I have had 5 hens for a little over a year now. They have been doing great! Here is our routine. They have a fairly large coop with a loft that they sleep in at night and lay eggs in. It is 6'X8'X6'. There is a little chicken sized door on the side that I open and let them out into a run early in the morning (I close the little door every night to keep them safe). The run is a 6' high fence and is about 8'X50'. When I get home from work I let the chickens out to free range for about 3-4 hours each day.
The past couple of weeks I have seen a little bunny hanging around--obviously sneaking into the coop during the day to partake in the chicken feed. Today when I got home from work and went to let the chickens out they were huddled at the opposite end of the run and wouldn't come near the coop. I went into the coop and the bunny was dead on the ground. One of the chickens had a wound on her back. I'm guessing a predator got in the coop, although there was no indication of anything digging under the fence and the little chicken door is pretty small...maybe a hawk or snake?
Obviously something really traumatic happened inside the coup today. The chickens won't go in. I tried to put them in the coop to go to bed and they panicked. A couple of them were flying into the side of the coop trying to get out and were about the injure themselves so I let them out. They are currently roosting on a stall wall inside the barn.
Has anyone had any experience like this? Will my chickens get over it and return to their coop to sleep and lay eggs? I'm really not interested in building a new coop for them!!! Thanks in advance for any advice!!!