Only one survivor in fox raid on coop housing 18 chickens at Sutherland

Trauma victim: Lucky is being cared for by Donna Dubois-Haberfield and her children Cassandra, 14, Ryan, 13, and Natalie, 10 at their Como home after surviving a fox attack. Picture: Chris Lane
Trauma victim: Lucky is being cared for by Donna Dubois-Haberfield and her children Cassandra, 14, Ryan, 13, and Natalie, 10 at their Como home after surviving a fox attack. Picture: Chris Lane

Lucky the hen is making a good recovery after a deeply traumatic experience in the week before Christmas.

She was the only survivor when a fox raided a coop housing 18 chickens, which were kept and maintained by people with a disability at SGSCC disAbility.

The disability service is part of St George & Sutherland Community College, which backs on to Jannali Reserve bushland.

Lucky – who was given the name by staff after the attack – is recovering at the Como home of Donna Dubois-Haberfield, who works for SGSCC disAbility.

The placement was to have been temporary, while the chicken coop could be better fox proofed.

But, with the TLC being provided by her new carers, including Cassandra, 14, Ryan, 13, and Natalie, 10, it’s likely Lucky will take up permanent residency.

“We are happy to keep her because she has settled in so well and the kids love her,” Ms Dubois-Haberfield said.

“The other chooks are happy to have her and she also gets on well with my dog and cat.”

SGSCC disAbility supports more than 150 clients with an intellectual disability, some also with a physical  disability.

Caitlin Collett manages the chicken coop, which facilitates a range of skills for clients.

They include researching and learning about the needs and behaviour of chickens, feeding, cleaning, collecting eggs, money skills in selling eggs and much more.

The coop is also wheelchair accessible which makes it possible for people in wheelchairs to fully participate in these activities.

Paula Kendall, the SGSCC disAbility quality manager, said clients and staff were devastated by the fox raid.

“The fox was still in there when staff arrived on the morning of December 20,” she said.

“Out of 18 chickens, only Lucky survived.

“At first, she appeared to exhibit symptoms of post traumatic stress, but she is now recovering well in temporary safe quarters.”

Ms Kendall said SGSCC disAbility was fund-raising to better fox proof the coop and purchase more chickens.

Anyone wishing to help should call SGSCC disAbility on 8543 7429.

The attack came shortly after Kirrawee grandmother Joanna Lange issued a warning about the danger of foxes in December.

A fox or foxes got into her backyard and killed all her chickens.

It was the second attack since October.

“I’ve had chickens for 52 years and it has never happened before,” Mrs Lange, 82, said.

“Now it has happened twice since October.”

The first time foxes got into her yard and killed five chickens. The second attack she lost seven chickens.

“They took four chickens and left the bodies of the rest,” she said.

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