I am a newbie to backyard chicken keeping. My husband and I have had chickens for about 4 months without any predator incidents-until last weekend. My favorite rooster completely disappeared late Friday morning and then the next day I came home and found half of my flock dead-some bodies scattered around the yard and two missing. Exactly half of the flock (8 out of 16) had died/disappeared within 24 hours. I searched the yard and realized that my husband had moved some rolls of wire that I had covering a small hole where the ground dipped (about 6 in). It was completely accidental-he thought that it was scrap wire and had moved it without noticing the hole bc the grass is tall around the fence line. At first I assumed the predator had gotten in where the hole was...after doing some research, now I'm not so sure. I patched the hole, but I am still very worried. My fence is only 4 ft tall and it is just metal wire fencing...I read that coyotes can completely clear a 4 ft fence, so now I'm thinking maybe I should build it up? I was thinking about adding some material to the top of my t-posts (maybe PVC) and then running barbed wire around the top? Also, the fence isn't dug in, so I could run electric wire around the bottom or could lay some wire on the ground in front of the fence area...in an L shape to discourage digging... I hate the idea that the fence didn't keep the predator out, but trapped my chickens in as they got picked off. Does anyone have experience fortifying a fence that isn't super expensive? My neighbors said there have been coyotes in their yard every morning for the last week or so...my other neighbor said that he has seen foxes around before...and my husband has seen a bear and raccoon on our property before...so the possibilities really are endless. We NEVER had a predator problem until now...I thought predators just came out at night and that the chickens would be safe during the day. WRONG. I am just so worried about my chickens now. I have only been letting them out of their small coop a few hours a day and only when I am home...and then I am constantly checking on them. I know that this is no way for them to live. I was leaving my small (35 lb) cattle dog tied up next to the coop during the day, but my husband saw a 50+ pound coyote yesterday at dusk and now I'm worried to leave my little dog tethered with that lurking around... Does anybody have advice on predator proofing so I can be sure their safe and not worry about them constantly?