle a gun, I couldn’t bring myself to shoot anything. Not even a fox.
On a brighter note, we had 2 more lambs born yesterday, strong and robust and already playing together in the paddock. I’m hoping our little pack of donkeys will help keep them safe from the foxes.
Above: This is Nigel. His leg was broken in a fight, years ago when he was a lamb and though he’s quite lame, he manages to get around the paddock perfectly well so has been kept as a pet. He loves lambing time and every Spring is very protective of everyone, like an old uncle. This morning he was greeting one of our new arrivals.
Baby Phoebe peering over the Ha Ha and hoping for a little snack. We built the Ha Ha years ago so there would be no fence to ruin the view. It’s a wonderful thing as at certain angles it appears that the animals are actually in the garden. It’s too high to jump so they are separated from the gardens by a barrier, invisible from the house.
Peas in a pod. Phoebe and mother Clementine.
Seeing the dams this low is worrying. We are desperate for some good rains.
Calling for mother.