Had the peeps out free ranging yesterday. I was inside looking at Christmas pictures of my nieces and nephews with my brother. I could see the chicken from our big window in the kitchen, and they were milling around close to the garden. I'd just commented to my brother that I needed to go shoo them away. They got in the garden earlier this week and were tearing up some radishes before I chased them out. A couple minutes later my brother went tearing out the front door. I thought he was going out to scare the chickens away from the garden, and I thought he was a little over eager to do so. But then I realized he was going out to chase off a hawk that was trying to carry off one of my roosters. That thing was HUGE!!! It was almost the same size as one of my chickens. Luckily my brother was able to chase the hawk off before he killed the rooster. All he made off with was two claws full of feathers, but my chickens scattered into the wooded area close to the garden. It was at least 30 minutes before any of them would come out. I was finally able to coax about 1/2 of them back to the pen and close them up under the safety of the bird netting. 30 minutes later the other traumatized chickens emerged from the woods and made a break for the pen. Sadly one of my little hens did not come back. I looked and called for her, and I hoped she'd turn back up this morning, but no luck... Now I can't decide if it's worth the risk to let the chickens outside. I don't want to lose a rooster or another layer, and I really don't have time to sit outside with my shotgun today, and I know that hawk will probably be back.