My in-laws were on chicken watch. The raccoons seem to lazy to try to get into the run but birds in the backyard alone, I was afraid, might be a different story. Turns out I was right. I always go out after dark and lock everyone in the coop (so no one flies out at sunrise) or as soon as I get up I go out and put the escapees back in the coop. I had asked my in-laws to come down in the morning but they decided it was easier for them to come about 5PM. The chickens were fine the day before we got home. They put them back in the coop about 5. However, they must have flown the coop early the next morning. We were home about noon and they were dead. Hubby is designing a top for the coop.
I guess what makes me the most upset about this is that the feral cats (which the city refuses to do anything about) are a big enough problem but in turn, they have created a huge raccoon problem in my block. We (the neighbors and I) have been killing one or two a week now. They are brave little fellers. One neighbor was taking his trash out after dark and got chased back in his house by a raccoon. They will also come out in the middle of the day without thinking twice.
I understand if I don't want my chickens eaten I need to keep them inside their run... but it sucks, that after 5 years of allowing my chickens to roam free in my yard during the day, I can't do that anymore.
Oh and I don't think it was a hawk because one was all torn up with feathers all over the yard and the other two that looked snuck up on were under the wild rose bushes. Not a place a hawk could dive into for an attack. They are pretty thick thorny bushes.
Love the predator alarm idea. Ingenious!