Hi everybody. I'm new to the forum andI have a couple of questions if anybody can answer them. Yesterday we had 3 hens. And now we have only one. We've been raising chickens for almost 2 years now and we live in Portland, Oregon. I'm not sure what predator got them. There was a possum in the coop one night about a month ago. he was looking for eggs but it was January so he was out of luck. I just opened everything up so he could skulk away. The girls just got on their outside perch & ignored him eventually and he snuck out. They just started laying again which may have attracted the possum, but the 2 eggs in the nestbox were untouched. The 2 hens that died were attacked at the neck. all the feathers were removed and the necks & throats were just a bare bloody mess. One of them had also been eaten on her side (ribcage & belly) and had a lot of her yellow & white chicken fat munched on. There were feathers everywhere and the chicken who was eaten appeared to be kind of flattened. The 2nd victim was still alive somehow, but her neck and throat were sliced to ribbons. I had to help her "cross over" to the spirit world. (Poor Girl. She was everybody's favorite too.) No other injuries that I could see. I think she fought the predator tooth & nail. There's a gang of feral cats around, but I've only seen one of them inside the run one time. It was like he fell off the fence and he was scrambling for his life to get out of there. My feeling is that 3 angry hens are just too much for a cat to handle.There were 4 cats hanging around outside this morning and feathers all over the run so I knew something was wrong. But not one of those cats had the nerve to go into the run. It's too hard for them to get back out. I think they just smelled the blood and were hanging out. Unless there's some kind of a serial killer cat amongst them, I don't think they would cause all that death & destruction and then stay around to watch the authorities (me) conduct an investigation. We have a covered and (almost) fully enclosed run in a corner of our yard. There's about an 18 inch opening between the roof and the top of the fence ... which as of today is covered with poultry wire. That was really the only way in and out of the crime scene besides the door. Here are my questions: Any ideas about what killed them? Possum? Cat? Owl? Raccoon? One of these 4 are most likely the culprit. Any advice on the best way to put a hen out of her misery in a situation like this? I took pity on my favorite hen so she would stop suffering. But it was ugly. There's has to be a "good" way to quickly & humanely kill a chicken. There's one barred rock hen still alive. She came out relatively unscathed. But she's alone now. Is she in greater danger because she's alone? Can a hen do OK on her own like this for a month or 2 until we can introduce some new pullets? What kind of behavior should we expect from this frightened hen who had to witness a murder and a mercy killing of her coop mates? Any guidance that anyone can give me about any of this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.