They were a mix of barred rock, easter eggers and either buff rock or buff orps. The other thing he found was when he went to lock up is he had hens on the wrong side of the fence. They obviously took flight to try to escape the coyote and the netting is only 4 foot so it wasn't much of a problem but before the attacks the hens never went over as they stayed about a foot away from the netting. they knew it bit and since the set up was moved every other day or so they had plenty of green grass and new space to scratch around so they had no real incentive to fly out until Mr. Coyote came for dinner every day.
I see the responses about leghorn types being able to fly and escape coyotes. I have raised chickens for 40 plus years and currently have and always have had white, red, silver and brown leghorns and yes the leghorns can fly but not like a wild turkey.
If the leghorns are in the open and a coyote attacks they will run then fly but how far and high can a leghorn fly. My experience under the best of circumstances is 50 feet and about 3 or 4 feet off the ground while flying (not from a squatting position then up) and that's with a good head wind that offers more lift. They then come back to the ground and a quite possible the coyote will be waiting for it to land with mouth wide open. Coyotes are fast.
Once the leghorns start laying they will add weight which then decreases the distance and height of flight.
Growing up we had over 100 laying hens of all types and lots and lots of barnyard banties. My dad loved banties and they free ranged and roosted wherever they wanted, barn, chicken house, trees you name it. We had every imaginable ground predator known to man, coyotes, bobcats, fox, weasel, mink, raccoon, possum and the worst stray dogs.
Our chicken run was dog kennel panels, sides and top, welded wire buried a couple feet out to prevent digging. We never lost a laying hen as long as they were in the coop or run.
We simple could not let the laying hens (and yes we had leghorn, hamburgs and minorcas) free range unless someone was out.
The banties on the other hand were survivors. The LEAN, smart ones survived and then past those genes onto their offspring. Those little lean machines could fly well, far and high. Now the predators did take their share but the banties produced fast enough to sustain loses. I would say we had 50 to 75 banties running around the place spring, summer and fall. The numbers would drop over winter as reproduction stopped. The predators NEVER stopped attacking/ambushing and they would succeed enough to keep numbers in check and dwindle the population in the winter.
My point to all this is (yes I am just as windy when I talk) if you free range expect losses and maybe total losses.
Good luck I hope it works, nothing makes me happier than free ranging chickens.
Edited by scooter147 - 3/17/16 at 1:27pm