Last night 1.5 hours after dark we found one of our RSLs dead out in the middle of the fenced chicken yard. Feathers scattered, head and neck partially eaten and crop torn open but still attached. She wasn't stiff yet. We figure we interrupted whatever got her.
We checked the coop, which was still open and everyone else was safe. We closed it up and did a perimeter check. The 5ft. fence was intact- no holes dug underneath and no fence torn down except one spot about 20 feet from the dead chicken was leaning over a bit - either pulled or pushed. It could have been like that for weeks or months or just happened. No tracks near the dead bird but plenty of prints around the coop - mostly rabbit. So many infact, overlapping, it's hard to tell if any could be another animal.
This morning I went out to check on everyone and spooked a very large hawk who was sitting on the ground a few feet from the kill spot. I've seen the hawk before flying over the fenced yard. Once of our Amber Rocks ended up with her comb torn nearly off and I had her up to the house for a night because the bleeding was so bad. I suspected the hawk. Could a hawk kill a chicken and then eat right there at the kill spot?
Right now everyone is locked up in the fully enclosed run. We're not taking chances.