The problem with poultry….

….is that they are a magnet for all sorts of enemies and we always have to be one step ahead of the predator.

hens at our dordogne holiday cottages

The hens & their 70 year old hen house

Our first experience of  Mother Nature’s cruelty was when a buzzard flew down and made off with one of the hens. The only evidence was a few  scattered feathers & a hen house full of startled chickens which refused to come out for 3 days.

A makeshift scarecrow and a string of promotional freebie CDs stuck label to label were hastily put up as a temporary deterrent  and have stayed there ever since.

The second was when a fox/ mink /some other nocturnal thief turned up unannounced and sneaked off with our 2 guinea fowl. Now we weren’t exactly planning on them gracing our Christmas table but somehow I can’t help thinking that they would have been better off in our stomachs than his!

guinea fowl at our dordogne gites

Dolce & Gabbana

Our replacement guinea fowl did indeed end up on our table when Amar decided that self-sufficiency was the way to go. I have to say at this point that I only agreed to this as they were fighting with Giorgio the cockerel and one of them had to go. I also should add that neither of us could bring ourselves to do the dirty deed – our neighbour farmer took them away, chuckling to himself at these sentimental townies & brought them back, all plucked and prepared along with a very nice bottle of Pouille Fuisse – not bad, eh?! We now have another 3 guinea fowl which get along nicely with Giorgio & I’m trying hard not to think about a home grown Christmas dinner….( okay, okay , I know we shouldn’t have given them names…)

Anyway, back to the fox…

Cockerel at our dordogne gites

Giorgio, the bantam cockerel

So we racked our brains to see how we could better protect the hens.

Obviously we’ve still got a lot to learn about country life, but some of the advice from the locals about how to deal with this situation would make your hair curl!

Talking of hair, one of the less offensive suggestions was to fill
stockings with human hair and hang them around the enclosure.

Hmmm, what with the makeshift scarecrow & the CDs for the buzzards
and now hairy tights for the fox …….

Strange as it looks though, we did visit the hairdresser in Salignac
& relieved her of some of her clippings! And we added a double wired fence all around.

So far, so good…

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