Friday at about 3:30 pm I went to work and my husband came home at about 4:30 pm and found our first dead hen at the back of the property. She had her neck broken and a chunk of flesh torn out of her side. It was one of my wonderful black copper Maran's and I was pretty upset... That night I heard an owl in back of the property. It sounded like a great horned-owl and I thought that was what may have gotten her. Today, I was feeding the chickens their treat and my cattledog was in the yard with them. I went inside and looked out window and I saw a sceech owl swoop down once and the chickens ran into the coop. The screech owl swooped down again to try to get a sparrow (the birds are attracted by the treat too) and my dog ran it off. Anyway, I thought screech owls only went after small prey. Could a screech owl have killed my standard size hen? I have already decided no more outdoor feeding because if flocks of birds are coming around, first of all, so does disease. Second, so do predatory birds who feed on small birds, and maybe chickens!