Sorry for your loss! Certain breeds (such as the silky) have a better chance of surviving if you cut the feathers out of their faces so they can see .Some of the short legged bantam breeds (bantam cochins) can't run fast enough to escape.We are new to chickens and have tried to do our best to keep them safe (electric pen, enclosed run with hardware cloth floor, etc.), but we got sloppy and were letting them free range in our backyard (they seemed so happy to run around out there! ). One day, around midday, while they were out running around the yard, our smallest chicken was killed (a silkie, probably about 2.5 lbs). All of the other chickens were visibly very upset, so they clearly saw something. We found her carcass in the corner of the yard with piles of feathers all around it...whatever it was had eaten her head, neck, and most of her front. Her legs and back were untouched. There were no other signs of struggle elsewhere in the yard.
My internet research suggests this was probably a hawk. Does that seem the most likely culprit? We definitely have hawks, raccoons, possum, skunks, coyote, foxes, dogs, feral cats, and black bears in the area.
Thanks for your help.