Well after a week of pre-emptive trapping, I had caught 2 possums...a juvenile and a nasty, crusty, old male. Unfortunately, yesterday evening I found a large tuft of feathers near the coop and all the birds where inside before dark (a rare occurrence). A feeling of dread rose up when I looked at the feathers and knew that it was much more than the remnants of rooster love-making. I started to search the yard for a carcass and found it under some brush. Head missing...I knew it was a raccoon. My first loss...a light brahma pullet. So I put the carcass where I could see it and went and loaded the shotgun and decided to stake out and blast that dang coon when he came back to get the remains. Went inside for about an hour and when I got back...no carcass...dang!!! Thought I missed my chance. So I went ahead and baited my live trap with some chicken bones and gizzards courtesy of KFC. About an hour later, went out and shined my flashlight and there it is...a pair of eyes. Level the shotgun and just get ready to pull the trigger and the rascal runs behind the coop. I run around the corner and just get a glimpse of the assailant...it was a feral cat!!! I couldn't believe that a cat had taken my pullet and was worried that it may be hard to catch. So I went to bed...woke up this morning and lo and behold guess what was in my trap...a female raccoon!!! And it was ticked off...hissing, growling, spitting... So after a very long drive to an appropriate location, she was released. I couldn't bring myself to shooting her because she was only doing what her instincts said to do to survive. Moral of the story...no matter how safe you think your flock is...never let your guard down. I hadn't had any signs of predators in 6 months and live near downtown of a small city.