Hi my name is Jacquie. I hatched my 1st chickens in April. My chicks hatched on Easter Sunday! I have a friend with a flock of around 50 free range chickens. I loved being at her house and watching all the chicken antics. So she sent me home with tons of books, incubator, turner, and 18 eggs. She has half full breed chickens and about half mixed breed. So I knew this would be exciting to see what hatched. I ended up getting 12 out of 18 to hatch, pretty good odds I thought. From hatching they all seemed to quickly get their own little personalities. We built a nice coop and fenced in a really nice yard, complete with beautiful shade trees. I put them out at 7 weeks old. They loved being outside! Every morning when I let them out of the coop, they would run to me, and each wait their turn to be picked up and petted. I never knew chickens were so friendly and personable. On Monday Memorial day I woke to a horrible tragedy! A raccoon and gotten into the coop and killed all 12 of my babies! It was a horrible site! What they didn't eat, they killed. Then proceeded to poop everywhere! With all the poop we knew it was more than 1 coon. My first reaction was NO more chickens. I didn't want to go through that again! But my husband refused to let the raccoons win. We finally found out how they got in and have fixed the problem, plus we are concreteing everywhere we can put concrete! We set 2 traps and caught 2 coons the 1st night. Sadly they died of lead poison (if you catch my drift). I set another trap last night, but nothing this morning. I know there is at the very least, one more coon out there. I saw tracks under my squirrel feeder this morning and he showed on my game cam. So now the squirrel feeder is GONE! Sorry mister squirrel!!! We are going to do our best to make sure nothing can ever get to the chickens again while they are in the coop at night. I will be starting new eggs on June 4th. I am excited and scared at the same time. We have the coop as secure as Fort Knox, but I doubt I will sleep well till they have been out there for months with no predators getting in. I do have a question. Is it better to lock them in what you think is a safe coop at night, or leave the door open so at least they have a fighting chance?