We jumped into the chicken world on St. Patrick's Day when we got 3 Leghorns and 3 Black Australorps. I try to let them range as much as possible. Lately, they've been heading into the cornfield right next to our property (about 40 feet from their coop/run). I've been pretty nervous about them heading in there, but it's part of their routine. When I let them out of the run, they head down to the mulberry tree and then go into the field. Well, I heard a lot of flapping and squacking when they were in the field yesterday and only 5 emerged. I would assume there was a raccoon or something in there that grabbed the hen we named "Noisy". I hate taking away their freedom to have free reign of the yard, but I would only assume that the predator knows there were others and would wait to pick off another hen. They just love walking around all over, but it's not worth the risk, I guess. Any advice? Should I feel crummy not letting them out of the run? I will be more comfortable after the cornfield is harvested...and next year when it's soybeans. With the loss of Noisy, I'm looking into adding a couple more to our flock. It just feels weird only seeing 5 of them.