Hello everyone, To start, I have a flock of seventeen chickens--we have seven chicks (two white silkies, a bantam black cochin, a bantam easter egger, a standard white cochin, a super blue egger, and a white sultan hen), three "teenagers" (a blue easter egger, an olive egger, and a creme legbar), and seven "elders" (two roosters--black and blue silkie bantams, then a partridge silkie bantam, a white wyandotte bantam, a mottled cochin bantam, and two silver-spangled hamburgs [standards]). My mother and I normally let our flock roam our backyard when we are home--our backyard is big enough for the flock to stretch out and be happy while being small enough for us to always have vision on them. However, we're having one issue right now: lately, a lot of turkey vultures have been circling our area whenever our hens are out and about. I've checked around and talked to some of my other friends in the area say that turkey vultures are not great at flying for long periods of time (without updrafts) and they're too heavy to be able to carry away a chicken (they would have to feel comfortable enough with eating their catch on the spot). A about three weeks ago, I saw a bird of prey of some sort--I could not tell if it was a sharp-shinned hawk or a peregrine falcon. I scared it away before it got anybody at the time, and had not seen it around since then. Today, I had woken up from a nap, and everything seemed normal. My mom later heard the chickens squawking a lot more than ever before and had me go out to investigate. Normally, the chickens will quiet down once they see me in the backyard, but this time they kept going at it, and wouldn't even quiet down when I gave them some chicken scratch (which always pacifies them). I figured something was wrong, so I started taking a head-count. Two hens were missing--one of our silver-spangled hamburgs and our mottled cochin. Starting to panic, I had my mom come out to look for them as I went to the side and front yards to look for them. Luckily, I found our mottled cochin perched on a camping stove, but the hamburg was still nowhere to be found. We've concluded that she was taken away by a predator, but can't figure out what it was. There's no blood trails anywhere, and we have not found and feather-piles that would mark any form of hunting haven occurred. We always clip their primary feathers, so she couldn't have jumped the fence (plus our missing hen has never been much of a jumper). Sorry for making all of you read through that extremely long rant--the reason I'm posting is because I was wondering if any of you could help me find out what happened. And aside from keeping them in a covered run at all times, if any of you have any suggestions to help prevent this from happening, please let me know. I've had a hunch that shooting down a turkey vulture next time it comes by would be deterrent to the rest, but I know that it will probably result in cops being called to investigate the gunshot, and the same idea cannot be applied to the peregrine falcons/sharp-shinned hawks because of international treaties. Thank you all for bearing with me through this long post, and thank you for your help.