We’re all familiar with the phrase, like the fox guarding the hen house, meaning a certain situation invites disaster. Well, recently in France, a young fox got much more than it bargained for after sneaking into the hen house.

Not the typical outcome

According USA Today, in March 2019, a young fox snuck into a poultry house at an agricultural school in the Brittany region of France. The fox apparently slinked into a free-range, organic house at dusk when its automatic doors closed.

The next morning, the fox was found pecked to death by the 3,000 chickens living in the house. That’s far from the expected outcome. A professor at the school said foxes had gotten into the house before and killed birds, but perhaps they had learned to defend themselves somewhat. In the past, the bellicose birds have squared off with and eaten pigeons that entered the house.

Stick together

While this is a lighthearted, man-bites-dog – or I guess chickens-peck-canid – story, I see a moral in this Aesopian scenario for the poultry industry.

When people work together, with a single objective they can achieve anything and beat any threat. Like the prey taking down the predator, the poultry industry can better endure any challenge – whether it be activists, reducing antibiotics usage, new welfare challenges or variable consumer preferences – when it all pulls together.

Like these birds, we are much stronger when we work together than when we go it alone.