World Incidents

Chickens ‘teamed up to kill fox’ at Brittany farming school

‘There was a herd instinct and they attacked him with their beaks,’ says head of farming

Chickens in a poultry farm in northwest France are suspected of killing a fox that tried to sneak into their coop.

The fox is thought to have entered the henhouse at an agricultural school at dusk last week and become trapped inside by light-controlled automatic hatch doors that close when the sun goes down.

Students at Le Gros Chêne school in Brittany discovered the fox’s body the following morning when making their rounds to check on the chickens.

“There, in the corner, we found this dead fox,” Pascal Daniel, the head of farming at the school, told AFP. “There was a herd instinct and they attacked him with their beaks.”

The free-range organic farm has a chicken coop that is open all day, and the hens spend most of the day outside unless they are laying eggs.

The last time a fox visited one of the school’s chicken coops, more than a year ago, it turned out much worse for the hens, Daniel said.

 This article was amended on 13 March 2019 because an earlier version referred to Brittany as being in northeast France. This has been corrected to northwest.

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