I think this section of BYC should be mandatory reading for all new chicken owners, and a refresher for the rest of us. Chickens are wonderful, productive, beautiful critters, and we all love them. But they are so vulnerable to predators. I have been participating in this forum for a while now, and the reports of predator loses just never stop. Even I, who have had chickens for many years, keep getting reminded of the dangers to my chickens by reading this section, and by suffering loses of my own. An owl or hawk got 3 of my hens this winter. A friend recently lost all of hers to racoons. A couple of years ago it was coyotes that got mine. Each time I strengthen my chicken fortress, but after some months go by I get lazy and sloppy and let my guard down and start letting the chickens run around in the open, or not locking them up at night. Eventually some dastardly villian nails them, and I have to start over again. And each time, I can see where I screwed up or got careless. What's the old saying, "Cheat me once, and that's your fault. Cheat me twice and that's my fault".