Prince of Wales's hens 'killed by foxes' at Highgrove

image captionThe attacks on the Prince's hens have led to a shortage of eggs at his shop

Foxes have killed dozens of hens on the Prince of Wales's country estate, Clarence House has said.

The birds are kept at Highgrove in Gloucestershire to provide eggs for the prince's Veg Shed farm shop in Tetbury.

But about 40 have been killed in the past few weeks after foxes jumped a 4ft (1.2m) high electric fence.

A spokeswoman said the birds were not part of Prince Charles's personal collection, which is used to supply eggs to the Royal Household.

The hens were part of a flock of about 170 kept in an orchard at Highgrove.

Clarence House said the electric fence was moved every few months to give the hens fresh grazing and to keep the electric current strong.

But despite those efforts, a number of foxes had been able to break into the orchard during the past four or five weeks, it added.

The Veg Shed sells produce from the Duchy Home Farm, owned by the prince.

"There has been a shortage of eggs, but there are still a number of hens laying," a spokeswoman added.

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