We took in a 6 or 7 month old Americauna rooster last week, and were in the process of introducing him gradually to our existing flock, by letting him free range nearby, so the rest of the flock could get used to his presence. This seemed to be going very well, until we found him lying dead in the yard when we went out to put him away for the night. He was missing some feathers on his back, but other than that, there was no sign of serious injury that we could see easily. My husband and I were wondering if our usually chicken-friendly dog had decided to "play" with him because he was wandering all alone. I even thought maybe she didn't recognize that he belonged there, since he was new to the family. She'd never had a problem with any of our other chickens, over the past year that we'd had them, though. We never could figure out what could have happened to him. Anyway, we let our other chickens out to free range yesterday, and then found one of our hens dead, around the same area that the rooster had been found. She had obviously been killed by some kind of predator because her back was ripped open, and possibly partially eaten. This was in an area that was separate from where our dogs are penned, although they have been known to get in from time to time. It didn't appear that they had gotten in there, however, or been involved in the attack. They had no blood or other "evidence" on their fur, for example. We do have stray cats in the neighborhood, but they usually don't venture into our back yard because of our dogs, goats, and horse. Since the area where we found the dead birds is close to the chain-link fence that borders our property, I was wondering if a predator could have "laid in wait" for a straggler to venture away from the flock, before attacking near the safety of the fence barrier. I think this particular hen was likely to forage apart from the rest of the group, because she's been trying to steer clear from the advances of the larger orp rooster. Poor girl! She was our very best layer, and our last surviving Andalusian hen from our first batch of Meyer hatchery chicks. I guess we'll have to keep the rest of the chickens cooped up in their run unless someone is home to guard them from predators, from now on. At least I have some of her eggs in the incubator right now... besides the two blues we just got from MPC (along with the "mystery" EE). I might even name the darker blue pullet after poor Sapphire, because we really like the name.