We just had our very first loss due to predator attack! I am home sick from work and DH is outside with the chickens, letting them free range, as he usually does in the afternoon. I heard a big chicken commotion and ran out the back door to see what was the matter, just as DH rounds the corner from the front of the house. As I walked toward the chicken coops I saw feathers everywhere. Then our Jack Russell comes running past me, nose to the ground. DH says a fox ran past him, stopped to readjust what he had in his mouth, when he realized it was a chicken. The fox ran off into the woods with the JR following close behind. I rounded up the rest of the chickens and got them back in their pen to see who was missing. DH had already put the bantams back in their pen with their 3 new babies and locked them up, but said he thought he would just let the "bigs" stay out for a while. Looks like Mr./Mrs. fox got one of our RIR and pulled out a big hunk of feathers out of the back of one of our beautiful Ameracanas (sp?). We tried to track the fox, thinking we'd find more feathers, but couldn't find anything. The hen with the missing feathers seems to be OK, despite the patch of missing feathers. She is hiding under the coop so we will have to wait until she roosts to pick her up and check her out. We also found some black & white feathers that belonged to one of our bantam roosters and noticed that he is favoring a foot, so we'll have to check him out too. He must have tried to defend the hens - what a good rooster! This is our first loss to a predator and we've had chickens for 4 yrs., so I guess we've been lucky. Guess we're gonna have to keep a close watch on everyone now. I hate to shoot a fox, but once he/she has messed with my chickens it might as well be prepared to die!