(Okay, aart, this has now been reformatted!!) Around 11PM tonight I heard what sounded like a minor cat skirmish in the side yard (where our chicken resides). It sounded a little odd, but by the time I walked over to get a better listen my dog's barking seemed to have scattered the culprits. I shrugged it off, since feline "arguments" are a near-nightly routine around here. But I now think the dog had actually interrupted something going after the chicken, because about 20-30 minutes later I was startled by the 100% unmistakeable scream of a chicken. Ok, wait....I think I need to stop here & describe our chicken yard so you can better understand exactly what the predator did. Our solitary chicken has free reign of a whole fenced-in side yard which runs alongside our house & into the backyard, I'm gonna say it's about 12' wide by 50' long . Her coop rests up against our house, squarely in the middle of that length. We can access the yard through a gate on the far right side, or from the house on the far left side. (The door from the house actually opens onto a porch with its own little gate leading down into the chicken yard. There's a dog door giving our dog access to that porch overlooking the yard, but not to the yard itself. So when he hears something he can go out and bark, but he can't physically chase it off unless I open the porch's gate.) OKAY, so back to the screaming bird....both the dog and I heard her & took off for that door to the side porch. As luck would have it, that's also the direction she was being taken by the predator (which didn't surprise me, since the fence is only 5' high on that side & 8' high elsewhere). The dog was barking before I even had the door open, and by the racket I heard out along the fence I think we scared the critter good. Unfortunately it was PITCH black out, and the little porch light did nothing to illuminate the yard. All I could tell for sure was that the chicken was still alive, 'cause she was screaming....but I had no clue if the predator had dropped her & run or if was right there standing over her. When I went to open the little porch gate, I saw a cat or possum-sized shape scurry away....but, in hindsight, that could also have been the chicken herself, if she was free, since I was yelling and making a lot of noise. I sent the dog in, & because there was never any scuffle I'm convinced the chicken was alone by that point (although still screaming bloody murder). After fumbling around in the dark for a few minutes I noticed a small, screeching, shadow at my feet---she'd found ME! Much to my surprise, she stopped screaming as soon as I had her in my arms! Once in the house, I found some raw, featherless patches above her hocks, and a pretty bad cut just below a toenail. But I may well have missed other minor injuries---the cut bled really badly, so once I established that blood wasn't dripping anywhere else, I put all my focus on her toe. It looks like my bandaging efforts paid off, because she hasn't bled out! (I have her inside in a pet carrier for now.) So my next move needs to be predator-proofing! I spent several hours trying to research what kind of animal might have been involved. There were some scattered feathers in the coop, but not one feather dropped along the 20' distance to the fence. Then at the base of the fence, itself, was a disturbingly huge pile of feathers (hence her bald spots). So far I haven't found any tracks, even though the ground was soft from rain. Based on where I live & the details of the attack, it must be a raccoon, Owl, or even fox. Her coop has a little sliding door for the opening, but I often forget to close it at night (as I did last night). From what I've read, that door wouldn't have stopped a raccoon, anyway. But I also read that raccoons usually kill chickens on the spot, rather than hauling them off alive & struggling! Since I saved her, there aren't any remains to help identify the culprit. So I'm wondering if anyone has experience with chickens being taken alive, and did you find out what took them? Apparently an owl could be especially worrisome, since it seems they sometimes choose to hunt in daylight as well! That's the main reason I'm asking this question, actually. I don't want to let her out into her yard in the day if that same owl might just be waiting! At least a raccoon or fox is only a factor at night! Anyway, thanks in advance for any info you guys can give!