My 9 yr. old and I have watched our hens lay eggs, get broody, and hatch 8 adorable chicks. The chicks are now 5 weeks old and everything was peachy until tonight. I have them living in a dog crate efficiency apartment next to the real coop with their hatch-mom, wrapped in a tarp, double and triple locked to keep raccoons from opening the latch. But it's hot and I left the front unwrapped for them. Tonight my dog was whining to get out, but I didn't want the barking to disturb the neighbors so I didn't let her out. At 12:30 a.m. I woke up to the sound of chickens screaming. So I grabbed a flashlight and ran down to the coop, and, well, it must've been a raccoon that reached in and was able to grab a chick and behead it. My dog is now outside for the night, which never happens, but she lives for this kind of thing and isn't even asking to come back in. My neighbors will have to bear with us for the night. It is so disturbing - I got this feeling of evil seeing my poor chick like that. Raccoons have to live too, but the whole predator thing is really bothering me right now. Tomorrow night I think I will just put them in the big coop with the other hens & the rooster. They have been co-existing pretty well, but the chicks might get a couple pecks from the hens in the morning. Hmm. The other option is to line the dog crate with the chicken wire that has the tiny holes, not the big holes. My 9 yr. old is going to be very upset in the morning. Ugh.