Last night something got my favorite rooster. Ironically, I was driving his brother to a new home, and got home a little late--it was already dark. The birds were roosting and I locked up. I've locked them up after dark before, but at those times I was at home, and my dogs had access to the deck and would bark if there were a predator around. This morning--no crowing. When I went out to check, Roger was absent. I wondered if he had somehow gotten locked out, maybe looking for his brother? So I let the girls out, and threw down scratch, which would have brought him running if he were nearby. He didn't come, and I knew there was a problem. I found the crime scene at the base of the hill where the chicken coop is, past some brush on the gravel road. It was just feathers, but a lot of them. Next to it was a pile of excrement, similar to a dog's, but with some odd things in it (not easily identifiable). We have both raccoons and coyotes here, but haven't seen a raccoon in quite some time. The way the feathers were spread around remind me of the remains of cats I have sometimes found on the property. I am thinking coyote, but not 100% sure. Does anyone know if coyotes defecate at kill sites? Any other clues I should look for? I'm so proud of Roger. He must have led the predator away from the hens, and gave his life to protect them only an hour or so after becoming the head rooster.