Chasse En Cours

Ok...I'm a little bit upset. We lost three of our baby chickens last week and this time not to Mr Fox. It was Saturday morning and whilst lazing around in our pyjamas (as you do) we heard the chickens outside making a bit of a fuss. When they start making that amount of noise it means there's a predator around and for us that means a quick dash to get wellies on to chase whatever it is away. I've done this a couple of times now with Mr Fox. This time however, whatever was upsetting them had a bell ringing away as it ran, and soon enough it came into sight...it was a hunting dog.

Hunting is a massive sport here in rural France. From September to February, every weekend, men (I have yet to see a lady hunter though I'm sure they're out there) armed with their orange caps and rifles, take over the wilderness with their crazy dogs to hunt out their prey. Round here that could be deer, wild boar, rabbits, pheasants...

The thing is...we live on the edge of that wilderness, that untouched woodland which is prime territory for the chasse. We've actually seen them crossing our land (is that allowed??) The nearer they are the more likely their dogs will find our chickens and we fear for our safety. I've heard too many stories about people being accidentally shot having been mistaken for a wild boar or deer in the bushes. So what can we do? We've spoken to members of our local chasse and let them know that our house is now occupied as before we moved in last year it was empty for a long time. They've ensured us that they will warn us when they will be close to our land (although they have yet to do so.) We've also taken the decision to fence in our chickens for their own safety and we may be down the garden centre to buy our own orange caps for when we're working in the garden at the weekends!

If you've got any tips for how best to approach the local chasse please do pass them on. There's a good article here with information about them if you're interested.

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