We bought 50 Golden Laced Wyandottes in May of this year and to our surprise, all survived and were healthy. The summer went by without a hitch to the point where we'd been neglecting to close the chicken door to the roost at night. Then three weeks ago we found 12 dead in the morning with their heads missing. We suspected a mink. We only lost 12 because the door WAS open and they had the chance to run (in the 600sq' outside enclosure). We started closing the door at night and locking them in tight. Two weeks later, the mink found a weakness (a loose board in the wall... I saw his bloody footprints leaving from under the loose board) and we lost 30 more chickens. Devistating! I didn't let the remaining 8 out for days until I caught the mink in a conibear trap. Though I'd also set a live trap, the conibear was really the only solution because I live on a small island and with mink being territorial, killing it was the only option. I slept easy that night finally knowing that I'd got rid on one predator. The next morning, I happily left my shrinking flock out but still concerned, checked on them every half hour. Wouldn't you know it!? A hawk was in there with another kill. What an awful week. I've secured the loose wall board so mink should not be a problem in the future but will need a huge net to put over the top of outside run to keep birdies out. Now I just have to worry about that black bear that's been raiding deep freezers for the last week about 1/2 a mile from the house That's what I get for raising chickens in the middle of nowhere.