Our rooster and four hens (full grown) were ranging in the yard yesterday, and something got the rooster and at least one hen around 6pm, almost broad daylight. Just feathers left--a mess of them, like it was shook. One black (hen), one big mess of white (roo). Smaller black pile off to the side, probably the same hen but we're not sure.
The other three seem to have run off into the woods after the incident and one or more will hopefully wander home before something finishes them off too, fingers crossed.
We have red-tailed hawks galore--sometimes see a dozen a day--but they know they can't take the chickens, especially with the rooster around. And my rudimentary chicken CSI skills say this wasn't a raptor, raccoon, or neighborhood dog (all of which should leave gore or whole bodies). I'd say fox, but these chickens were ranging in the open and should have been able to avoid a fox in daylight, especially with a big roo on the job. And foxes hunt single--one fox can't drag two big chickens!
Coyotes have been spotted in every county of Maryland but we live next to a highway and residences aren't far away. There are woods. You think this was coyotes? I'm not worried for our safety, I know coyotes aren't really dangerous to people, just wondering what I have to be on the lookout for in terms of the birds.