Deal each player 1 chicken and 1 hound card. The chicken is kept on the table, face-up, in front of you. The hound is kept in hand. Shuffle the rest of the cards into the 2 piles: the Farm Deck (red); and the Egg Deck (yellow). Place in the centre of the table.
Players start the game by taking it in turns to draw an Egg Card (Step 2). As the game proceeds, on your turn follow the 3 steps of play:
Players have the opportunity to bank eggs in their own ‘basket pile’ face-down. Once banked, they are safe and cannot be used or taken. Players can also purchase a Farm Card with 3 eggs (worth - exact) from their hand. You may purchase multiple Farm Cards. Any chicken cards are placed with your other chickens. Other cards are kept in hand. Spent eggs can be put into an Egg Deck discard pile.Bank and spend as much or as little as you like before drawing.
Draw 1 card for every chicken you have from the Egg Deck.Declare if you pick up a fox or rat and follow card instructions unless a defence is played. Keep any other cards in hand, players cannot bank or spend until the beginning of their next turn.
Defence cards can be played; a locked shed, trap, hound or rabbit. You may use multiple defences if needed, or opt not to use them. You may need to defend against foxes which are passed on to you on an opponent’s turn. If you can, play defences immediately. You cannot pass foxes back to the same player/s; foxes are discarded if they cannot be played to another player.
Throughout the game there should be 2 discard piles; 1 for used Egg Cards and 1 for used Farm Cards. Dead chickens are placed in Farm discard pile.
When Egg and Farm Decks have run out, shuffle the discard piles, turn face-down and resume play.
When you have no chickens, you are out of the game, but you have not lost. Unbanked eggs go to the last-player standing at the end of the game.
When trapping a fox, the trap and fox are kept on the table. When you are out, the fox is shuffled into the egg deck and trap discarded.
A locked shed will stop multiple foxes, but other defence cards only act for 1 fox. Discard defence cards after use.
If you pick up a thieving fox and have no eggs, it is discarded. If you pick up eggs with a thieving fox, those eggs are stolen unless a defence is played.
When you draw a rabbit, it can be used immediately if needed. If more than 1 rabbit is played on a fox, then the fox and rabbits are discarded.
If multiple rats are picked up in one turn, then 1 chicken is killed in addition to missing your next turn.
The game ends when only one person has chickens. This last-player standing collects all unbanked eggs from players including their own and adds it to their ‘basket pile’. Players then count up their banked eggs (worth) and the player with the most is the winner. You could also play further games and tally the scores. If there is a draw, a player with more golden eggs will trump those with less, but if they are the same, then it is definitely a draw.