Hi everyone! Long time lurker here, but I need your help so I'm finally posting. I wish it was just a cute picture or something awesome, but it's not. Sorry for a lengthy post, I'm just trying to give enough details. Also, there's nothing super graphic, so read on, unless you get the sads real easy. Like a lot of people on this thread, my birds are now dead... It should be noted that I did not build my coop. I needed a coop really quick when we bought a new house, as my old one was too large to move. I only had two birds so I went for something kind of temporary with the hopes of expanding my flock and building an amazing coop when it got a bit warmer. Also, I let my gals free range daily so I knew they didn't need much room in the run. My coop was the same design as the pic below, except the front side on the bottom opened up, not the top part of the run. As you can see it has two main doors... An upper door on the nesting/roosting area, and then the bottom door on the front of the run. Also the roof lifts up, making the front door kind of unnecessary, but good for ventilation. For my price range, and time frame, this is all I could do. I regret it daily... Trust me. Of course, you all see it's made primarily with chicken wire which is stapled to the outside of the frame. The first attack happened about ten or so days ago. I woke up, the upper door to the coop was open, and my favorite bird was gone. The other hen had went down to the bottom, waiting to be let out for the day and was kind of just like ??? with no marks on her or missing feather. All that remained of the missing chicken was a very small pile of feathers. No significant trail of them, I never did find her body. In fact, I hoped she had managed to get away and maybe she'd return, but that hope dwindled when she wasn't around by sunset. I think her friend spent all day looking for her around the yard. Once I calmed down enough to process things, I figured out that the guy who build my coop did not use the right size screws on the part that the bolt latches into. So when something finally decided it wanted in, all it had to do was wiggle and yank hard enough, and the screw slipped through the hole. Ridiculous. I hadn't noticed because I never use that door. In fact it was covered in plastic to keep drafts out for winter. Of course, I fixed it ASAP. We went back about our daily lives, and went on trying to figure out what we would do for our lonely chicken. I assumed I was dealing with a raccoon given the dexterity of the creature, and the time (overnight) of the attack. Though, I wasn't sure because she was carried off without a trace. Fast forward to this morning. My husband left for work, and immediately came back in and told me our coop was burglarized over night again. He said, "This time... It's real bad." I've been peeking at it from the back door, and I finally pushed myself to check it out just now. She's gone... All that is left is her one of wings, and this time there is a trail of feathers. The improvements to the door held, but the chicken wire on the upper door did not. It should be noted that we had an ice storm, so I had placed a bit of cardboard in front of the door, blocking it to cover the unsheltered part the run. I had also placed an old nesting box on top of that blocking the door. Whatever it was, knocked all of that stuff off, hopped up there, very efficiently ripped off the plastic, tore apart the chicken wire on the bottom, mangled my chicken and then drug her off. I'm convinced I'm dealing with a mythical forest creature with opposable thumbs. Sasquatch?!? lol. I live in central North Carolina. Chatham County, if it matters. I live on the corner of a highway, and not more than a mile from a river. What struck me as odd, judging by the feathers, it looks like it drug her toward the road. Also, the coop is pretty close the highway, just on the other side of a thin line of trees. I'm looking for help with identification. Then, honestly, it's got to be dealt with, lethally or not. I hope to then, build a coop that can withstand such a hungry beast and start over this Spring. I know we have a stray cat or two that I've seen lurking during the day, never messed with my girls though. I saw an opossum the other night in our yard. I did see either a fox or coyote run through our yard once at night... That was a while ago. I know we have foxes around, I'm not confident about a coyote population in our area though. I had convinced myself it was a raccoon, but now I'm not so sure. There are no digging attempts, but I had also laid down wood, and large stones in a thick border around outside of the coop to keep anything from being able to dig a small hole to get in. I'm carrying a lot of guilt about it. I know I'm their only defense, and I let them down. This was my first time raising chickens, so you live and learn, I guess. I have never prior to this, ever had a problem with predators. I suppose I wasn't vigilant enough. I'll do better next time. Thanks for anyone reading this. I appreciate any and all input.