I just hate it when I lose one of my flock because it was stupid! I live surrounded by all sorts of predators. You'd think it would be automatic to shut them in the pen when I go away, even the short distance I did yesterday. But my brain got lazy, and my hen paid the price. I ran some eggs out to the end of my driveway to a customer, and as I was returning, my rooster Penrod was going nuts. Thinking he was just joining in an egg song, which he does, I didn't rush back. When I checked on the girls, there wasn't a single one to be seen. I walked around the pen enclosure and found my Buff Brahma Cleo lying dead just outside Penrod's pen. A young wild turkey was feasting on her remains. Her head was severed from her body, and the turkey dropped it as she fled from me. I finally located most of the girls, huddled in a tight pod, ten of them, under the coop in a far corner. Two more were inside the coop. That left three unaccounted for - three of the four pullets. As I was searching for the youngsters, I saw a hawk land near where Cleo had been killed. I had already removed her body. The hawk flew off when it saw me. I searched for half an hour for the small ones, but was about resigned to them being gone, too. I went in to phone my neighbor to take a look around their place in case the three had run that far in their terror. Just then, I happened to walk out the front door, and there was a flutter of wings and squawking! The three missing pullets had hidden behind my wood barrel on the porch! Smart little buggers! Now, I'm wondering what got my Cleo. Probably not the young wild turkey, being as it weighed half of what Cleo weighed, which was around eight pounds. Could it have been the hawk? Would a hawk sever the head of a hen? Or was it a fox? There were no foot prints in the crusted snow. A heavier predator would have surely carried off its prey, as what happened summer before last when a bobcat got one of my hens. It would have broken through the crust on the snow. Cleo weighed about what the fox would have weighed, so it would have found it difficult to carry her away. So, what's your best guess? Wild turkey attacking a chicken? Hawk? Or fox?