Free Ranging chickens is a dangerous business. Even when you are as methodical as I am, the safety of chickens can still be a crapshoot at best. But, because I have an observant ally in my DW Tay (Stacey), my chickens will live to see another day. On any other workday, our chickens would be let out of the coop at 7AM and we all would be off for work/school. This morning at 7:25 am, Tay saw something examining the coop and pawing at it. We have two kittens but Tay knew right away, this was no cat...it was a raccoon, and in broad daylight too! Some of the chickens were in the bottom of the coop just waiting to be let out and the only thing seperating them from certain death was hardware cloth. Tay woke me immediately and grabbed my gun. A few shots from the .22 and we had our predator. Don't mind the sleepy wax, I'd only been up less than 5 minutes... Tay!!!...Our savior and the flock returning from an eventful morning. Gratuitous "chickens on ice" shot... ...and lastly, Perry our roo... We're still wondering whether he'll fight to the death to protect the flock if need be. Thankfully, we spared him of such services today...he's such a pretty and gentle bird. Wow!...what an eventful Sunday morning! It's a miracle and blessing that Mr. Raccoon showed up on the day he did and not an hour later or we may have had a massacre on our hands. The raccoon actually chewed through and broke a rubber mallet handle that we use to lock up the smaller coop if you look closely at picture 3. My lovely wife, Tay saved the day!!!