Hello everyone, I've finally joined but desparation has motivated me. Been meaning to sign up for a while and know I'm going to love this. I just read the predator article and it was very helpful but am now confused as my searches for the predator in my coop have turned up conflicting info. We have had chickens at this farm for 17 years and I have never had a predator problem except stray dogs when the chickens were let out to roam but no problem with that for many years. My chickens have a very secure coop but are free to come and go as they please between the coop and the run (6 foot chainlink but not covered)and I do not lock them in at night. Seventeen years of no predators made me very trusting. Three mornings ago after a hard frost I came down to find a dead chicken still warm and as it had been daylight for a few hours the tragedy happened in the daylight hours. With the cold if it had happened in the dark it would have been cold. The only injury to the hen was its bottom bit out and the innards were eaten, No damage to the head and neck and no meat was eaten, breasts and legs and all was still intact. We quickly made doors for all the coop openings so they couldn't come out in the morning until we let them out. I searched for predators on the internet and came up with the only animals who bite the bottoms were possoms and skunks and weasels were said to bite the heads. Thinking they would be safe if not let out until around 9 am I let them out the next morning with out any problems but the following morning after letting them out and returning a few hours later there was yet another dead chicken, same as the first but cold and rigored so not sure what time it happened but definately daylight. The article states that weasels do this but other info says they don't and only go for the head so still not sure what we are looking for. Been standing guard the last few mornings with the 22 and kept the dogs at the house so as not to scare whatever it is from showing itself but nothing yet. Would rather trap it and I would probably miss with the 22 anyway but want to know what it is first. Has anyone had this type of predation? Whatever it is the chickens are not even safe in the daylight. Aren't most of these predators nocturnal? It's probably climbing over the chainlink but if it's a weasel it could fit through the links. There is a section that borders a hillside that the chickens have scratched into and under the link but I have kept filling it in with logs and rocks but it could still be possible that there is a burrow there though I can't find one. Please help. These poor chickens are suffering horrible slow deaths by losing their intestines! Ick! I never want to let them out again.