Well, the inevitable finally happened, but the angels were smiling down on me and it was a seriously inept predator. The neighbourhood dog, Stewart came to our place, as he has many times before, only this time he caught my eleven just pre-POL girls free ranging and decided he'd have some fun. Stewart is old, decrepit, limping and extremely low to the ground, so he didn't seem much of a threat. I'm not sure why his owner doesn't keep him home. It never bothered me before I had chickens. The squawking got me there just as he was lumbering away from the scene of the crime, and he was told in no uncertain terms not to return, but the hens were scattered. There was no blood or feathers, but I was missing all my birds. I found 7 right away, huddled against the big pine by the furnace, and two joined us back at the run pretty quickly. I found Maisie screaming by herself in the woods, but it was five hours before my DH and I finally tracked down Haley in our neighbour's yard, across the road. So, THAT'S why the chicken crossed the road! She was unharmed, but for a few missing tail feathers, but completely freaked out, and we had a heck of time getting her back to our yard. Once back on terra cognita, she was still screaming for her sisters, so I tempted 5 of them across the yard shaking the trusty mealworm container, and Haley ran to them with desperate relief. Phew! That was a close one. And then there were eleven again. Can we get that fence now, honey? Mmmm?