I let my 8 week old girls out in the "big pen" today for the first time. The pen is about 30x36, a little over 6 feet tall. I had strung string with aluminum pie plates over top, and I actually felt pretty safe from predators from above. I was nervous about leaving them out all day, though, so I hopped on my bike right after school and hurried home. When I got out to the backyard, I saw two hawks flying away from my pen area. My heart stopped. Initially, I found one live bird and one eviscerated bird. I literally fell to the ground and cried. I knew better than to get attached, but I raised these girls in my bathtub, and I do love them. I did eventually find the two other chickens huddled and terrified in some tall grass. So all four are accounted for now. I buried my sweet Henrietta. I really did think that I had protected them from hawks with my string/pie plate arrangement. Obviously, I was wrong.