Fox trapped in henhouse pecked to death by 3,000 chickens in France


These cute animals have a dark side. Veuer’s Sean Dowling has more.

A young fox got more than it bargained for when it entered a chicken coop and ended up reportedly being pecked to death on a French farm.

The killing occurred in the henhouse of Le Gros Chene, an agricultural school in Brittany. Students found the dead fox one morning last week doing routine checks on the hens, according to French news agency Agence France-Presse.

“There, in the corner, we found this dead fox,” Pascal Daniel, the Pontivy, France, school’s head of farming, told the AFP. “There was a herd instinct and they attacked him with their beaks.”

Daniel told French newspaper Ouest-France the fox didn’t appear sick and was probably surrounded by the 3,000 chickens housed in that part of the coop. 

Daniel told the newspaper the school has 6,000 chickens. The henhouse has light-controlled doors that close after dark each day, according to the AFP. The fox, no more than five to six months old, is believed to have been trapped inside once entering at dusk.

The hens live on an free-range, organic farm and enter the coop, where they’ve been housed since July, at night and to lay eggs, according to the AFP.

Daniel says he believes the animals have learned to defend themselves in that time. He told Ouest-France that devoured pigeons are often found in the henhouse, too.

When a different fox came into the henhouse more than a year ago, the school’s hens at the time didn’t fare as well, Daniel told the AFP.

Follow USA TODAY’s Ryan Miller on Twitter @RyanW_Miller


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