It is finally looking like winter around here. We had sleet and then snow last night - less than an inch, but shoveling it was quite a workout this morning. I did half of it before taking the girls to school this morning, and finished up on my return.
When I went into the chicken house after shoveling, all the chickens were still inside, which is a bit unusual. I discovered the reason when I went out into the yard. There was a carcass of one of my hens, tangled in the electric netting. This one was destroyed much more violently and thoroughly than the ones killed by hawks in the past. My dad came over as I was cleaning up, and asked if all the chickens were ok, as my mom saw a fox leaving our place this morning.
As we stood there talking, a hen came out from under Old Bessie, where she apparently spent the night. I counted, and we seem to be missing one more, but I couldn't find any more remains.
After walking the fence to look for holes or low spots, we realized that it was not electrified. After much trial and error, we narrowed the issue down to the box supplying the electricity. I made a trip into town to the Tractor Supply Company to purchase a new one.
I chose one with a few more joules of power than the last one, whatever that means. It had a pictorial guide on the back regarding which animals it is appropriate to use for:
It looks like I'm good with chickens, rabbits, dogs, goats, pigs, cows and horses, but I'm out of luck with bulls, elk, and...what is that? A fox? I'm not sure.
We plan to get the fence up and running again before dusk, and will close the chickens up for the night. Hopefully we won't lose any more of our hens!