I guess that's the price you pay for free ranging. I live in Southern NJ, so coyotes are not a problem. I watched many Youtube videos about BYC's and one lady said, "you'd be surprised, how many predictors want to eat your chickens. I only have 6 chickens that are free ranging on 2 acres. I'll give it a try and hope for the best.
Welcome! While fox, raccoons, coyotes, and many other predators are primarily nocturnal, but they are not strictly so. I've had a hen killed in the middle of the day by a raccoon and I've had several chickens taken at once in the middle of the day by a coyote. Especially in spring and summer when they have young ones to feed. I free range, but it comes with a price. Before the coyote attack, I went for 3 years of free ranging without any trouble. Another thing to consider is that just because you've never seen a fox during the day, it doesn't mean they're not there. Most wild animals prefer to avoid human contact. It's surprising what you will see once you have chickens.
I agree.I live North of you in Hunterdon Co. and see fox hunting during the day quite a bit - especially in the spring when they are feeding kits, and now when they are teaching the kits how to hunt. Just last Thursday at 3 PM I saw two sitting on the lane of a club that I belong to. They are opportunists and will hunt when and if food is available.