This is our first year raising chickens. My daughter wanted to do it as part of her 4H project. We started with 11 chickens in a 2 story coop. The bottom level is completely surrounded by a wire mesh (smaller than chicken wire), and the top level is 1/2 wire mesh, and 1/2 enclosed. There are two small doors for the top, and one of the bottom sides are hinged to open. There is no run. We would typically open the bottom up for the chickens to free range during the day. About 7:30pm, everyone would be home and we would close it up for the night. This worked great for about the first 6 weeks. Two weeks ago, a fox came by about 8:30am and disappeared with 5 of our chickens. Since then, we have kept the remaining 6 chickens in the coop with no free range. This morning, my daughter found the fox had gotten one of the top doors open and took off with 2 more chickens. Now we are down to 4. We can solve the door issue of the fox opening the door with a better enclosure. But as a newbie to the chicken world, here are a few questions: 1. Do foxes typically prey during the day? This guy has struck about the same time both times. 2. I desperately want my chickens to free range. Does free range mean NO protection and out in the open? Or can it also include a run? 3. Our coop is currently locate by a row of bushes and trees. I thought that would be a good locations because they seemed to love the shade in there, and it would help to hide them from overhead predators. Am I just giving the fox a good place to hide for his sneak attack? Is it ok to put the coop in direct sun? Help help with suggestions. My daugher is heartbroken!!