After many, many years of no problems with night-time critters getting into the coop after lockup, DH found 3 dead hens today - he described them as being "scalped". There is another live one with a big wound on the back of her head, too. (I didn't get to see them myself because he had taken them out of the coop, put them in a whieelbarrow while he went to do something else, and when he came back, the dog had apparently carried two off, and DH disposed of the other one.) Tonight when I went out to lock them up, I noticed that there was another one missing entirely. I told DH if we lose any more, I want to put a carcass in the live trap to see if we can catch it. I also have part of a carcass in the freezer that I was going to save to make broth with, but I wonder if that - thawed out, of course - would work as bait? I know mink can be tricky to catch. I closed the pop doors on both coops tonight, but am wondering what to do during the day. DH let the chickens from the coop that was attacked out to free rage, which I think was a good idea. I feel they're more vulnerable locked up where they can't really get away. Just keep letting them free range, and keep the other flock (including rooster or it wouldn't be a problem) locked up and hope it doesn't get to them? Right now, that's what I'm inclined to do. At least until we catch the critter. Not sure if it came in under the shed into the run (thought I had that buttoned down pretty well, but maybe not) or squeezed through the 2x4 welded wire. Might have to look into lining with chicken wire to discourage further visits. Hardware cloth is not in the budget right now.