If you are looking to balance the books.. You are on the wrong site. Chickens are a love hate relationship.. I love em' and care for them. Nurse them.. whatever must be done, been doing it 8 years and longer if you count prior experience. Have one I recently nursed back to health and expects me to coodle it and hand feed it. NO!.. Predators are an easy fix with some work.. I no longer free range. When I lived far back from the road I did.. and still never lost a one.. except for the pecking order. My dogs over the years have been a problem.. I now give them a large run, roost and adjoining egg house.. Live to close to a busy road to allow them free range.. Why did the the chicken cross the road? To get flattened.. A stout fence and fencing laid horizontally around the perimter keeps out the diggers.. A net too chicken wire top will keep out eagles to raccoons.. Had an eagle perch right on top of my coop.. Bears do what they do.. bowed in my fencing, but must not have been hungry enough.. Dog.. chained or pen a dog next to your coop in the woods.. Problem solved. Miine is up by the house so I can keep an eye on it.. and dogs too. Only problem I have had as of late was chipmunks raiding the nests.. a full 50% of eggs.. daily. Took care of that.. Fattest chipmunk I ever saw! Auto-feeder!? You have nothing invested.. Hands on and muck boots.. I ferment my feed and have been doing so two years now.. A great improvement in health and wealth of eggs.. No more naked chickens and a full 50% feed savings as most proclaim.. I get 66% easily. The occasoinal chicken murder.. but thats the pecking order of this.. Usually the new guy or gal.. or some nesting Banti with atidude problem. Speaking of problem. Daddy Banti Rooster loves to spur me.. I love to hate him. His sons run him off.. Lions, Tigers and Bears - Oh my!