Last night I was on Facebook, lamenting the fact that I couldn't lock up the chickens until the doe in the chicken run had left. Presumably through the open gate she'd come in through.
She was eating chicken food.
I was afraid if I approached the run, that she'd blast into the fence instead of using the gate. Deer tend to fun first and ask questions later. I didn't want to risk her getting tangled and injured in the fencing.
I went out about 10pm and she was gone. So was the chicken food.
She'd come in and gone out through the gate.
Or so I thought.
I don't let my chickens out to free range until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon. What that means is, the gate to the chicken run is closed until then. Only their coop door is open
This picture was taken at 9am.
How'd that (same) doe get in there?!
Eating chicken food again, as you can see.
I know deer can jump. Straight up. I've seen the bucks do it. They clear fences without a look back.
I've never seen a doe do it.
Evidently, this one can do it with style.
The fence is 4ft. tall.
The only place she could jump it and not bang her head on a tree branch is on the backside of the run. The trouble is, that spot is downhill and on very unstable footing (years of leaf litter and grass clippings).
She's not only jumping in, she's jumping out as well.
All for some tasteless chicken food.
Because her natural food sources are drying up.
Deer don't eat grasses. They eat what's called browse (leaves, shoots, twigs, woody vines). They also eat forbs (weeds and broadleaf plants).
We don't have a lot of either thing around here right now.
No rain equals no plant growth.
So what's a deer to do?
Risk life and limb by purposely jumping into an enclosed space to eat chicken food.
I just hope she times each jump perfectly. Otherwise the results could be awful for her and for my fencing.