Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Dorito the hen came to live with us on 3rd December, along with 3 other rescued battery hens ~ Vader, Mildred and Pexter. After a life lived entirely indoors, inside a small metal cage, our back garden was an amazing wonderland of discovery. She learned that grass tastes good, and she ate it all. She learned that it was fun to scratch in the dirt and lay up against the wall beside the lavender bush when the setting sun warmed the ground. She grew her feathers back. She chased the dog. She laid delicious eggs. On Thursday 26th April, she was attacked and killed by a fox.
My son and I were devastated. She was such a lovely hen, and we had hoped she would live a long and happy life with us after her horrible beginnings in a battery shed. The fox didn't take her body, possibly because we interrupted its attack, possibly because it's a wonder that it got over our 7 foot brick wall in the first place.
But no matter how sad I am that she was killed, I don't blame the fox. A lot of people say foxes are evil, that they kill for fun. That's just not true. They are simply doing what Nature intended, but they're doing it really well. A fox will kill all the hens in the henhouse given half the chance, because they are hunting to survive and feed themselves and their families. A henhouse just seems like an amazing opportunity to them, and they will kill all the hens so they have food to last them a few days. Think back a few weeks to when everybody panic-bought petrol because they thought there might not be any available if they went back the next day.
If you stop and think about the most disliked creatures in our society ~ rats, mice, foxes, pigeons, etc. ~ they are all creatures who are extremely good at what they do, particularly at adapting to surviving in a human-dominant environment. People forget that the rat population is only as high as it is because we humans create so much waste. Similarly, if we didn't make so many brilliant roosting and nesting spots, and drop so much food litter, our urban pigeon population wouldn't be such an issue.
We will miss poor Dorito. I hope she enjoyed her time with us, and that she is now happily scratching in the dust over the rainbow bridge. But I also hope the fox found a meal elsewhere to feed itself and its family. We are all Nature's creatures.
♥ RIP Dorito ♥