keeping chickens continues to gain in popularity. by now i am not at all surprised and less and less distraught over someone's story of how all their chickens were killed/stolen/eaten by some predator (in one case, the family dog). you don't see many chickens past egg-laying age.
a few weeks ago during a neighborhood party chicken conversation, someone was listing with great interest the things that had gotten their chickens over the past couple of years -- ermines or minks, fishers, weasels, owls, hawks, coyotes, bobcats, and mostly, the mama fox who lives and raises her families nearby.
and then it dawned on me -- keeping chickens can be a lot like keeping a bird feeder -- it's a small mammal feeder! it helps the animals we love so much make it through the winter, and provides wildlife spotting opportunities for the owners. i do believe many chicken owners love the fox and her kits even more than they do their chickens, especially once they are over the stage of naming the chicks.