After having chickens since last July, I finally lost a chicken to a predator. Not something I ever wanted to say, but I was aware it would happen sooner or later. I had just finished checking on the chickens just half an hour before. I had them all accounted for. When I went to lock them up as the sun was beginning to set, I noticed that three were missing: Cochina, and two Russian Orloff pullets. Mom came home just as I had dressed up in warmer clothing and I asked her to help me find them. We walked to the coop and Crooked-Toe was standing by the coop, making distress calls. She usually makes that noise when she is alone, so I wasn't sure if it was about her being alone or being distressed by something more. We coaxed her into the coop, confirmed Cochina and the other Russian Orloff were still missing, and we set off west of the coop, toward the garden shed and field. As Mom went to the garden shed and confirmed that Cochina was hiding in there (the door was blown off in a windstorm some months ago), I noticed a prone figure on the ground in the trees. I noticed the feathers... lots of them, spread out in a strange way. Then I saw her, belly-up. I flipped her over to see if there was any sign of how she was killed. Pardon the leaves and pine needles that are all over her... I tried picking some of them off, but a lot of them were stuck to her or were in a place where I didn't want to place my fingers. Now... The list of predators who are still around: - Domestic cat that lives down the road - Great horned owls - Cooper's hawk - Skunks - Raccoon (haven't seen it in a few months though) - Foxes - Coyotes I'm thinking fox or coyote. Am I right in this thought? Also, I'm going to keep the chickens locked in the coop for about a week. I told my mom one day, but I'm changing it to a week just to be sure. By then it may be too cold (and maybe snowy) for the chickens to want to be outside anyway. We have no guns or anything. I don't really know how to use one, but I do have good aim. Should I consider borrowing a pellet gun or something? I don't want to kill any animal, but I do want to make them think twice before coming back. Thanks for reading.