We've had three hens since February, but two were killed this week, leaving us down to one. I'm not exactly sure if it was hawks or if our dogs all of sudden decided to hunt the hens. Here's the scenario... The hens free-range around our yard all day. The dogs (a beagle and a small mix) have access, too. Our dogs have coexisted with our hens for months, never bothering them in the least. We live in an urban area, but there are hawks all around. Mostly the hawks have investigated the hens, but never really made an attempt at them. Of course, that doesn't mean they won't. I just either haven't seen it or the hens have been lucky. Last Wednesday, around 5:30 PM, my wife finds our dogs outside hovering over a dead hen. They got worked up and started chasing the other hens around the yard before she could get them under control. I get home and investigate the dead hen. She was intact, her only wounds being a few deep lacerations on her back. Could the dogs have killed her even though they have never engaged the hens before? Could a hawk have gotten her? And the dogs scared off the hawk before it shredded the hen to pieces? The following days, I see three very large hawks hanging around our street. The remaining two hens are visibly more cautious of aerial predators, spending more time under the shelter of our deck and their coop. They spend most of the next few days looking up at the trees and clucking at the sight of hawks. The dogs, on the other hand, are mostly their normal calm selves around the hens, but once or twice show signs that they want to chase them. We make them go inside immediately whenever that is the case. Since that first attack, I only let the chickens free-range when I'm at home, so I can respond to them if needed. Then today, this morning, I leave the hens free-ranging because I'll be gone for a short amount of time and my wife is still at home. I'm coming home, and as I get out of my car I hear one of the remaining two hens making a terrible noise--it was short and faint, though. I run inside and out to the back yard, and see our dogs standing over the hen. I get them away and find our hen is wounded in the same way as the other bird--a few deep lacerations to her back--but she is struggling to stay alive. I put her down with a high-powered air rifle. Again, is it possible this was a hawk attack? Could the dogs have scared off the hawk? Personally, I think our dogs are to blame, but I'm not 100% sure. It seems odd that they coexisted so well for months then all of a sudden kill two birds. They hardly acknowledged the birds at all until now. The only thing that has changed recently is two of the hens have been molting, leaving feathers all over the place. Could this stir up the dogs and make them lose control? Also, do those wounds sound like a hawk? Would a hawk rip a hen to shreds, even in a short amount of time?