We are enduring another heat wave on top of a fox problem. In all our years here we have never seen so many foxes or been subjected to so many attacks. The last 3 have been a zero result for the fox but in the process we lost a goosing and a chook both where killed but dropped the birds when pursued by the dogs. The latest attempt was well cut off in the orchard but in this heat you can’t be out on the lookout all the time. This has meant the birds have been kept in their pens more of the time. I only allow a few out each day which is more difficult in the heat as there are lots of cool shady places for them to hang out.
The foxes we have seen are larger than normal and are out and about around midday .Hear say around the district is they are around in large numbers. Being an urban fringe area there are really no control taking place. With a mix of smaller properties and plenty of bushes for them to hide any sort of control is difficult. Quentin mentions getting out the gun but he is only 5 weeks out from a total knee replacement and needs to watch is steps especially on the slopes. (Actually it’s amazing how he has progressed in such a short period)
So now we are on fox, weather and fire watch .During a heatwave all you can hope to do is a few chores not involving any machinery early in the mornings, keep the water up to the orchards, keep a watch on the poultry and go inside. Every half hour I check the poultry. They have shaded pens fitted with misters that run for about 10 minutes every half hour as well as a sprinkler on the shed roof to cool it down in the afternoon.
As a result of the Victorian bushfires there has been much hype over what householders should or should not do in case of a fire. Our plan has always been to stay and defend as result, on serious fire risk day we always stay at home, alert to the possible risks. The areas around our house are kept well watered ,sprinkler in the roof. the fire pumps are all well serviced and ready to go (unlike many that come to Quentin to be serviced or fixed after being left out in the weather all winter!) We also have suitable clothes, pants, boots, woollen jumpers, hat etc all there ready to put on at a moment’s notice. We hope we never have to implement our plan but we are ready