I think it will only be a matter of time before we lose a chicken/s to a fox. On the second day running, in broad daylight, I've surprised a fox lurking on the wooded mound on the other side of the chicken field. It's not really fair to say it was lurking. It was of course going about its perfectly natural business of stalking something to eat - could be a rabbit or it could be this chicken.
I say this chicken in particular as she (a Maran) has taken to hedge laying and has chosen the not particularly safe hedge bordering on the wooded mound. I found the eggs the other day having suspected that the Marans had moved nesting site from the safer and more convenient house. Then I saw one coming back from laying and went to look in that direction. I found 5 beautiful eggs and left the warmest, following Suzanne's advice to leave an egg so the chicken will continue to go back there. Mind you I'm not sure I should encourage her to. Perhaps I should retrieve the eggs and cut the bracken down to make the area less tempting for nesting. Then maybe she will move to a safer place. Meanwhile, it seems she's the only one doing this. There were five eggs in the nesting box as per usual. And I'm not sure the other Maran has started laying this spring.