Hi Everyone, We lost one of our 1yr 4mo old chickens today and I am looking for some votes as to what could have happened to her. Here is a very detailed scenario: My boyfriend and I own a (very) small house very, very close to downtown Sarasota, FL. We have a decent sized backyard for living so close to downtown. There is a 6'+ high wooden fence between our right side neighbors and backyard neighbors, as well as between the front and back yards, and a tall chain link fence between us and a skinny wooded lot. We used to let our chickens free range but they ended up making the yard look like WWII and eating the leaves off all our vegetable plants so we made a 4' high welded wire and wood post fence so they had about 1/3 of the entire yard to themselves. The chickens are enclosed by that fence we built and the chain link fence. We built them a lovely coop out of cedar, about 3.5' off the ground, with privacy lattice around the bottom to keep predators out. The back lattice comes off for harvesting chicken poo compost for our plants. The chickens can go down a ladder inside the coop to dig around in the compost. The back of the coop has two doors that open to allow for access to the nesting boxes, and there is a smaller door on the front for the chickens to go in and leave the coop. One of our chickens, a small and light americauna has for months now been flying up to the fence posts and jumping down into the groomed side of the yard to mess up our mulch piles looking for bugs. About a week ago we put something over the post she used 90% of the time and now she is rarely if ever on the wrong side of the yard. Occasionally she has flown up to and landed on the fence gate and in the process of jumping down has pushed the gate open, allowing one or two chickens to run out with her. Only once have we ever found a chicken on the wrong side of the chain link fence, in the wooded lot; it was about midday, we were home, and immediately helped her fly back over to the coop area. This was almost a year ago. Otherwise our chickens have never left our yard, even where there was a hole in one of the wooden fences. Wooded lot = perfect place to breed raccoons. When we first had the chickens, we bought a Poultry Butler automatic door for their coop so we wouldn't have to open it every morning at sunrise. Once or twice, before we had it on a timer, the light sensor closed the coop door too early, and when my boyfriend and I both got home well after dark, all our chickens were lined up on the ladder going into the coop, while raccoons were eating their food around them. Neither animal seemed to care about the other. A couple times when the coop door did not close we found a baby raccoon inside the coop trying to eat chicken food, but it was being attacked by the chickens and it ran away. We have found egg shells and egg whites in the boxes sometimes when the coons have gotten inside the coop, likely during the day, but never have we seen the raccoons actually interested in the chickens themselves. Now the automatic door is broken so we have to close off the coop door and open it at sunset and sunrise. PS, don't buy that door. (Whitey is just to the left of the pot) So...I went to give the chickens extra scratch and to collect eggs yesterday afternoon, got distracted, and left the bottom of the coop open about 6" or 8", the back door open, and forgot to close the front coop door that night. I saw all 8 of my chickens then. We did not check on them until this morning. My boyfriend went to see them before he went to work, and noticed Whitey was missing. She is a Buff Orpington, not very big, but still relatively heavy (too heavy to fly over the 4' welded wire fence). She is the only one of our buffs who doesnt mind being picked up and pet. Whitey is gone. No body parts, no blood, no feathers, no sign of a struggle. At all. We didn't hear any chicken noises last night or this morning. I looked around the wooded lot a bit, we looked all over our yard, I took a walk down the street and around to the road behind our back neighbors, looking for a body or something for some closure. Nothing. We do have a lot of raccoons but they have never been interested in the chickens, only eggs. We have caught several and transported far away, and have shot a few also. We do have possums, but we have only caught one in a trap. We have seen hawks occasionally, but only a couple times have they been in the trees around our yard, looking at the chickens. The chickens always run for cover when they see the hawks high above them in the sky, let alone in the trees. I doubt there are coyotes this close to downtown. I wouldn't doubt that there are foxes, but there is no where to drag the body away; a fox or a raccoon or a coyote or any other land animal would have had to eat the chicken in the fenced area or carry it over the chain link fence, which would have surely left a mess. Our right side neighbors are Latin American and at one point recently had two chickens, which have since disappeared. I am not sure if they ate them or if they went somewhere else. They seem nice and have helped us a little with our yard, earnestly try to get us to have some Modelo with them when we are working in the front yard, and other than a little too much mariachi music, are fine neighbors. We don't speak spanish so it is a little awkward sometimes. Over the past summer my boyfriends mother house/chicken sat for us and said she thought someone was stealing eggs, but once she zip tied one of the front gates closed, she didnt have another issue. I am not sure but I dont think they took Whitey. At the moment the other front gate is only a metal frame; we are in the process of rebuilding it. However, there are no tracks at all whatsoever anywhere near the gate. It rained yesterday so tracks would be very visible. Is it really possible that a hawk grabbed our whitey and the other chickens are already back to normal? Wouldnt they we scared, or skittish, or make a different clucking noise? They are acting as if nothing happened. I really hope I find our Whitey bird but it doesn't look like she is coming back. I didn't see any chicken holes in the wooded lot... Sorry for the novel...writing all this is a little cathartic. If you have an opinion on what happened to her, please post. I just wish I had my Whiteybird :-( Thanks all.