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When Night Fell, the Chickens Killed the Fox

Fox intruder did away with chickens last time
By Richard Kemeny,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2019 9:15 AM CDT
This Oct. 4, 2018 photo shows a flock of red and cinnamon hens producing hearty, healthy, brown-shelled eggs at Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, Ill., as part of its new agriculture program.   (Alex Paschal/The Telegraph via AP)

(Newser) – Not quite the easy meal the fox may have expected when it entered a bustling chicken coop at an agricultural school in northwest France. The automatic hatch door closed behind the juvenile fox, trapping him in a coop holding 3,000 hens, reports the BBC. The birds confronted the intruder, thought to be five or six months old, and pecked it to death. "There was a herd instinct," says the school's farming director. "It had blows to its neck, blows from beaks." The young fox’s body was found in the corner of the coop the next day, its stomach having repeatedly been pecked, reports CNN.

Just 18 months ago a fox made its way in and did away with some of the chickens, but students of the school do regularly find "devoured" pigeons in the coop. LiveScience notes that chickens did indeed descend from dinosaurs and quips that these birds "channeled their inner Tyrannosaurus rex" in going after the fox. It also suggests a genetic component: In 2016 Chinese scientists identified parts of the chicken genome that were linked with aggressive behaviors. (Read more chicken stories.)

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