I live in Austin, TX, in the city but an open part of the city. I was sitting on my porch reading while my 11 week old chickens were scratching around and laying down in the shade about 30 feet from me. They were nearby the fence line, which is just 3 strands of barbed wire, with a field on the other side. It was about 6:45pm but the sun was still up. I know that we have coyotes, so I lock the chickens up at night. I usually keep an eye on them during the day or let our dog out when I go inside, because we have nasty neighbor dogs that would love a snack. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw what I thought was our dog, running along the fence on the otherside. The chickens start screaming and flapping/running towards the porch and our dog suprisingly jumps up from right beside me and takes off after it, while "mystery predator" is chasing one of our Australorps into the field next door. Trees hid any evidence of tail identification. This thing was fast! I jumped the fence and went looking up and down the field and into their woods a bit, no sign of anything. All the while our dog is all puffed up and growling back and forth. No feathers, blood, or tracks. Big ears and I would like to say reddish (not sure though, maybe brown), because of me thinking it was our dog, who is the size of a full grown fox and red. The coyotes I have seen in our yard are bigger than our dog (15lbs). In talking with my father, who is my neighbor, I am thinking fox. He says that he saw a fox in the evening in his yard a few months ago and called it thinking it was my dog. It turned around and trotted away with a big bushy tail. Do coyotes hunt in the day time? I have only seen them at dusk, dark, and very early morning. I saw a fox once about a year ago down the street in the day time. Also, my chickens are teens...would a fox/coyote go for a fully grown 12lb chicken? Would getting a rooster help at all? So, I could fix up the fence. 3-strand barbed wire serves no purpose anyway, except to snag me as I am chasing a mystery predator that has one of my chickens. Would a 6 or 8 foot field fence do anything to keep out a fox or coyotes? My property is the gateway from the rural-ry part of the neighborhood to the suburban part, and there are racoon and deer paths to the neighborhood through my yard. I would like to continue to let my chickens out in the day time, but geez...I thought I would only have problems like this at night. I am all about supporting nature and the circle of life and such, and would rather construct things than shoot anything. I may shoot a coyote though, as we have quite a few. Any thoughts???