My son called from his car....... in our driveway, to ask if there was supposed to be a chicken outside in the dark! Uh, NO! So DD and I go out and catch a somewhat dazed black-red Ameraucana banty who is wandering around in my son's headlights. At first we thought that it was one of our neighbors hens but when we caught her we realized that she was from my sister's hen house where we keep all the "single ladies". Not a good sign when you find a hen outside wandering around at 11pm. Sure enough, for the first time ever, a possum or raccoon got into the layer pen and went after the hens that were roosting outside the hen house, on a 7 ft high cross beam in the enclosed run. Another black-red Ameraucana, a silver banty Ameraucana, and two Spitz hens were dead on the ground. We couldnt find any rips or holes in the fencing, but there are definitely a couple gaps between layers of fencing where zip ties or tie wires are missing and the fencing has sagged over the years, so something could have climbed through. Our fault for becoming a bit complacent about the maintenance of that pen since it is had never been broken into. We still cant figure out how the little hen ended up outside, unless by sheer luck she flew against the fence and fell through the gap. Lucky little girl. Thankfully the raccoon or possum didnt get any of my five Tolbunt Polish hens, nor any of my sister's layers, that were roosting inside the hen house. Unfortunately, another Spitz hen that we found hiding in a nest box, wasnt so lucky. It looks like the predator had a hold of her head and tried to rip her beak off. We put her in a cage with water and mash but she doesnt look good. I'll take a closer look at her in the morning if she is still alive. Her lower beak looked like it may have been broken, in which case, she will need to be culled. After cleaning up the mess, putting food and water inside the hen house and locking the rest of the girls inside, my dd set a trap for the offender in case it returns tonight. Canned cat food and marshmallows should do the trick. Im thankful that we found the carnage and got it cleaned up before my sister-in-law goes out in the morning to check the birds as she leaves for work. She is tender hearted and would have been sickened by the sight of the headless birds. Tomorrow the coop will be fortified. Tonight Im still kicking myself.